This week is probably the healthiest De'Veon Smith has felt in years.
With the workhorse running back taking the brunt of the hits throughout his career at Michigan, he is now in a unique position where he isn't required to be on the field every single play. With the depth chart the way it is right now for the Wolverines, it allows more players to see playing time feeling fresh and, most importantly, healthy.
In Smith's case, a nagging injury held him back a season ago. Now, entering the bye week, he's able to rest without having to think about playing football or rehabbing an injury.
"I feel better, I'm loose and it's just relaxing to know that you're not going to be taking all of the hits," Smith said. "[I haven't felt this healthy] since probably sophomore year. When dealing with injuries, you have to be in the training room day-to-day, you have to be there at seven o'clock in the morning no matter what. If football is really important to you, the team is really important to you, it's what you have to do. I had to learn that last year."
U-M displayed what it was capable of last week against Rutgers. Compiling over 400 yards rushing, the Wolverines have several running backs that can come in and make a player on any given down. The depth chart also provides the offense to showcase different types of running backs.
In the words of Smith, take your pick on which player you want to scheme around.
"You never know what type of running back you're going to get for an opposing defense," Smith said. "You've got to really pick your poison... Karan [Higdon] and Chris [Evans] are more of the speedy backs, me and Ty [Isaac] are more of the power backs. Me and Ty have our own guy with Chris and Karan kind of different but somewhat similar with speed and making a guy miss. It's fun seeing everyone out there working on their craft."