The police force has not been the state of Michigan’s football friend in the past few weeks and months. While the Detroit Lions are leading the way in the NFL with arrests (7 this off-season), they now aren’t the only football team likely to suffer from suspensions to their football team. The Michigan Wolverines are now in the headlines for an arrest.
Junior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, Michigan’s leading rusher last season, was arrested late Sunday night for drunk driving.
According to the Saline Police, Toussaint was pulled over after a traffic violation at around 11:45 PM, and blew above the legal limit when he was breathlized. This DUI marks the first off the field offense for Toussaint, although he still may be facing team punishment as the season approaches for the Wolverines.
The team’s leading rusher last year, and a big aid to Denard Robinson’s comfort-ability in the new offense. Toussaint certainly has an NFL future if he can perform the way he did a season ago. The 5’10, 195 back runs with idea pad level, plays with good balance and is a compact runner, and explodes into and through contact well. While he doesn’t have elite open field moves or big play speed, his ability to come out of traffic allowed him to break off big runs a season ago.
Toussaint ended his regular season last year with 711 yards and 5 touchdowns in his last five regular season games, including a 200 yard effort against Illinois.
He’s one of just five running backs on the Michigan roster. Senior Vincent Smith is just 5’6, but he’s the only other Michigan running back with over 800 yards rushing for a college career. But it’s Thomas Rawls, just a sophomore, who could benefit if Toussaint is suspended by the Wolverines. Rawls had a solid game against Minnesota, and is this team’s “running back of the future”. If Toussaint can’t show he’s sorry for what happened, Rawls has a shot to get touches early in the season.
Toussaint is still a very talented, fringe NFL draft pick as of now (likely getting a 5th round pre-season grade from us if he was a senior), but he’ll need to show he’s not an off the field risk as well as develop better downfield moves if he hopes to overcome this arrest and get onto an NFL roster in 2013 or 2014.