Denard Robinson's maturing as a leader for the Wolverines.
Known more for his endearing smile and dangerous athleticism, Robinson's speech holds some water. Rittenberg previewed what this means for Robinson's progression as a person and football player:
He has a very tough act to follow (Michigan State QB Kirk Cousins hit a home run with his speech in 2011), but it's great to see Robinson, shy and reserved at the start of his career, reach this point.
Heading into his senior season with the Wolverines, it's important for Robinson to showcase leadership qualities. He may be the most volatile weapon in Michigan's offense, but the team's fate is contingent on the 21-year-old's willingness to assert himself in the huddle and on the sidelines.
In previous years, the 6'0", 195-pound scrambler has had a hard time speaking up on behalf of the team. He used to be a man of very few words in team interviews, as he told ESPN.com's Brian Bennett in April:
In the past, I spoke up when I needed to or when somebody needed to be talked to. Now, it's more me letting guys know what they should do and what they can do on and off the field.
If Robinson can keep this momentum rolling, Michigan will have a great chance finishing better than 2011's 11-2 mark that was capped off with an Allstate Sugar Bowl victory.
Since the 2010 college football season, Robinson has amassed 4,743 passing yards, 2,878 rushing yards and 68 total touchdowns. Now, he's looking to take more than a Heisman Trophy back to Ann Arbor—Robinson's looking to take a National Championship trophy.
It all starts with how Robinson conducts himself. Thus far, he's doing exactly what a leader is expected to do: speak. That's all second-year head coach Brady Hoke can ask for.