In 2013 the Michigan Wolverines had an anemic running game, but there was a sign of potential when the team put in De’Veon Smith in games.
Smith was a back that added a much needed spark to the offense, even if it was just in spurts. He proved he can play with the big boys, and no season will be more telling than the upcoming one; Smith is the projected starter for the 2014 season.
With that said, I have a list of expectations for Smith, and these are all goals I believe he can reach.
Rushing Yards 615
I believe Smith will be heavily involved in the offense, and in his first year as a starter 615 yards rushing would be an extremely productive year for Smith.
Although I expect Smith to receive the bulk of the carries, I think his counterpart Derrick Green will get a large majority of red-zone carries, mainly because of his build. 5 touchdowns is very reasonable, and should be something Smith can achieve.
Receiving Yards 300
In an offense that will be run-heavy, expect play-action passes to keep the defense on their heels. Smith can take swing passes and screens and make them into huge chunks of yards, and if he reaches this goal, he would be flirting with 1,000 yards of offense on the year.
The sophomore running back has a lot of responsibility this season, but these are goals I think are very attainable for Smith. It will be a year where he will grow as a player, but could have a breakout year similar to former Wolverine, Fitzgerald Toussaint had his sophomore year in 2011.
Smith rushed for 117 yards on 26 attempts in 12 games last season. He averaged 4.5 yards per rush in 2013.