I know what I am about to write is going to offend a lot of Wolverine Nation, but realism is my forte. I need you to relax yourself because what I am about to say is something you don’t want to hear. I want you you to keep reading my blog as a fellow Michigan fan who bleeds blue I want you to appreciate what I generally write. Here it goes….
Denard Robinson is an over-hyped media darling and should not be considered a legitimate Heisman candidate. I felt dirty typing it, but you and I know its the truth. I love watching the guy every Sunday. There is nothing better than seeing him break 3 tackles and run 60 yard td in improperly tied sneakers. He truly is a “Michigan Man”. But I honestly can’t say that when push comes to shove he is a “Heisman Man”.
Lets start with his mind blowing stats. When he became the first player to throw over 1000 yards and rush 1000 yards in NCAA history his sophmore year under RichRod you knew there was something special about the kid. His feet/speed make him one of the most dangerous players in NCAA history. The problem is the throwing accuracy was/is not on par with those other skills. During his time with Rich Rod his stats were pumped up by the weak non-Big Ten schedule. A quarterback who preferred to run because he knew he could beat his opposition and with his elusiveness rather than waiting in the pocket for a play to develop. It was not until he played against better defenses in the big ten, Wisconsin/Michigan State/Ohio State, that he hit the wall and hit it repeatedly. His TD/INT were not horrendous with 18 TD to 11 INT, but most of his passing plays came from drawing defenders in pursuit of him on the run, not per say in the pocket. Lets just say he is no Tom Harmon. During the Brady Hoke era last year he was told to stay in the pocket and one could see he was never truly comfortable in there. His TD/INT, 20/15, was worse and he had many questionable throws that were almost int. I know what my eyes saw during that Notre Dame game. I am convinced Brian Kelly must be on God’s crap list from the number of jump ball passes Junior Hemmingway was bringing down in that game. There was even one play during the game where Junior had to run back 10 yards to catch the ball. He only threw for 55% completions and only took 250+ attempts at throwing. Just look at the hesiman contenders last year compared to Denard.
Denard’s numbers are pedestrian in comparison. His accuracy is 14% lower than the closest of the top 3 qbs of last year. His passing attempt numbers 100 less then the closest rival shows that he is still more comfortable running the ball then trusting his arm. Heisman QBs win by putting up big numbers through the air and that just isn’t Denard. Along with the fact the INT are almost double most of the 2011 contenders. Accuracy can only be improved so much during a player’s career. You either have it or you don’t, unfortunately Denard does not. Or at least not at the elite level to get him to do an off field pose with the famed trophy. Reports coming from Ann Arbor say he is more comfortable in the pocket and that his coaches are very impressed. To be honest they are just words until I see it during a real game. We were told similar things last year and game after game I saw him under/over throw passes right to defenders. Do I expect to see improvement in Denard’s game, of course. Just don’t expect it to jump into Heisman worthy numbers. So don’t believe the Sports Illustrated and ESPNs of the world, Denard is a special talent just not one that is going to beat out the likes of Matt Barkley/Landry Jones for the prestigious award. No worries Wolverine fans I still feel a Big Ten Championship/Rose Bowl bid is on the horizon for team 133, just don’t expect to see a Heisman pose… well unless its caught on camera like the picture above.