Steve Lorenz Special to Detroit Free Press
Published 12:40 PM EDT May 8, 2019
Among the top positions of need for Michigan football in the 2020 recruiting cycle is running back. In 2019, U-M only signed one Top100 back, Zach Charbonnet, after 4-star commitment Eric Gray flipped to Tennessee late in the cycle. In 2018, Michigan signed Christian Turner and Hassan Haskins, who flipped back and forth between running back and linebacker throughout his first two years on campus.
With that in mind, the U-M coaching staff is looking to restock the position. Josh Gattis’ “speed in space” philosophy has the Wolverines eyeing some different style runners as they look to give opposing defenses as many looks as possible.
Here are five prospects the Michigan staff appears to be honing in on as summer approaches:
Laurel (Md.) St. Frances Academy 4-star Blake Corum
Corum has been viewed as a top target for months as U-M running backs coach Jay Harbaugh hopes to beat USC, LSU and Kentucky for his signature. The 5-foot-9, 180-pounder recently ran a 4.44-second laser-timed 40-yard dash at a Nike event and is more of an all-purpose style back who can do damage on the ground and in the receiving game. He is expected to make a summer decision.
Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest Christian 3-star Jabari Small
Small, expected to release a group of top schools in the near future, has listed Michigan as a public leader multiple times since visiting campus last week. The Wolverines view the 5-10, 195-pound back much like they do Corum as a speedy, change-of-pace back that can be utilized in a variety of ways. He holds scholarship offers from Arkansas, North Carolina and Tennessee among others.
Largo (Fla.) Pinellas Park 4-star Lawrance Toafili
Toafili is a Top100 prospect viewed as arguably U-M’s No. 1 target at running back in the 2020 recruiting cycle. The staff has recruited 6-0, 175-pounder incredibly hard and are looking to get him on campus at some point this spring or summer. Ohio State and Florida State appear to be the biggest competition for him. Toafili appears to be more of a classic bell-cow running back in Michigan’s offense.
Akron (Ohio) Hoban 4-star DeaMonte Trayanum
Trayanum is the next major prospect from the powerhouse program that produced 2018 U-M signee Nolan Rumler. The 6-0, 215-pounder is a bruising back who projects to a 20-to-25-carry player in college. After going back and forth about preferring running back or linebacker in college, Trayanum seems to have picked offense. Wisconsin, Ohio State and Arizona State are among the programs that appear to be factors here. U-M probably trails and has some work to do.
Port Orange (Fla.) Spruce Creek 3-star Marvin Scott III
Scott is the most recent offer of the prospects on this list and is in the midst of blowing up on the recruiting trail. Tennessee, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Purdue are among the schools who have joined U-M in offering Scott within the 2019 calendar year. The Wolverines will battle those schools and others for spring official visits before Scott is set to decide.
Steve Lorenz has covered Michigan football recruiting for 247Sports for six seasons. You can follow his work on 247Sports or follow him on Twitter @TremendousUM.
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