ESPN story on the recruitment of Denard Robinson:
Oral history of Denard's recruitment
Great piece, very interesting. I hope they do more of these for other guys.
the face of Michigan, Denard. What a class act.
but bringing Denard to Michigan was a great decision that he doesn't get enough credit for, IMHO.
The fact that RR brought the whole offense staff multiple times really shows how set he was on getting Denard. Good thing he did. After the Tate flameout we'd have had the Cone show.
We're all stars, now. In the Cone show.
But he didn't commit early, he's not a true Michigan man!
Good read, thanks for the post.
whether you liked rich rod or hated him, you have to give a lot of credit where credit is due. he got denard to ann arbor, away from urban meyer's clutches.
that we had locked up Newsome and Beaver...weird. In retrospect, glad those didn't work out and the path was cleared for Denard. Quite a gutsy decision by him to venture away from everything he knew, his family, friends, etc and come play up in cold weather for a new coach at a program shifting to a new system.
"The final week of his recruitment, the Miami Herald reported he had Florida and Tennessee in his home that Tuesday, Georgia, Auburn and Central Florida that Wednesday and Thursday and then the entire Michigan offensive coaching staff that Saturday -- the final day coaches could be on the road."
That there was this much competition for Denard Robinson, at least to me, makes his time at Michigan all the more special and unique simply because he chose Michigan over all these other schools in the end and the records he shattered were shattered while wearing a winged helmet. It was sort of interesting to read that the entire offensive staff came along on visits - that's dedication and focus on the part of the Michigan staff in trying to create a sense of belonging, as it was termed, and we got Dilithium as a result.
Great, well-written and well-conceived piece, I thought. Thanks for sharing, Leaders And Best.
Is one of the few schools who offerred him to play QB. The SEC didn't want him at QB, but still a strong competition to land Denard
Crazy. After that ND game in 2009, if you would have told a majority of the fans that Denard would be the star and led Michigan to a BCS win by the end of his career and forcier would be a future candidate for the "where are they now?", they'd laugh at you.
Denard and the players who stayed are the shining lights of the arguably the darkest period of Michigan Football.
Isn't this a written history?
that this one going to involve "oral" and recruiting. I kinda figured Urban would find his way into this story
He said oral.
I love the image in my head of RR and Denard making snow angels in Ann Arbor.
Rodriguez: There was a little bit of snow on Michigan Stadium. I remember our concern was he's from Florida, it's cold. I know he was kind of excited to see snow for the first time. I dropped down and said, 'This is what they do when you have time. Let's make a snow angel.' So we dropped down and made snow angels together and threw snowballs at each other and had a little fun. Had a good time with that, so it was like, 'Ahh, the weather will be OK.'
Making the snow angels with Denard
I really can't imagine RR doing this, and maybe i'm missing something it looks like RR said he did.
If he did this, that's pretty awesome.
Does anyone believe he would have taken the Florida deity known as Tebow off the field?
Absolutely not, maybe for one or two snaps (a la percy harvin) but really, he was misleading Denard. Thankfully, he read between the lines.
I remember Urban doing the Nebraska game in 2011. After Denard had an intercepion he kept harping about how he should be benched. Of course, after the rough start, Denard went on to have one of his best games as a Wolverine. Denard would have had little chance under Urban.
The kid stepped into an unsure situation at a program all the way across the country, endured some awful times, then offered to play a different position when Hoke was hired when he could have transferred to any program in the country. Denard Robinson is the quintessential "Michigan Man."
That's why I felt physically ill seeing him standing on the sideline during that last drive against Ohio; he deserved a hell of a lot more than that. Here's to Shoelace giving us a few last big plays to remember him by against the Gamecocks.
Where was it reported that Denard offered to play at a position other than QB when Michigan hired Hoke? My recollection is that Hoke's staff assured Denard he was an important part of the team and that they would be able to deploy him as a QB.
I'm curious if I missed that element of Denard's decision to stay at U-M. I know that after his Nebraska ulnar nerve injury he was open to position changes, but I assumed that he needed to be assured that he'd be QB under the new regime before he committed to stay with Michigan. I don't have any individual sources on that - just my understanding, and my understanding's often wrong.
BTW, I agree with the sentiment of your post - Denard's done very well by Michigan, and I hope he goes out in a blaze of glory in the Citrus Bowl along with the rest of the seniors.
It went reported that Denard wanted that reassurance, but Denard never said he would leave, or had to play QB. In fact, I recall him saying something to the tune of "I never really thought about leaving... these are my brothers, we're a family..."
I've never heard that Denard offered to play another position, but I do recall that Hoke promised him the opportunity to compete for the starting QB position.
I couldn't find a link to the article, but I could have swore that I read somewhere that upon Hoke's hiring Denard approached him and offered to change position if necessary. Regardless though, the kid has done everything asked of him and then some.
Are you confusing him with Devin Gardner? Hoke was pretty upfront from the start that Denard would be a QB.
I think Denard's a great kid, but I think Gardner's story is more remarkable. Talk about a team player - he's had his redshirt burned, been moved positions and was a quasi-3rd-stringer at his preferred position in the first half of this season, only getting a chance to start at QB when Denard was hurt and Bellomy proved he wasn't up to par. He's never complained about it and saved the offense from disaster the second half of this season.
The kid stepped into an unsure situation at a program all the way across the country, endured some awful times, then offered to play a different position when Hoke was hired when he could have transferred to any program in the country.
This is going a little overboard. He could have transferred to other schools, but many (most?) of them would not have played him at QB. Throughout his career, rival coaches have basically implied that he isn't a "real" QB. (At one point, Chip Kelly publicly mocked his throwing ability.) It's great that he stayed, but I don't think it was quite the sacrifice you're making it out to be. At Michigan, his situation was much more secure than it would have been almost anywhere else - here, he'd established himself as our starting QB and had become extremely popular with the fanbase.
Isnt this a chicken or egg proposition? As without RR's scheme then Pat White would (potentionally) not have exisited in the capacity that he did.
Or maybe RR can get credit for recruiting Pat White, and making Pat White who he was... in order to then use as an example for future recruiting?
Shoelace's flapping in the wind...was great to have him for four years!
Not his play on the field, but that smile of his
Honestly read this 4 times today and absolutely loved every read. Will miss Denard more than most and will follow his career avidly.
The bit about it being between Florida/UCF and Michigan as his top two made me laugh and say to myself, "Haha . . . recruiting."
He brought us the most exciting Michgian player in decades. Denard is the brightest star in the worst drought in Michigan football history. Perhaps only Tom Harmon in his era was as exciting. It will be a long time before we see another player like Denard Robinson.
Well, I don't know about that . . . Anthony Carter, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson were pretty darn exciting to watch. We have a tendency to overrate our current guys.
Also, while the Rodriguez years were tough, they didn't constitute the worst drought in Michigan history. The 1950s and '60s were worse.