Fitzgerald Toussaint

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Fitzgerald Toussaint
refer to caption
Toussaint in 2016
No. 33 Pittsburgh Steelers
Position: Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-05-04) May 4, 1990 (age 27)
Place of birth: East Orange, New Jersey
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: Youngstown (OH) Liberty
College: Michigan
Undrafted: 2014
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2016
Rushing yards: 112
Rushing average: 2.9
Receptions: 6
Receiving yards: 60
Total return yards: 319
Total touchdowns: 0
Player stats at NFL.com

Fitzgerald Toussaint (born May 4, 1990) is an American football running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He was the starting running back for the 2011, 2012, 2013 Michigan Wolverines football teams. Toussaint received 2011 All-Big Ten honorable mention.

Early years[edit]

Toussaint grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, to a Haitian father and to an African American mother.[1] He graduated from Liberty High School, where as a senior in 2008, he rushed for 2,229 yards (10.4 per carry) and 28 touchdowns and was named Ohio's co-offensive player of the year in Division III.[2] Toussaint committed to the University of Michigan after his senior year and was considered one of the five impact players in Michigan's recruiting class for 2009.[3] After committing to Michigan, Toussaint donned the scarlet uniform of the Ohio high school all-star team for the annual Big 33 Football Classic against the Pennsylvania high school all-star team.[4]

Toussaint was also on the school's track & field team, where he competed as a sprinter. At the 2007 OHSAA Regional Track and Field Championships, he won the 100 meters by running a personal-best time of 10.74 seconds.[5] He also won the 60 meters at the 2009 Kent State HS Open, recording a career-best time of 6.89 seconds.[6]

College career[edit]

Toussaint enrolled at the University of Michigan on a football scholarship in 2009. He was redshirted during the 2009 season. Toussaint missed the first three games of the 2010 season with a knee injury. In his first appearance for the Wolverines, Toussaint rushed for 129 yards on six carries, including 61-yard gain in the fourth quarter, against Bowling Green.[7][8] He suffered a shoulder injury in October 2010.[9]

2011 season[edit]

After spending the 2010 season as a back-up to Michael Shaw, Toussaint challenged Shaw for the No. 1 running back position during 2011 summer practice.[10][11] In the end, head coach Brady Hoke named Toussaint as the Wolverines' No. 1 running back at the start of the 2011 season.[12][13][14] After gaining 80 yards on 11 carries (7.3 yards per carry) and scoring two touchdowns in Michigan's 2011 season opener against Western Michigan,[15] Hoke confirmed that Toussaint remained the team's No. 1 running back.[16][17]

After suffering a shoulder injury, he did not play against Notre Dame in the second week of the season. He returned to the lineup the following week and went on to record his second 100-yard rushing game in the Battle for the Little Brown Jug against Minnesota in the fifth game of the season, totaling 108 yards on 11 carries for an average of 9.8 yards per carry.[18][19]

Toussaint at Michigan Stadium, Sept. 2012

On October 29, Toussaint ran for 170 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries in a 36–14 victory over Purdue. He had career highs in both yards gained and carries.[20][21] On November 12, Toussaint set new career highs with 27 carries, a 65-yard run, and 192 rushing yards against Illinois.[22][23] In the subsequent two weeks, he followed up with 138 rushing yards against Nebraska on November 19, 2011, and 120 yards rushing against Ohio State on November 26, in "the Game".[24][25]

Toussaint rushed for 1,041 yards. With quarterback Denard Robinson also rushing for over 1,000 yards, the Wolverines had a tandem of 1,000-yard rushers for the first time since 1975.[26][27][28] Toussaint averaged 5.6 yards per carry during the season.[29] He ranked second in the Big Ten Conference in yards per carry behind Wisconsin running back Montee Ball.[30] He earned All-Big Ten Conference honorable mention recognition from both the coaches and the media.[31][32] At the end of the regular season, Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges praised Toussaint's late season performance (100-plus rushing yards in four of the last five games) and compared him to USC Heisman Trophy winner Charles White: "You put the (USC) jersey on him, you would hardly be able to tell the difference. That's who he reminds me of."[33]

Troussaint in 2013

2012 season[edit]

At the time of Michigan's spring practice in April 2012, Borges said there was no running back controversy for the 2012 team: "Fitz is our tailback. If he isn't, I'm not very smart."[34][35][36][37]

On July 21, 2012, Toussaint was arrested in Ann Arbor after running a red light and charged with driving under the influence. On July 23, he was suspended from the team.[38] In late August, Toussaint pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, after telling the court that he had been drinking brandy before driving.[39] On October 23, he was sentenced to 10 months probation and ordered by the Court to attend 10 Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, pay $1,500 in fees and fines, and undergo random drug and alcohol tests.[40]

Toussaint remained suspended from the team for the opening game of the 2012 season, but returned to the lineup as Michigan's lead running back in the second week of the season. Through the tenth game of the 2012 season, Toussaint had gained 483 yards and scored five touchdown on 127carries, an average of 3.8 yards per carry.[41]

On Nov. 17, 2012, during a first quarter run in the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes, Toussaint sustained a broken leg, ending his season.

2013 season[edit]

After successful rehabilitation on his leg injury, Toussaint returned as the starting running back for the 2013 Michigan Wolverines football team. Through the first two games of the season, he had 128 rushing yards on 36 carries, including 71 rushing yards on 22 carries in Michigan's 41–30 victory over Notre Dame on September 7, 2013.[42]

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 878 in 204 lb 4.53 s 1.59 s 2.56 s 4.10 s 6.59 s 3512 in 10 ft 2 in 24 reps
All values from Michigan's Pro Day[43]

Baltimore Ravens[edit]

On May 29, 2014, Toussaint was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League.[44] Toussaint rushed for 20 yards on 4 attempts during the Ravens' first preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers. He did not play again until the fourth preseason game against the New Orleans Saints, where he rushed for a game-high 103 yards on 17 carries and caught his only targeted pass for another nine yards.[45] Despite his successful play in the final game of the preseason, Toussaint was released by the Ravens on August 30, 2014 with the final round of cuts before the regular season.[46] Toussaint was re-signed to the Ravens practice squad on August 31, 2014.[47] Toussaint was promoted to the Ravens roster on September 6, 2014 after fellow running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was placed on injured reserve.[48] On September 5, 2015, he was released by the Ravens.[49]

Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

On September 7, 2015, Toussaint was signed to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad.[50] On November 27, 2015, Toussaint was promoted to the active roster.[51] He was able to earn the role as the Steelers second-string running back from Jordan Todman as the regular-season came to a close. Toussaint caught the Steelers' 8th two-point conversion of the season against the Cleveland Browns in Week 17, which set the NFL record for most successful two-point conversion attempts by a team in a season.[52] On January 8, 2016, Toussaint was announced as the starter for Pittsburgh Steelers' wild card playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals due to an injury to DeAngelo Williams. Toussaint and Todman were called upon to fill in for Williams, combining for 123 rushing yards. Toussaint's added 4 passes for 60 yards. In the second round of the playoffs, on January 17, Toussaint scored his first touchdown as a professional but had a costly fumble late in the 4th quarter, that was the only turnover of the game, which eventually resulted in the Denver Broncos' game-winning drive.[53]

Toussaint signed a one-year deal to remain with the Steelers on January 31, 2017.[54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Iles, Trey, ed. (30 December 2011). "Sugar Bowl 2012: Michigan's Fitz Toussaint emerges, improves offense". NOLA. Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  2. ^ "Liberty's Toussaint named player of the year". Youngstown Vindicator. November 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Impact players: Campbell, Forcier, Lewan, Toussaint, Turner". The Detroit News. February 5, 2009. 
  4. ^ Kyle Warber (June 22, 2009). "Michigan's Fitzgerald Toussaint a Buckeye for a day". MLive.com. 
  5. ^ "OHSAA Regional Track and Field Championships - Ravenna". Ohio MileSplit. 
  6. ^ "Kent State HS Open #3 - Boys Only". Ohio MileSplit. 
  7. ^ Tim Rohan (September 26, 2010). "Lines lead the way as Michigan excels in red zone in 2010". The Michigan Daily. 
  8. ^ "Toussaint shows off his moves". The Detroit News. December 31, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Injuries plague Michigan players". McClatchy-Tribune Regional News. October 11, 2010. 
  10. ^ Angelique S. Chengelis (August 31, 2011). "Shaw, Toussaint, Hopkins enjoy competition for No. 1". The Detroit News. 
  11. ^ Angelique S. Chengelis (August 29, 2011). "U-M's Hoke: Toussaint could win start over Shaw". The Detroit News. 
  12. ^ Brian Bennett (September 2, 2011). "Fitz Toussaint named Michigan starting RB". ESPN.com. 
  13. ^ Nick Baumgardner (September 3, 2011). "Toussaint makes most of opportunity as Michigan's No. 1 running back". AnnArbor.com. 
  14. ^ Mark Snyder (September 3, 2011). "Patience pays off for Michigan RB Fitz Toussaint". Detroit Free Press. 
  15. ^ "Herron, Toussaint Strike Twice, Michigan Whips WMU in Shortened Opener". mgoblue.com. September 3, 2011. 
  16. ^ Kyle Meinke (September 5, 2011). "Fitz Toussaint will retain starting tailback role against Notre Dame and more Michigan football notes". AnnArbor.com. 
  17. ^ Tim Rohan (September 4, 2011). "Toussaint emerges as Hoke's lead back, replaces Robinson as workhorse". The Michigan Daily. 
  18. ^ "Minnesota 0 (1–4, 0–1 Big Ten); (19) Michigan 58 (5–0, 1–0 Big Ten)". ESPN.com. 2011-10-01. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  19. ^ Joe Scalzo (October 6, 2011). "Toussaint excels for Michigan as touches increase". Youngstown Vindicator. 
  20. ^ "Fitzgerald Toussaint runs for 170 yards and 2 TDs to help No. 17 Michigan beat Purdue 36–14". The Washington Post (AP article). October 29, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Purdue 14 (4–4, 2–2 Big Ten); (18) Michigan 36 (7–1, 3–1 Big Ten)". ESPN.com. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  22. ^ "Toussaint helps No. 22 Michigan beat Illini, 31–14". Associated Press. November 12, 2011. 
  23. ^ "(24) Michigan 31 (8–2, 4–2 Big Ten); Illinois 14 (6–4, 2–4 Big Ten)". ESPN.com. 2011-11-12. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  24. ^ "(16) Nebraska 17 (8–3, 4–3 Big Ten); (18) Michigan 45 (9–2, 5–2 Big Ten)". ESPN.com. 2011-11-19. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  25. ^ "Ohio St 34 (6–6, 3–5 Big Ten); (15) Michigan 40 (10–2, 6–2 Big Ten)". ESPN.com. 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  26. ^ "Michigan edges Ohio St. to end seven-game hex". ESPN. 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  27. ^ "Robinson's Five TDs Spark U-M to Victory over Ohio State, 10 Wins". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. 2011-11-26. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  28. ^ Trey Iles (December 30, 2011). "Sugar Bowl 2012: Michigan's Fitz Toussaint emerges, improves offense". The Time-Picayune. 
  29. ^ "Michigan Football Statistics (13-game Totals)". University of Michigan. Retrieved January 7, 2012. 
  30. ^ "NCAA Division I-A Player Rushing Statistics – 2011 (Yards Per Rush Attempt Leaders – Qualified)". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 27, 2011. 
  31. ^ "Molk Named Top Offensive Lineman to Headline Big Ten Awards". MGoBlue.com. CBS Interactive. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  32. ^ "Big Ten Announces 2011 All-Big Ten Teams and Select Individual Award Winners". BigTen.org. CBS Interactive. 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2011-11-29. 
  33. ^ Michael Florek (December 20, 2011). "Borges compares Toussaint to former Heisman winner". The Michigan Daily. 
  34. ^ Michael Rothstein (April 10, 2012). "Toussaint working on finer points: Now entrenched as top RB, junior works on pass blocking, receiving". ESPN.com. 
  35. ^ Stephen Nesbitt (March 20, 2010). "Fitzgerald Toussaint: The Frontrunning Tailback". The Michigan Daily. 
  36. ^ Dave Hogg (April 6, 2012). "Toussaint tabbed as Michigan's starting RB". Fox Sports Detroit. 
  37. ^ "Michigan's Al Borges: Fitz Toussaint 'is our tailback'". Detroit Free Press. April 5, 2012. 
  38. ^ Jennings, Chantel (2012-07-23). "Fitzgerald Toussaint suspended". ESPN. Retrieved 2012-07-24. 
  39. ^ Angelique S. Chengeils (August 28, 2012). "Michigan RB Fitz Toussaint pleads guilty to reduced charge". Detroit News. 
  40. ^ Michael Rothstein (October 24, 2012). "Fitzgerald Toussaint gets probation". ESPN. Retrieved November 9, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Michigan Football Statistics (10-game Totals)". University of Michigan. November 10, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Notre Dame 30, Michigan 41". ESPN.com. September 7, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Fitzgerald Toussaint". Nfldraftscout.com. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  44. ^ "Ravens Sign Undrafted RB Fitzgerald Toussaint". baltimoreravens.com. 
  45. ^ http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=400554689
  46. ^ Baltimore Sun (30 August 2014). "Source: Ravens cut running back Fitzgerald Toussaint". baltimoresun.com. 
  47. ^ Baltimore Sun (31 August 2014). "Ravens sign rookie QB Keith Wenning, eight other players to practice squad". baltimoresun.com. 
  48. ^ "Baltimore Ravens promote Fitzgerald Toussaint to 53-man roster - Baltimore Ravens Blog - ESPN". ESPN.com. 
  49. ^ Downing, Garrett (September 5, 2015). "Ravens Trim 2015 Roster To 53 Players". BaltimoreRavens.com. Retrieved September 13, 2015. 
  50. ^ Sager, Daniel (September 7, 2015). "Steelers roster tracker: Five added to practice squad". SteelersWire.USAToday.com. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  51. ^ "RB Toussaint added to roster; Pead cut". Steelers.com. November 27, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2017. 
  52. ^ "Team Two Point Conversion Statistics: 2015 NFL Season". SportingCharts.com. 
  53. ^ "Peyton Manning engineers late TD drive to lift Broncos into AFC finale". ESPN. Associated Press. 2016-01-17. Retrieved 2016-01-18. 
  54. ^ Chester, Simon A. (January 31, 2017). "Steelers re-sign exclusive rights free agent Fitzgerald Toussaint". SteelersWire.USAToday.com. 

External links[edit]