Green (#137) vs. Smith

Submitted by Eye of the Tiger on January 12th, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Obviously most people on here are excited by the prospect of Green coming to Ann Arbor, and by all accounts he's a strong prospect who may very well wear the Maize and Blue. 

But I want to follow up on some comments made sporadically in Derrick Green posts #1-136. Namely, what differentiates him from our current commit at RB, DeVeon Smith? I mean in terms of running style, strengths to their game and in terms of what they potentially bring to the table. Obviously Green is the more highly touted recruit, and just as obviously that doesn't necessarily mean anything, but to the people who are good at parsing recruiting information as well as those who have observed both kids play: assuming we got both of them, how do you see their respective careers at UM playing out?




January 12th, 2013 at 1:34 PM ^

After both breaking the current career rushing yard and rushing TD NCAA records, they will both leave for the NFL after their junior seasons and go #1 and #2 in the NFL draft.


January 12th, 2013 at 1:41 PM ^

then Maurice Hurst Jr will be forced to go back to his HS role as a RB where he will run for 2,000 every year before leaving early for the NFL and being Mr Irrelevant


January 12th, 2013 at 1:47 PM ^

The difference is that Green will need to be fitted for a new jersey.  Smith can come right in and wear this jersey:  

Its previous owner wants nothing more to do with it and has donated it, possibly posthumously.




January 12th, 2013 at 4:40 PM ^

Wish this site would give guys like Vinny Smith a little more love.  That kid did everything ever asked of him beyond his size and talent level, and gave Michigan 110%. Blame the worst offensive line in 50 years for the Clowney decleating, but even then, Smith still tried to regain possession of the ball.  Vince Smith is one of my favorite Wolverines of the last 10 years.

Monocle Smile

January 12th, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

Green is turning into the next Kozan on this board. Frankly, a bunch of us are pretty fed up.

Secondly, this is the kind of question that could easily be researched (Magnus has done some semblance of a scouting report on both of them on Touch The Banner, etc.) and has probably been answered at least once in the past.

Also, what is "the typical Michigan?" AFAIK, there's only one Michigan.


January 12th, 2013 at 1:57 PM ^

If you go and watch their highlight vids, I think that you will notice the difference. 

DeVeon Smith 

  • Runs high, doesn't pick up his knees/feet very well
  • is good at weaving, better now at cutting than he showed in jr highlights
  • looks like a bigger, physical back....or linebacker 
  • tough SOB to tackle
  • does not have top end speed
  • falls forward for that extra yard
  • less apt to be the honorable recipient of the Fred Jackson's Yearly Superlative Allegory

Derrick Green

  • extremely patient following blocks
  • great vision
  • keeps feet churning
  • good at cutbacks
  • has some breakaway ability
  • bigger than Smith but plays more like a polished runner than a physical back
  • more likely to be the recipient of the Fred Jackson's Yearly Superlative Allegory


January 12th, 2013 at 3:11 PM ^

Question is, do we need a second back like Bama does. No question our offense will be built around power running, but just looking at Borges' recent offensive schemes and his time at SDSU, I think downfield passing will be a bigger part if our offense. McCarron had 314 pass attempts this year. Ryan Lindley had 421 Borges' last year. And that was with a Ronnie Hillman. I don't think we really need to look to Alabama as a complete model. We'll both favor downhill power running, but I think we'll be throwing the ball a lot more and wont necessarily need a second 1000 yard rusher to make the O work. I'm more worried about the lack of playmakers at WR since our passing game seems to need superior athletes to win 1-on-1 match-ups and stretch the field.

Sione's Flow

January 12th, 2013 at 2:11 PM ^

After seeing highlights of both of them, I think Smith is more of bowling ball type back, who bounces off of first contact and goes for an extra yard or two, where as Green is likely to make the first defender miss and pick up an additional 4-5 yds or more until someone brings him down from behind or multiple people get to him.  IMHO Green is the back who gets the ball on 1st and 10, Smith is the back who gets the ball on 4th and 1.  Neither of them seem to possess that extra gear once they get in the open field to break away, but both are hard to bring down once they're moving.  Personally I come away more impressed with Smith after viewing his highlights, but Green's the number 1 back in the country for a reason. 


January 12th, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^

I don't have an eye for talent evaluation. But I keep hearing that Green's competition in High School was more competitve than Smith's. Green landed the number 1 running back slot in the class going against very good competition. The fact that he ended up being rated as a 5 star against strong competition is why I'm excited about him.

Don't get me wrong I'm psyched that we landed Smith and look forward to him coming here. With our running game not looking so great, it's easy to get excited for Green once we already have a highly touted back coming in this class with Smith. 


January 12th, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

the level of competition that Green has faced is superior to what Smith has faced, which could very well affect how their highlights look.



January 12th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

Yes.  If you want to watch a video of DeVeon Smith being too slow to outrun a bunch of scrawny white kids and cutting back numerous times, here you go:

Of course, Mike Hart didn't play against the toughest competition and had a similar need to cut back instead of ever flat-out outrunning somebody.  But slow running backs aren't ideal, in my opinion.


January 12th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

I understand the issue of different levels of competition, but to me Green and Smith look pretty similar. Relatively little shake-and-bake, mostly running north and south, and they don't go down on first contact. Neither one looks like a burner to me at all.


January 12th, 2013 at 2:43 PM ^

If Michigan gets Derrick Green, I think Green will win the job by his sophomore year (perhaps even freshman year, depending on Fitzgerald Toussaint's health).  Smith would likely be relegated to a backup role.

If Michigan doesn't get Derrick Green, then I think we'll have a stable of ineffective running backs (Rawls, Hayes, Smith, Shallman, etc.) and I'll once again hope for a gamebreaker in the 2014 class.


January 12th, 2013 at 3:38 PM ^

Two things will help getting a gamebreaking back, a strong offensive line play, and more touches for the current backs...  As much as I loved Denard's running ability, through taking away their touches he was one of the reasons why an elite back would have second thoughts about coming to Michigan.