Liberty junior Fitzgerald Toussaint and senior James Allen will lead the Leopards this year in the sprint. Toussaint was sixth in the 100 at state, while Allen took third in the 200. Both runners have great chances to sit high atop the podium come early June.Sixth in the state as a sophomore: not bad. He runs far on few carries also as a sophomore:
Toussaint and Allen will have to find two more running partners for the 400 relay, an event the Leopards placed second in Division II last season.
Liberty junior Fitzgerald Toussaint tore up the league as a sophomore in 2006, averaging 12 yards per carry, rushing for 1,100 yards and scoring 14 touchdowns.He's not as good as Beanie Wells:
With every skilled position filled last year, Toussaint was fortunate to earn a spot. Junior Julius Ferrell wasn't so lucky.
A couple years ago, when Dallas Saunders was still an assistant at Chaney, the Cowboys scrimmaged Akron Garfield, which had a running back named Chris Wells who was headed to Ohio State.But, like... okay. There are kids not as good as Beanie Wells who would be fine on Michigan's team. Toussaint isn't ranked by Scout, Rivals, or ESPN yet; he had offers from Pitt, Illinois, and WVU but not Ohio State. If I had to guess he'll probably be a mid-to-low four star when he gets ranked. Ohio State generally prefers its tailbacks bigger than Toussaint, who's in the 5'9"-5'10 range and is often compared to Sam McGuffie by Michigan fans who watch his Scouting Ohio video (I like when the man says "shawties!").
Saunders came away impressed.
Friday night, the Struthers head coach had a similar feeling after watching Liberty junior Fitzgerald Toussaint juke, jive, spin and accelerate past his team — sometimes breaking a few tackles along the way — on his way to 239 yards and four touchdowns.
"He's a special back," said Saunders after his team's 43-22 road loss to the Leopards. "I don't know that he's quite at that [Wells'] level, but he's the best I've seen in awhile."
Said video isn't quite the McGuffie mixtape, especially since Liberty doesn't play the top competition in Ohio, but it is pretty good. He's fast, he's got some jukes, and doesn't go down that easy. He's got this weird jump-stop thing going on where he'll take one step that slows him considerably, the go "WOOP!" and past the defender.
There are now two running back sorts in this class but Rodriguez's philosophy on slick little bastards appears to be "gotta catch 'em all" so look for another two or even three slot/tailback/DB types as Rodriguez gets Michigan's speed up to speed.
Side note: while Michigan has ceded ground in-state and in Ohio at certain positions, like ground pounding running backs and water buffalo pocket passers, to MSU and OSU, this is an example of a guy for whom Michigan is now a beacon on a hill. Toussaint is a great fit in the spread 'n' shred and could be a slot receiver or a tailback who experiences Great Success. Meanwhile at OSU, Maurice Wells is buried.
Related note: Youngstown Liberty has another potential Michigan recruit in FB/LB Julius Ferrell. An injury robbed him of most of his junior year and thus offers are slow in coming -- Akron is the lone suitor at the moment -- but he'll be one to watch into the fall. He said Ohio State was his leader a month ago, FWIW.