Best Collegiate Rushing QB All-Time... Denard?
The tribute video i just watched speaks for itself, and its missing 25% of his collegiate career.
Yes. And he's not finished.
Eric Crouch won a heisman. Frazier was probably the best. I know those Oklahoma teams of the 80s had some great running QBs.
I'll put Denard behind Frazier for now. Frazier had some crazy runs in big games.
1. Tommie Frazier
3. Pat White
Not the popular opinion here, but I will say Tommie Frazier. Right now. I reserve the right to change my mind after seeing Denard finish his body of work.
The only difference from Denard and those guys on your list is national championships (and heismans). Everyone except Denard either won or played in a national championship game. From purely a stats perspective, then yeah, Denard is absolutely in the discussion for best running QB of all time. Hopefully he has another monster season this year.
I wouldn't say that that's the only difference. As much as I (and we all) love Denard, he has a tendency to make poor decisions and throw more than his fair share of picks. I don't think it's as simple as "Denard just doesn't have the Nat'l Title appearances."
Is Denard my favorite running QB? Absolutely. Is he in the discussion for greatest of all time? Sure. Is he the greatest of all time? In my opinion, no.
Are we talking about the greatest runner who played quarterback, or the greatest overall quarterback who was known as a runner?
I think that's the key distinction. The degree to which Denard is the best definitely depends on how "best" is being defined.
That said, Denard is at or near the top of my list of favorite players of all time.
Denard is definitely my favorite player of all time in any sport on any team.
none of those guys changes systems either....or played in a pro style..or west coast offense, they were all in run heavy option offenses their entire career under one coach with top 10 defenses. Frazier, Crouch, Tebow, even Pat Whote can't throw as well as Denard as far as arm strength and accuracy (and accuracy isnt saying much). Vick is probably a superior athlete, but they are remarkably similar in many ways. As far as just individual talent, Denard would be my choice
You can't really bring championships into it though because look at the defense Denard was playing with during that time. If you give him the defense he had last year for 4 years (with players across the board who probably reached their potential to a greater degree than the defensive players on those other guys' teams, but who were less highly rated), and take away the difficulties with the rest of the offense transitioning to what he was so naturally good at, he probably would have played in a championship by now. I say he's the best.
People have stopped comparing him to people. He's not "the next Michael Vick," (thank goodness), or the next anybody. He's Denard. If it hasn't already started happening, he's going to be the point of comparison pretty darn soon.
The only downside to hearing people say a young QB makes "Shoelace-like cuts" is that it'll mean his days playing for the Maize and Blue are over.
you do realize that there were running QBs before 1980 right? That said, Denard would be at or near the top anyway.
His speed and agility were unparalled.
So unparalleled they were practically perpendicular.
Looking strictly at the numbers, Pat White holds the FBS record for career rushing yards by a QB at 4,480. Denard's career total is 3,229, so he needs 1,252 yards to break White's record (Denard had 1,176 rushing yards in 2011).
It's a shame Denard probably won't break it, since he's working with 3 years of stats compared to White's 4 years
If Denard Robinson can have a senior year in the rushing department which is the statistical average of his two years as a starter (those numbers being 239 carries, 1,439 yards, 5.95 YPC and 15 TDs), then he would be projected to have Pat White-ish numbers really, even edging Pat out for the rushing yard record. Such a year would be awesome on several levels.
Even considering their whole career (all of White's and Denard's to date), they produce at a comparable level overall (again average year). By the numbers, it is certainly not out of the question that Denard could best White's career statistically, but in my opinion, much of this would be contingent on what he will be asked to do in the second year of this system.
but honestly will have to wait til the end of his senior year . I've heard people claim Tebow. But I honestly don't see Tebow as a running QB. Frazier was awesome. At this time I would say Michael Vick albeit Denard stats looks better (as far as running). I don't think you will ever see a QB from a BCS conference producing the RUSHING numbers like Denard. Ever.
***Rushing yards in one season. With the rise of Fitz, maybe difficult for Denard to pass White for ALL time (career)***
"But I honestly don't see Tebow as a running QB."
I'm not sure Tebow is anything but a running QB. Not a flashy speedster like Denard, White, Young or Vick. He was a fullback who could throw adequately and was surrounded by some remarkably fast talent. When Florida needed five, Tebow could get it.
...but for discussion sake I think you have to throw Antwaan Randle El into the mix too.
Denard: 3229 so far. Needs 1251 to pass White. Denard holds single season with 1702.
Pat White, West Virginia (2005-08): 684 carries, 4,480 yards
Brad Smith, Missouri (2002-05) 799 carries, 4,289 yards
Antwaan Randle El, Indiana (1998-01) 857 carries, 3,895 yards
Joshua Cribbs, Kent St. (2001-04) 632 carries, 3,670 yards
Dee Dowis, Air Force (1986-89) 543 carries, 3,612 yards
Kareem Wilson, Ohio (1995-98) 885 carries, 3,597 yards
Eric Crouch, Nebraska (1998-01) 648 carries, 3,434 yards
Chris McCoy, Navy (1995-97) 682 carries, 3,401 yards
Beau Morgan, Air Force (1994-96) 594 carries, 3,379 yards
Brian Mitchell, La.-Lafayette (1986-89) 678 carries, 3,335 yards
...who coincidentally retired from football this week, was the best I ever saw. He was pure brilliance, on a pretty crappy team. Had he played for Michigan or Ohio State in a scheme that suited him... wow.
...and the sole reason I ever feared UM playing the Hoosiers in CFB.
...that Randle El was perhaps the best thrower on that list.
And remember what an athletic freak he was; playing a little basketball for IU under Bob Knight, and baseball too!
When we consider the future of Denard in the NFL, it helps to consider Randle El. Who no doubt has several million in the bank to secure his whole family. I'd like it for Denard to see the same level of financial success.
His team was so terrible that even though he was a great athlete, that team didn't help him one bit. I remember that 58-0 game against Michigan--what a joke. Really tough to compare him to QBs on great teams.
Randel-El's stats against us...
1998: 26 rushes for 110 yards, 7 of 22 passing for 65 yards and 1 interception.
1999: 13 rushes for 31 yards, 18 of 34 passing for 290 yards and 4 touchdowns.
2000: 11 rushes for 39 yards, 13 of 27 passing for 111 yards and 1 interception.
Interestingly, he did more damage against us through the air than on his feet. In 1999, he was a nearly completed hail mary away from beating us.
Everyone always forgets Brad Smith.
Most career rushing yards for a QB (EDIT: until Pat White broke that record. Forgot about that), and he was absolutely electrifying to watch. He couldn't throw worth a damn, but he's pretty much the reason that Missouri is a competetive football team these days.
Having watched both extensively, I think Denard is better on designed runs, and Smith was a better scrambler. I never saw Vick extensively in college, but I assume he was pretty great too.
I don't think Newton, Young, Frazier, Crouch, Tebow or really anyone else approaches those three.
watching what Vick did to to Florida state in the bowl game when his o line was getting destroyed was amazing. Two guys tore their acl's chasing him around that game. He seemed to be constantly being driven back 10 yards, but somehow kept picking up yards on scrambles
Exactly. Michael Vick's edge on DR might be the ability to "shake and bake". Denard is very fast, but i'd like to see a little more elusiveness... don't get me wrong, i'm not saying he's not elusive, I'm just saying I think Vick has the edge there.
I vote John Navarre
I don't know the official stats but Eric Crouch at Nebraska was pretty dangerous. It seemed like 99.9% of the Huskers offense was him running for 80 yard touchdowns every week.
No QB has ever pissed me off more with his legs then Craig Krenzel.
I swear to god, everytime that fucker ran it was for a back breaking 1st down.
But no Big Ten Championships, National Championships, National Championship appearances, or Heismans make it hard to argue.
Those are all dependent on the performance of his teammates and do not preclude him from being the best individually... I don't think he is the best, but not for those reasons.
If it's pure speed, then he's probably the best, with the possible exception of Vick. If it's the ability to make people miss, I think Pat White might have been a bit more elusive. If it's the ability to bust tackles in combination with pure speed, I'd say he's not better than Vince Young. If your criteria is most yards gained in a career, then Denard has to gain a bit more than 1200 to pass White, who finished with 4480.
If your criteria is a QB who has the knack for making things happen with his feet when it's crunch time, then Denard is right up there at the top with White and Young.
He could possibly have shattered records. But yes, Denard is the closest thing to Vick we will ever see.
How many Big Ten Championships?
How many National Championships?
Who's the biggest opponent Denard ever beat? Virginia Tech?
Tebow, Frazier, V Young, Pat White even...I'd put them above Denard. If it was just "speed" necessary to be a running QB, Robert Griffin III would still outclass Denard (Olympian).
The best ever...come on, lol. He's got the yardage of his sophomore season, true.
are team accolades...none of the other guys on that list had awful defenses..matter of fact i think all of them had top 10 defenses at some point in their careers...and were all in RUN HEAVY/Option offenses with no coaching changes, and were only asked to throw to wide open wr's in 5 wr sets. Denard playing 3 years under RR would be a different story
You win Heismans if your team is good (9-10 wins) same with conference titles/natl titles...By your reasoning Terrell Pryor was better as was Russell Wilson
I think it is a combination of good statistics AND leading your team to vicotry in the clutchest situations. Do you see folks saying "Case Keenum is the greatest passing QB in college football history?" Timmy Chang and Colt Brennan? The dozen Texas Tech qbs under mike leach? If it was just yards, they'd all be considered for great status.
It takes more than just stats, it's great stats AND big wins.
but neither of us mentioned stats...you said Heisman, CT/NT..those players have conference titles. Denard has everything but the accolades and its really the only thing keeping him from being in the national conversation about being one of the greatest.
I see no reason why Denard can't blow up even more ala RG3. RG3 was average at best in 2010 and completely revamped his game and won the heisman last year. Denard is already incredible, if he can cut down on the Int's and poor decision making, sky is the limit.
Let's give this man his due, he is the only reason IU has been relevant in football in years.
He was awesome, but I don't think they were relevant even with him there.
For Indiana, being seen as a team you can't sleep on or you could lose, is being relevent
He's up there, if he gets close to or breaks White's record I say that it is him. That is is this is refering to best quaterback at running. Not the running quarterback who is the best overall quaterback
Consider that Denard really didn't have any supporting cast of offensive weapons until Fitz emerged last year. The other QB's on those lists had other playmakers on their teams that the defense had to watch. What makes Denard so impressive, he would make big plays even when all eyes were on him.
Freshman year (952 to be exact I think) to Denard's back-up role his freshman year when he had around 350 yards rushing. And pretty much started/played about 40 games (Pat White) to achieve those stats.
he might already have the rushing record. For another what-if, if White hadn't injured his thumb against Pitt in the 2007 game (and the WVU kicker had made his FGs) they probably would have beaten the Panthers and gone on to play in the NC. Which means it would have been extremely unlikely that RR would have bolted to Michigan.
If Denard was a 4-year RR starter, he would have the rushing record hands down. I'd be willing to be that he would be the only member of the 2000/2000 club too
Pat White was pretty awesome, there is no denying that. There have been some greats as others have mentioned: Vick, Crouch, Fraizer, El, etc. I don't consider VY nor Cam Newton "running QB's" per se.
The thing that seems so unique about Denard is the fact that everyone on the field, on the sidelines, in the press box, and watching on TV hold their collective breath when he runs the ball because there's a good chance that he takes it to the house. I don't remember that with any other running QB. To be fair though, I didn't really watch those other -- with the exception of VY -- all that often. It just seems like he can score from anywhere. Does that make him the best? I don't know, but I he's certainly my favorite, and the most exciting player to wear the Maize and Blue since Charles Woodson.
Yeah, you're probably right. I suppose my perception is off. When I think of "running QB's" for whatever reason, I don't think of them as such. They were, as you pointed out, so I'll have to adjust my perception. Thanks for setting me straight.
Outside of White, who ran a similar system, it's hard to compare to anyone really. And even White wasn't relied on as much, though he had better threats around him. Just because Nebraska ran an option scheme, doesn't mean those QBs were ever their primary ball carriers. They also operated under center in a different era.
The scariest I ever watched when he dropped back was Vince Young. That guy made more guys look slow - while he looked like he was taking an afternoon jog - than anyone I ever watched, and was great at finding lanes to take off to when the pass plays didn't work. But they also ran very few plays purely designed for him to run. If you said that Michigan could have Vince Young running RR's offense, I can't say I would be too disapointed, and I feel running wise it would be about an even swap (Young has other factors that would favor him overall at this point). Again though, they would be tasked with doing different things. Young would do the QB power, but is better at scrambling.
I also don't think you can discount Tebow. While maybe not as electric in space, the fact that you could use him as a power back and he was so difficult to bring down makes him one of the best running QBs of all time. Cam Newton in a similar manner (though, like Young, I'm not sure either can be catergorized as a 'running' QB by the end of their college careers, very duel-threat).
So while I think he's up there, I think it's very difficult to compare. It's like comparing Jim Brown to Barry Sanders, two very different backs from slightly different eras and/or schemes.
VY was one of those "long striders" that has an amazing blend of speed and size. In the NC Game against USC, I think every sentient being in the known universe knew that he was going to run for the winning TD, and despite the amazing number of NFL-ready defenders USC had on the field that game, nobody could even lay a finger on him. You're right, he made very fast players look like they were standing still. It was certainly uncanny.
My favorite VY play of all time, the "pump fake" against Ok St:
I really hope Denard can incorportate the pump fake into his game this season -- it's absolutely LETHAL against spying LB's.
Was that filmed with a toaster?
EDIT: Disregard, it was just the lowest quality version showing on my phone.
The other QB's could throw too. I think if Denard does make better decisions and throws more accurately he will be the best ever. Time will tell, go blue!
how cool is it that we enter the new season with a QB who this year could establish himself as the greatest dual-threat college QB of all time. Can't wait for the season.
do I regret that we were not in a position to redshirt Denard in his freshman year. As exciting as he was at moments it seems like it was a wasted year. Most of what he has accomplished so far was in two seasons.
I'm am 100% with you on this point. Listen to the commentator in the no famous "Denard's first play" video. He said something to effect of, "Rodriguez said, 'he's just too good to redshirt...' " Looking back, I wish RR hadn't made that decision and just stuck with Tate all season. Although, how could he? He didn't have a viable back up and Denard was absolutely perfect for his system. It sure would be nice knowing that we had Denard for '12 and '13, and thus could RS Shane. Oh well, such is life.
Denard is my second favorite wolverine of alltime (behind only Charles Woodson) but I would be lying if I said I thought he was a better running QB that Mike Vick was. From a purely statistical standpoint he may prove superior to all of them, but from my time watching the two of them play I would have to give the slight edge to Vick.
Honestly I have never seen anyone as electric with the ball in his hands. I read a post further up in the thread about everyone holding their breath because Denard could take it to the house at any given moment, and that is exactly how it was when Vick got the ball.
Where I think Vicj seperates himself is his ability to make people miss and get out of trouble. To this point in his career Denard hasn't really done much of that. It seems to me that he is so intent on proving to everyone that he can play QB that he misses many opportunities to make plays when the play breaks down. Vick would recognise when the play wasn't there and when it wasn't, he would showcase his abilities.
I hope Denard does more of that this year (using his legs when a pass play breaks down) and he can do it on a regular basis and start making things happen on broken plays I think that would put him on the same level as Mike Vick (who I think is the best).
I remember watching a show called Sports Science:
1. Denard can run 22 (21.84 to be exact to Michael Vicks 21.63)mph in the open field
2. Denard cuts at angles better that NFL Pro Bowl running backs
3. When coming to a complete stop in the pocket to avoid a sack, Denard exerts the same force that an astronuat feels upon takeoff to outer space.
4. And a remarkable 4.32 40-yard per Sports Science (4.30 fastest recorded while at UM) to Vick's 4.34 40-yard per Sports Science (4.25 fastest recorded during college)
5. 10.4 100m for Denard. Can not find any info for Vick.
If Denard had redshirted and been a 4 year starter he'd easily smash the record, even with a limited freshman year, and shared duties with another 1000 yard rusher last year he'll still likely do it because we play an extra game or two a year.
Thoughts on the possibility of the staff allowing Denard trying to break the record (career rushing)??
"The Team, The Team, The Team"
No way will they deliberately call plays to have Denard break a record. I know we all want to see him break that record, but Denard staying healthy is far too important to this team to mess around.
I don't think VY is a better pure runner than Denard but he's definitely a better QB. Having been able to see him a couple of times live I have to say he's one of the best college players of all time. That performance in '05 against "the greatest college team of all time" is the best single performance I've ever seen. He was robbed of the Heisman that year IMO.
If Denard would do what I pray each time I see the first yard marker guaranteed, and run to the first down spot, no doubt he'd have a significant amount more yardage right now. I don't mind when he throws to a wide open receiver in this situation, but into coverage vs. a sure first down and possibly many more yards when he's in the clear, there is no doubt he might own all rushing records by qbs already.
One thing many people overlook often is how good he was his first year, in limited backup to Tate rushing between the tackles. He would often pick up 5-7 yards when it looked like he would be stopped at line of scrimmage.
Given the above and the fact he does throw into coverage, played a limited role his first season and almost all handoffs by Devin to him all result in the defense knowing it's a jet sweep, therefore, ready to limit yardage gained, it would be logical to assume he's the greatest running qb ever. Hell, let's face it. If he had RSed and given that year to learn the game instead of learning as he played, and started for four consecutive years, he more than likely would have not only become the unquestionable greatest running qb ever, he would have surpassed Hart as Michigan's leading all-time rusher, while still racking up huge amounts through the air because the spread offense he would have run entirely for fours years had Michigan been solid on defense simple because when he was running the spread entirely, it was impossible for our receivers not be be wide open waving their arms in an hopes that DR would see them.
NE had some great rushing qbs, but consider they were brought in almost exclusively as rushers because under Tom they threw about 10 times a game, in essence making them RBs who would sometime pitch to their option man because of design of offense and tremendous talent surrounding them. Yeah, he's the best ever.
I think a dual threat qb is by far the most important player on a college football team. I would take a dual threat guy over a great pocket passer any day. I do think that Denard is the best as a runner. A couple guys who also come to mind that were not mentioned in the OP, are Pat White and (unfortunately) Troy Smith. Both were great dual threat quarterbacks. If Denard stops throwing off of his back foot, decreases picks, and can be a lot more accurate while throwing on the run this year, then there is no doubt in my mind that he'll go down as the best running qb to ever do it. He's too agile and quick, accompanied by how down right fast he is, to be stopped. If we can get him on plays where he rolls out to the wide side of the field and has his receivers squeezing to that side, along with him recognizing his reads better and becoming more accurate, then there is literally no way he can be stopped. If they try to stop the run, he can pass or dump it off to a short route. If they try to stop the pass, even if the have a spy or two, he can run. Most of the time, the spy won't be enough to stop D-Rob because he's too electric of a player and can still get at least 5 yards a play at that point. He could have one of, if not the most historic season in Michigan history or even college football this year, just by improving on a few key things. Not to mention, that if he can improve those few things, then there is no reason why he shouldn't be a legitimate Heisman candidate.
Chad Henne with a side of Elvis Grbac.
I agree Pat White should have been included but the people on the internets whom I'm arguing against didn't mention his name until like page 7... I went with the original guys they brought up.
LMAO at me arguing on the internet...
This is OT but Shane Morris just won the accuracy challenge at the Elite 11 on day 2 and also threw the ball 75 yards in the air, this according to @ScoutKennedy
Can't wait until NCAA 2018 when I can argue against virtual people that Shane Morris is the best QB in the game lol
first, let me say I appreciate the props given on this site by Michigan fans for Tommie---and that I thoroughly enjoy watching Denard who is a special player as well.
But Frazier's in a class by himself as far as running/dual threat college quarterbacks when you consider his individual career stats and team accomplishments. Of course he played on some great teams but everyone mentioned here had talent around them. He was a four year starter, who missed several games and had no NFL career due to blood clots from Crohn's disease.
2 NC's, back-to-back
MVP in 3 NC games
33-3 as a starter
4 Big Eight Conference championships
1st Team All-American
2,233 career rushing yards, 4,003 passing yards
Sports Illustrated back-up quarterback on NCAA Football All-Century Team.
College FootballNews #33 player on their Top 100 Greatest College Football Players of All-Time
As good as he was I'd still pick VY.
In only 2 years as a full time starter:
6,040 yards passing, 44TD
61% completions (compared to 49% for Frazier)
3,127 yards rushing 37TD
1st QB to pass for 3000/rush for 1000 in a season
2 Rose Bowl MVP's
1st team AA
Davey O'Brien award
Heisman runner up (robbed!)
All that in 2 years as a full time starter, not too shabby.
I would also have to disagree.
The majority of the accolades listed for Frazier there are team accolades not measures of individual running skill. Also, Frazier played on the mid 90's Nebraska teams that are among the best in history running behind one of if not the greatest offensive line of all time.
Being on a winning team isn't a tell-all indicator of personal skill. (Juwan Howard got a ring this year and Kevin Durant didn't) Barry Sanders... a great individual football player... was on some miserable Lions teams.
I'm not saying TF was a slouch by any stretch of the imagination. Probably top 5 running qb material.
But that being said... In 2010 Denard rushed for 1700 yards... nearly as many as TF rushed for in his career.
Denard also has physical skills that TF (while great) didn't. (i.e. dilithium) Denard runs a 4.3. That's elite speed for a QB. Frazier only ran a 4.5. Also, Denard's highlights show lateral quickness and agility at a level that I don't see when I watch Frazier's to compare.
I agree with you 100%. Obviously Denard has his issues last year, but as Hoke & Co. said repeatedly, it wasn't only Denard that was learning the offense, it was the entire offense. When one player misses an assignment, or runs a poor route, it makes Denard look bad. I have no doubt that Denard will make far fewer mistakes, as will the OL, the WR's,the RB's, and perhaps most importantly, the OC himself. Given the fact that every DC that Michigan will face is going to be keying on Denard's running abitlity, I think the overall improvement of the entire offense is going to make for some extremely electrifying performances by Michigan's #16 -- they're not going to know whether he's going to run or pass, and that is when both aspects of his game will explode.
What did Sam McGuffie run in the 40? Didnt run like a 4.29 or something close to that?