Michigan has been fortunate enough this season to see plenty of success running the football. It has also been fortunate enough to be able to field multiple running backs throughout the game to keep players fresh as defenses become worn down and tired.
For the Wolverines, a running back that has seen the rotation pay off for him is sophomore Karan Higdon.
Higdon says that despite there being a clear pecking order of how the carries are dispersed, he is going to do whatever it takes to take advantage of his carries and make the most of them. That's exactly what he has done, rushing for over 400 yards and six touchdowns. Like so many ahead of him, he is getting the job done.
Like so many ahead of him, he is getting the job done.
"I think that's important whether you have a one-man rotation or a four-man rotation, you have to capitalize on the opportunities that you get and I think that's the difference between good and great running backs," Higdon said. "You always want to be the guy, just because you are the guy, it doesn't mean you are going to be able to produce the way you should. With that being said, you've got to be able to take whatever is given to you and capitalize on it."
Despite the obvious competition for carries in the running back group, there is a respect level each player has for another. To say all of the running backs are close might be an understatement, as Higdon says all players are very close, with the relationship extending far beyond football.
"We're very tight," he said. "We do a lot of different things together outside of football. We stay in contact with each other, push each other through school, it's more than just football in that running back room."
That level of closeness starts at the top with running backs coach Tyrone Wheatley. As a player, Wheatley has seen success on all levels of football. According to Higdon, when Wheatley talks the room listens. Knowing that their coach has their best interest in mind, Higdon is appreciative of all the advice and criticism he receives.
"He's a great guy," Higdon said. "He's been there, he's done it at a high level so you know whenever he is critiquing you or telling you things that are you doing good, it's coming from someone who's been at the highest level so that's definitely appreciated."