Fred Jackson: "I feel I have a good bunch of kids. I have Thomas Rawls in there, who I know can play. I have Vince, and I have Justice Hayes, and I'm not too sure I wouldn't have Drake Johnson or Norfleet, because both of those guys – Norfleet is quick as any kid who's ever been at Michigan since I've been here. I haven't seen a guy that quick. So, you know, you have a lot of things going – Drake Johnson runs with tremendous power. He's running through guys, and has the speed to run away from them."
Question: How ready is Rawls, particularly, to step into that role if Fitz isn't able to go on the first?
Fred Jackson: "Here's what I think. He has not been in that big of a game, but he's – sometimes you take a kid, and you know his background, and where he comes from, and I don't think it's going to faze him. I mean, I think he's going to play as if he's been there, although he hasn't."
Question: Is he as rounded as you like a back to be in terms of blocking, and in terms of the assignments?
Fred Jackson: "Not quite. He's not there yet, but we have three weeks – almost three weeks – and hopefully I'll have all that down by then."
Question: Do you anticipate that Rawls would have had as many carries early this season, even if Fitz was available? I mean, it was going to be 1 and 1A with those two, wasn't it?
Fred Jackson: "I was going to play him a lot. I'm not too sure -- Fitz was the heir apparant. But when they hit last year, he was ahead of Fitz, so I don't know. I was going to wait to see how it panned out, and I'm still going to be in that position. But Rawls is a darn good football player. Darn good player."
Question: He had a shoulder injury?
Fred Jackson: "Last year he did, and that – got it hurt the week before the first game, and before that injury, he was tremendous. He was a tremendous player before that game."
Question: Do you think he would have played more last year if he wouldn't have had the shoulder injury?
Fred Jackson: "Oh yeah. I mean, he'd never been hurt, and when I was a kid, they didn't even have a trainer in Flint, Michigan. I don't even think they had doctors to look at him. So he had played with injuries, but not to his upper extremities, and when you get a guy like him who had never been hit as a running back, and take that kind of shot, he didn't really know how to get back from it, because he hadn't been hurt that way. And that was a pretty significant injury. So therefore I think it slowed him, because he had not been hurt in that area before."
Question: Do you think this could, you know – glass half full – help Fitz have something taken away from him, if only temporarily, to make him appreciate it even more?
Fred Jackson: "I think so. I mean, I see that kid, and he walks around like a hurt kid. I believe that nine times out of ten, kids make mistakes because they haven't been in a position like that before; but the mistake he made, he regrets it, and he's paying for it. He's sorry for what he did, and I think he's going to come out and he'll run angry because of it." To watch the video of the interview with Jackson, click play below.