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Friday, October 24, 2014

Denard Robinson is the Real Deal

It appears Rich Rodriguez has found his guy.  The hot seat talk in Ann Arbor has tapered off, and the Michigan Wolverines owe a huge portion of their early-season success to sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson.  True Heisman Trophy contenders don’t score a touchdown and break into the Heisman pose for the cameras — it just happens.

We’ve already told you how we feel about Rich Rodriguez, but when credit is deserved we aren’t afraid to hand it out.  Rodriguez has the Wolverines’ program back on the rise, and the main reason that’s happening is that he’s found the perfect fit for his offense.  Pat White was recently released by the Dolphins and is now considering a career in baseball, despite finishing in the top-10 in Heisman voting twice during his college career.  White was one of the most electrifying players in college football while at West Virginia, and it’s now become evident that he was a product of Rich Rodriguez’ system.

That’s certainly not to say Robinson can’t become a star in the NFL, but it’s obvious he’s the perfect fit for a Rodriguez offense.  Robinson is essentially Michigan’s running back and quarterback.  Through two games, he’s leading the nation in rushing with 455 rushing yards.  One might assume his passing stats would be mediocre given the numbers he’s piled up running the football, but that’s not the case.  Robinson has thrown for 430 yards and two touchdowns.  More importantly, he has yet to throw an interception.

There has never been a player in college football to record over 2000 yards passing and 2000 yards rushing in one season.  Robinson will likely drop off a bit as teams figure out how to defend against Michigan’s offense, but he’s on pace to easily eclipse 2000 yards in both categories.  He’s Pat White only better, and probably with some more talent around him that’s allowed him to shine.

What was even more impressive than Robinson’s physical ability and performance on Saturday against Notre Dame was his poise in the fourth quarter.  We could sit here and talk for hours about how many times we’ve seen a college football quarterback tear up an entire game only to make a costly mistake in the fourth quarter.  Not only did Robinson quarterback the Wolverines on a comeback drive in the 4th quarter to secure a 28-24 victory over the Irish, he coached the them as well.  On several plays, No. 16 could be seen changing the play at the line of scrimmage as the play clock ticked below five seconds and 80,000 Irish fans could be heard all the way across the state of Indiana.

It’s easy to pick the best player in college football after two games as a Heisman favorite, but I don’t see any other option at the moment.  If Denard Robinson suffers a pretty significant drop-off in production going forward, his numbers will likely still be Heisman-worthy.  A Michigan team that went 5-7 a year ago suddenly looks like a BCS contender with their new superstar running the show.

Photo Credit: Michigan Daily



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