Freshpectations for 2016: Running Backs

Thanks to the hiring of both Tim Drevno and Tyrone Wheatley to the Michigan coaching staff, everyone was expecting the Wolverines to get back to having an elite running game with NFL caliber tailbacks. DeVeon Smith flashed the potential behind a suspect offensive line in 2015 which should improve in 2016 and help open things up even more.

What also will help is the addition of early enrollees RB Kareem Walker and RB Kingston Davis.

Walker

MGoFish Scouting Report

Walker is one of the top running backs and players in the 2016 class. He has the size, quickness and agility that Michigan is sorely missing in their stable. He’ll need to work on his vision but thanks to the lack of a big play threat and his early enrollment, there’s a good chance that he sees the field early and often, as long as he develops in the weight room and picks up the play book.

Scout.com (via Brian Dohn) Scouting Report 

Walker runs well between the tackles and is explosive through the hole. He runs with a low center of gravity and is difficult to bring down on first contact. He can get to the edge but needs to improve on finding the hole when the play isn’t blocked well in front of him.

Davis

MGoFish Scouting Report

Davis is a big, powerful tailback that has sneaky quickness that allows him to beat defenders with a quick move or just pure power. Though he’ll need to improve his foot speed a bit and get into college ready shape, he is a great fit for the Michigan backfield and could see the field during his freshmen year thanks to his early enrollment.

247Sports (via Clint Brewster) Scouting Report 

Davis is a big bruiser listed at 6-foot-1, 225-pounds. He’s got the size to move the pile and stick his foot in the ground and get north/south. He’s a tough runner that can also make subtle cuts in the open field to extend runs and take advantage of creases. He has good vision behind the line of scrimmage as to where to hit the hole and explode. Not great maneuverability through the hole or change of direction agility but he’s got deceptive straight line speed. He’s got a knack for getting to the second level and outrunning guys. Shows good power to run through tackles when he keeps his pad level low. He’s a patient but decisive runner with a forward lean and a physical style that makes him a tough guy to slow down once he gains steam.

Highlights

Michigan’s 2016 Depth Chart Prediction

  1. #4 DeVeon Smith, SR
  2. #20 Drake Johnson, 5th
  3. Kareem Walker, FR
  4. #22 Karan Higdon, SO
  5. Kingston Davis, FR
  6. #32 Ty Isaac, SR*

Freshmen Year Expectations

Both Walker and Davis really helped themselves out by enrolling early this winter. Thanks to that and the unsettled depth chart, both will not only have their opportunity to see the field early but both should end up seeing a good amount of snaps this fall. Walker as a depth back behind Smith and Johnson with Davis seeing time as a short yardage/goal line specialist.

What are your expectations for Walker and Davis during their freshmen years? Add your freshpectations in the comment section below!

Photo Credit: Saed Hindash | NJ Advance Media