Michigan Football: QB Denard Robinson with a Lot to Prove in New Offense

Brad WashingtonCorrespondent IIJuly 2, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 01:  Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines rushes against the Mississippi State Bulldogs during the Gator Bowl at EverBank Field on January 1, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida  (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)
Rick Dole/Getty Images

Last season, we watched University of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson wow the nation with his dynamic talent and explosive, game-breaking plays. But Rich Rodriguez is out, and so is the offense that helped Denard flourish. He now must take on the task of being more of a quarterback in a new system and less of a runner.

Last season, Denard not only set the NCAA FBS record for most rushing yards in a season for a quarterback with 1,702 rushing yards, he also became the first NCAA player ever to rush and pass for 1,500 yards in a season.

When new Michigan coach Brady Hoke arrived in Ann Arbor in January, many rumors circled about Robinson leaving or changing to a new position. But Hoke laid down that Robinson is his quarterback.

While Robinson is perhaps no bigger than 200 pounds, and generously listed at 6'0", he still has the potential to become the quarterback that Hoke desires in his system.

Robinson threw for 18 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, and completed just under 63% of his passes. This season, Robinson will run more of a west-coast offense that will have him obviously pass the ball more.

This leads many to doubt that he is truly the man for the job. If Robinson can improve his accuracy and consistency this season and use the times when he can run the ball for game-changing plays, he not only will successfully attack the Big Ten top dogs that he struggled with last season, but possibly have Michigan as a Big Ten and national title contender.

He can even bring home the Heisman Hardware.

With competition in the Big Ten from Northwestern's Dan Persa, Michigan State's Kirk Cousins from Michigan State, and Big Ten newcomer Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, the junior speedster must show the country he can be a true legitimate quarterback and not just a running back who can throw the ball.