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June 6, 2014

By The Numbers: Michigan's top 100 tailbacks

With Ty Issaac's announcement Thursday he will join the Wolverines this fall, Michigan has now featured 10 top-100 ball carriers since rankings began rating the nation's best in 1997.

  • Class of 2013 signee Derrick Green remains the highest-ranked running back U-M has ever landed, pulling in at No. 8 in the Rivals100. Justin Fargas ranked by arguably the godfather of recruiting analysis, Tom Lemming, was the country's No. 9 prospect in 1998.

  • Of the 10 top-100 running backs Michigan signed (or transferred in as is the case with Isaac), three would leave the Maize and Blue program - Fargas transferred to USC, Patrick McCall left for Oregon State and Kelly Baraka was kicked out of school, failing to resurface ever again.

  • Anthony Thomas was the most successful top-100 ball carrier to have worn the winged helmet, ranking second all time at U-M with 4,472 yards rushing while his 55 rushing TDs rank first.

    Carlos Brown is the only other top-100 back to eclipse 1,000 yards in a career while playing for Michigan. Fargas reached that point but only after suiting up for the Trojans.

  • Though five-star designations did not exist before 2000, most lists rank the top 25-30 prospects as five-stars, thus one could argue U-M has had six five-star tailbacks, including Isaac.

    Class Tailback Natl. Rank
    Career Numbers



    Att.
    Yds.
    TDs
    YPC
    2013
    Derrick Green*
    No. 8
    83
    270
    2
    3.3
    1998
    Justin Fargas
    No. 9
    256
    1,077
    8
    4.2
    1997
    Anthony Thomas*
    No. 13
    924
    4,472
    55
    4.8
    2001
    Kelly Baraka
    No. 19
     -
     -
     -
     -
    2005
    Kevin Grady*
    No. 22
    200
    783
    10
    3.9
    2013
    Ty Isaac
    No. 27
    40
    236
    2
    5.9
    2006
    Carlos Brown*
    No. 39
    201
    1,025
    8
    5.1
    1997
    Patrick McCall
    No. 55
    196
    902
    9
    4.6
    1999
    Charles Drake*^
    No. 67
    12
    13
    0
    1.1
    2001
    David Underwood*
    No. 69
    148
    612
    6
    4.1
    2011
    Justice Hayes*
    No. 85
    20
    89
    1
    4.5
    *Spent entire careers at Michigan
    ^Played defense his final three years



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