Denard Robinson Must Improve as a Passer to Let Michigan Play for Big Ten Title

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Denard Robinson Must Improve as a Passer to Let Michigan Play for Big Ten Title
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Since Denard Robinson came to the Michigan campus in the 2009 recruiting class, he has been the center of attention, and for good reason. He was a 4-star recruit from Rivals and Scout and was ranked in the ESPNU 150. Although he lacked the height of a typical quarterback at 6'0", his blazing speed more than made up for his stature, as he was a perfect fit into Rich Rodriguez's spread offense.

Although Robinson didn't see much of the football field as a true freshman (Tate Forcier started at that time), the following season, he set the college football world upside down.

Not only did Shoelace finish second in the nation with 1,702 yards rushing, but he was a respectable passer as well. He threw for 2,570 yards along with a 62.5 percent completion rate and 18 touchdowns, but had a rather high 11 interceptions. 

He would certainly improve as a passer the next season, right? Rich Rodriguez would mold him into the next Pat White, right?

Well, not exactly.

As we all know by now, a change had to be made in Ann Arbor to get Michigan back to its winning tradition. Brady Hoke was hired, and the Wolverines exceeded just about everybody's expectations, going 11-2 and winning the Sugar Bowl his first year. 

Unfortunately, the most important player on the football field for the Wolverines, Denard Robinson, regressed heavily as both a passer and a runner from 2010. 

He threw for less yards (2,173 vs. 2,570), a worse completion percentage (55.0 vs. 62.5), more interceptions (15 vs. 11), had more sacks despite a more experienced offensive line (13 vs. seven) and ran far less yards (1,176 vs. 1,702).

Don't use Al Borges as a scapegoat. Yes, moving to a pro-style offense can be difficult for some, but most of the plays Michigan ran were from the spread. Borges essentially ran the spread while sprinkling in some pro-style plays here and there.

Here's how Denard Robinson can improve himself in his final year as a Michigan Wolverine. 

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