So back in 2007, Michigan had their Grbac/Griese/Brady/Henson/Henne clone in Ryan Mallett. Exit Lloyd Carr. Enter RichRod. Mallett, taking one look at an offense that, on paper, didn't play to a single one of his strengths, left (as was his right). Does anyone remember what happened next? A season of Sherthreetdammit. 3-9. Two B1G wins. A home loss to f*cking Toledo. 2009 was "better," if by "better" you mean "one conference win and no bowl game." Enter Denard. In 2010 (aka the only year he got to play in the offense he was born/recruited to play in), Denard became the only college QB ever to post a 2,500/1,800 season while almost single-handedly carrying the raging tire-fire that was the 2010 Michigan defense to a January 1st bowl game. Exit RichRod. Enter Brady Hoke and his MANBALL offense. Denard, taking one look at an offense that, on paper, didn't play to a single one of his strengths, lef... err... stayed. In 2011, playing in a square-ish offense despite being the roundest peg in the history of ever, Denard leads UM within a game of a B1G Division Championship, plays an all-but-perfect game in our first win over Ohio in 10,000 years and wins a BCS game. In 2012, he had exactly one turnover (an EOH Hail Mary against Sparty) thru 3.5 B1G games and was in the process of grinding out an ugly win over Nebraska when his elbow hit the turf.
Is Denard ever going to drop seven steps, run thru five progressions and pick apart a defense? No. Is he going to back-foot some ill-advised throws into coverage? Absolutely. Since arriving in Ann Arbor, has he put every ounce of his talent/heart/soul into what he does on a football field? Unquestionably. He isn't USC Matt Leinart. He isn't UT Vince Young. However, anyone who thinks that the Michigan Football Program would have been better off the past couple years with Denard in a "Reggie Bush" role while someone else played QB is entitled to their opinion. Unfortunately, their opinion would be wrong.
Tomorrow is Senior Day. Hoke will "The Team. The Team. The Team." because, obviously. We'll know better. The hero is the one who stays. Michigan is well on its way to being MICHIGAN again, largely due to the fact that Denard didn't bail on us when it would have been the easy (and maybe, for him, the right) thing to do. For that reason alone, he
deserves has earned our gratitude.
Denard Robinson—a "Michigan Man" if there ever was one.