Denard Robinson is the King of Michigan
Written by Curt Popejoy on 09/07/2010
The darling of Week 1 of the 2010 college football season has to be University of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson carved up the Uconn Huskies defense for nearly 400 yards of total offense, and 2 touchdowns en route to a 30-10 opening week victory. The media is all abuzz with Robinson, calling him the new Heisman frontrunner, the new Pat White, and the savior of not only scumbag Rich Rodriguez’s job, but the Michigan football program. I say he’s none of those things…..yet.
Plenty of guys will lose the Heisman in the first couple of weeks of the season. Mark Ingram’s shot to repeat vanished in an out-patient knee procedure and Jake Locker lost it by being, well, Jake Locker. But before Robinson starts booking a hotel in New York or trying to decide what kind of sandwich he’s going to order at Katz’s let’s watch him play a little more. Just like a couple of years ago, when I had to bring the Terrelle Pryor and the multiple Heisman, multiple National Championship talk down, I am going to do the same for Robinson. So far, we’ve seen he’s an exciting player. And against a very average Uconn defense, can be dynamic. But let’s not be hasty. The Wolverines have 6 games by my count on their schedule, where the defense is going to test Robinson much more than the Husky D did, starting next week with Notre Dame.
But his Oklahoma Drill is in October. Will it be a trick or treat for the Wolverines as they get a 3 pack of Michigan State at home, then Iowa at home, followed with a road game against Penn State. If he comes out of those games alive, then I’ll climb on the bandwagon going into those last two regular season games home against Wisconsin and a roadie against Ohio State. As much as I like Robinson’s potential, there are just way too many potholes along the way.
Is he Pat White? Not yet. But I absolutely think in Rodriquez’s system, he can be. Last year Michigan fans thought Tate Forcier was, but I never saw it. I do see it in Robinson. You can see his grasp of the system is strong, and he’s got full buy in and endorsement by the coaches. Rich Rod always seemed to have an almost father/son relationship with White. We’ll see if the same thing develops with Robinson. What White did that kept him in Rodriguez’s good graces was win, and win as an unselfish player. We’ll see if Robinson has that.
The reason I don’t think Robinson will save Rodriquez is because in the final analysis, it’s going to be the defense that makes or breaks him. Dual threat QBs are scattered all over the nation at high school programs and so getting his guy, if it’s Robinson or someone else, isn’t the challenge he’s going to face. It’s bringing in talent on defense, where the Wolverines have struggled in the past and in the Big Ten will be much needed. But never fear Wolverine faithful, Rich Rod can find guys who can play on defense, even if it’s under, uhm…”questionable” circumstances. And he won’t save Michigan football, because it doesn’t need saving. Yeah, college football is better when Michigan is good, but let’s be honest here. Michigan has tremendous college football cache’ and if they are not bringing in elite talent every year, it’s not because the players aren’t out there. Look at a team like Boise State. They are finding 2 and 3 star recruits no one else wants and making them into great players. If Michigan wants to be great again, it’ll take them being a smarter recruiting team than they have been in recent years.
What do I think of Robinson? I think he’s a lot of fun to watch. I think he’s more Pat White than Mike Vick and I think he’s not in the same universe as Vince Young. He’s going to have moments that are going to get Wolverine fans so excited. And others that will make them want to put flaming bags of crap on his porch. This is the nature of the position. What Pat White did that made him great was maximizing the first, and minimizing the second. I personally think after watching one game of Robinson this weekend, he tried to do too much on his own. Forced plays with his legs that he will need to be smarter about against better defenses. Sorry if I am a skeptic, but I want to see more from Robinson. He’s going to have to use his head as well as his legs if he wants to lead the Wolverines to a big season. They have a tough go of it, and it’s a lot to put on this sophomore’s shoulders.
Last Edited: 09/07/2010