Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 6/29/14

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 05: Tate Forcier #5 of the Michigan Wolverines celebrates with Denard Robinson #16 after Robinson ran for a long first quarter touchdown against the Western Michigan Broncos on September 5, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Michigan Wolverines QB Denard Robinson is beloved by his teammates, adored by Michigan fans and feared by opposing coaches. He is lightning fast and a big play waiting to happen. Much like Superman, who could change from Clark Kent to the Man of Steel inside the cramped confines of a phone booth, Denard Robinson doesn’t need a lot space to make a big play happen. He also doesn’t need a lot of time to do something truly amazing. In the 4th quarter of the 2011 Notre Dame game, Robinson ran for a touchdown and threw for 3 more to lead Michigan’s furious comeback from a 24-7 4th quarter deficit.

Denard Robinson

Despite those heroics, Robinson’s passing was a bit out of whack to open the season and that caused many fans, media and experts to question his passing abilities. To answer those critics he came out against Minnesota and connected on his first 11 passes of the game en route to a 15-19 day with 2 TDs. After the game I asked Devin Gardner if they were ever worried about Robinson, he smiled and said no he’s really fast.

Robinson doesn’t like to talk about himself, but loves to talk about his teammates. When asked how he felt about Vincent Smith stealing the headlines against Minnesota with a TD pass, reception and run, Robinson said he’s my teammate, I’m probably happier about it than he is.

Robinson has rewritten NCAA, Big Ten, and Michigan records with his amazing performances. In 2010 he shattered the NCAA single season record for rushing yards by a QB with 1,702 yards. He also joined Cam Newton and Colin Kaepernick as the only FBS players to throw for 18 TDs and rush for14 TDs last year.

Robinson owns the top five and 7 of the top 8 total offense games in school history.

  1. Denard Robinson – 502 yards at Notre Dame on 9/11/2010
  2. Denard Robinson – 494 yards at Indiana on 10/2/2010
  3. Denard Robinson – 446 yards vs Notre Dame on 9/20/2011
  4. Denard Robinson – 383 yards vs UConn on 9/4/2010
  5. Denard Robinson – 381 yards at Penn State on 10/30/2010
  6. John Navarre – 368 yards at Iowa on 10/4/2003
  7. Denard Robinson – 367 yards vs Illinois on 11/6/2010
  8. Denard Robinson – 360 yards vs Wisconsin on 11/20/2010

Robinson owns six of the top 12 single-game rushing performances by a quarterback in Big Ten history. He also ranks second among the Big Ten Conference’s career leaders in rushing yards by a quarterback.

  1. Antwaan Randle El – Indiana 3,895 yards
  2. Denard Robinson – Michigan 2,656 yards
  3. Juice Williams – Illinois 2,557 yards

His 28 career TD passes (as of 10/2/2011) ranks him 10th in school history and puts him in some pretty select company (see below).

  1. Chad Henne – 87
  2. John Navarre – 72
  3. Elvis Grbac – 71
  4. Rick Leach – 48
  5. Steve Smith – 42
  6. Todd Collins – 37
  7. Tom Brady – 35
  8. Brian Griese – 33
  9. Jim Harbaugh – 31
  10. Denard Robinson 28

Robinson could easily move into the Top 5 on that list by the end of the 2011 season. Having said all that and realizing that he is still less than halfway through his junior season, I can’t help but wonder how absurd his numbers will be by the time he wraps up his Michigan career. Then we’ll have to decide where should he rank on this list: Michigan’s All-Time Best QBs?


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