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Michigan Wolverines Football Signee Bio: Running Back Zach Charbonnet

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Oaks Christian (Calif.) Westlake Village four-star running back Zach Charbonnet is rated as the fourth-best running back in the country.

Oaks Christian (Calif.) Westlake Village four-star running back Zach Charbonnet is officially part of the Michigan football program.


• Rushed for 1,795 yards and 17 touchdown on 215 carries in 2018, averaging 8.3 yards per touch. He also had 171 receiving yards on 15 catches, three interceptions, 18 tackles, two passes defended and a forced fumble on defense.

• Rushed for 2,049 yards and 23 touchdowns as a junior in 2017, averaging 136.6 yards per game. He also hauled in 169 receiving yards and a score on 27 catches, plus he recorded 36 tackles, four sacks and an interception on defense.

• Ran for 844 yards and 23 touchdowns on 82 carries as a sophomore in 2016, while reeling in 88 receiving yards on eight grabs. The four-star also tallied 24 tackles and two picks on defense, to go along with 11 passes defended.

• Compiled 78 rushing yards and two scores as a freshman in 2015, on just 15 carries. He also registered a tackle, an interception and a pass defended on defense.


• Pegged as the Division 2 All-CIF Southern Section Offensive Player of the Year on Jan. 30, 2018.

• Shared the Marmonte Football League Player of the Year award in both 2017 and 2018 with five-star defensive end teammate Kayvon Thibodeaux, who will be attending Oregon.

• Tabbed as a CIF-SS Division 2 first-team All-County selection by the league’s coaches following the 2017 campaign.

• Named to the All-CIF Southern team in Feb. 2017.


• Committed to Michigan on June 23, 2018, via Twitter over the likes of UCLA, USC, Washington and Wisconsin, along with other notable offers from Florida and Notre Dame.

• Cited U-M’s weightlifting coach, Ben Herbert, and Michigan’s business school as the two biggest reasons he pledged to the Wolverines.

• Stayed away from the camp circuit throughout his recruitment.

• Running backs coach Jay Harbaugh spearheaded his recruitment.

Did You Know?

He helped lead Oaks Christian to a 12-1 record in 2018 and a third-round appearance in the CIF southern section of the California state playoffs.

• Led his team to four consecutive league championships.

• Stayed incredibly quiet throughout the recruiting process, and revealed that his entire family is made up of quiet workers and aren’t ones to boast about their accomplishments.

• His mother, Seda, came to the U.S. from France and is part Cambodian and part Chinese.

• Focused on basketball and baseball when he was young, and didn’t start playing football until seventh grade.

They Said It national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney: “Charbonnet is one of my favorite players in the West this recruiting cycle, and I think he picked the perfect school in Michigan because he’s a ground-and-pound running back who embraces contact, is difficult to bring down and he should fit in perfectly in Ann Arbor. Charbonnet is the type of no-nonsense, productive running back that Michigan fans should love immediately.”

Opposing head coach Jack Willard of Camarillo: “He’s strong, fast, quick and has all that stuff. For me, the thing that stood out most about him was that he’s an effort guy. A lot of times, you get superior athletes in high school and they can get away with just being great athletes, and will take plays off here and there. That’s not him, and I think that will make him fit right in at Michigan.”

2019 Projection

When Michigan gets ready to kick things off in 2019, the running back room should be well stocked. Chris Evans will be a senior and should be the guy, and will be joined in the backfield by fellow senior Tru Wilson, and redshirt freshmen Christian Turner and Hassan Haskins.

Two fullbacks in junior Ben Mason and redshirt freshman Ben VanSumeren will also reside on the roster.

With Karan Higdon graduating following the 2018 campaign, though, playing time will be available and it would not be a surprise if Charbonnet sees the field as a freshman.

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