The final drive of the UTL game, for sure:
On a side note, that game was kind of Jeremy Gallon's coming-out party as a WR. He's really come up big for us since then.
The final drive of the UTL game, for sure:
On a side note, that game was kind of Jeremy Gallon's coming-out party as a WR. He's really come up big for us since then.
esp. considering he achieved the near-impossible by being as good as he was without the benefit of all the reps, but if Gardner had been a bit more accurate on a few of those throws, we might have been looking at an all-time great performance by Gallon in the Outback. Talking 200+ yards and 3TDs, maybe-- might have been up there with the Braylon Game.
His coming out party in the UConn game.
Mostly because I was checking my phone constantly during a wedding for this game after a long summer of anticipation. When I saw that Denard was starting I got butterflies. From then on I just continued to freak out every time I got updates about the amazing plays he was making. After I got home I downloaded the game and watched it many many times.
That whole game was great but the 92 yard (?) TD run really stands out. I still hear the announcers saying that no one would catch him even though he was still at midfield.
Probably the Iso play he took for about 40 yards against MSU this past season on the last drive. That's the first time I can remember him having success against that defense.
It was the epitomy of Denard. Shoelaces untied, nothing goes right...and BOOM the most unique player in Michigan HISTORY makes a play that leaves everyone picking up their bottom jaw off the ground.
Also the significance of just that style of QB hitting the field in a Michigan uniform. I hate adding race into the mix, but even though he wasn't the first...it felt like history a little bit.
I don't think anyone could've imagined what would happen after that first play.
We'll miss you Shoelace.
The first game of 2009. Western Michigan in the Big House. I wasn't quite sure who the Michigan fans were that day; Denard sealed the deal.
Remember that week; it was the week that the Free Press came out with Stretchgate. Mark Synder's published prediction was that Western Michigan would beat Michigan in an upset. Parents dropping off their undergraduate kids were doing interviews on local Detroit local tv news, saying that Michigan had been "disgraced." That Rich Rodriguez had "disgraced" Michigan.
I had actually given away my east-sideline tickets earlier that summer, to family friends with Western Michigan connections. But after what the Free Press did, I knew I had to be there. For the first time in about 25 years, I drove myself to Ann Arbor and scalped a ticket. It was in Section 23, right below the Press Box. Perfect. When Tate Forcier brilliantly freelanced an early touchdown, after the tentative crowd quieted down, I screamed up at the old press box (windows wide open on the hot day), "That one was for you, Snyder!"
By the time Denard Robinson (the kid who, but for Rich Rodriguez, would never have set foot in Ann Arbor) scored on his first touch of the ball, I could no longer hope to yell over the crowd noise.
All by myself in a party of 110,000. One of my favorite days ever in Michigan Stadium.
I was there. He was outstanding. Our defense played their worst game of the year, and he met the challenge.
Other than that, his first 2 ND games were damn special. And his first career touchdown was an eye opener too.
Notre Dame 2010. I was there with my buddy. We kept saying he was due to break one for the distance and sure enough, next play he busts a run for 87 yards and the crowd goes completely silent.
Was there, too. Longest run in history of storied stadium. Brilliant single game performance. Simply refused to lose that day.
My Denard moment is at one of my Dad's track meets (Womens coach), and Denard came up to my Dad and I and said hello, and asked where my mom was so he could say hi. My Dad brought him over to her and the whole crowd pretty much swarmed him and asked for pictures. Upon my Dad realizing he made a mistake by bringing him into the crowd he tried to get him out of there but Denard said no and took pictures/signed autographs for about 15 minutes nonstop.
I can't ever remember seeing somebody with as much star power as him have no problem going out of his way to please so many people, and keep a smile on his face the whole time. Amazing kid.
He's a class act who handled success and failure with grace and a smile.
I also appreciated his attendance at basketball games and what appears to be a genuine love for the University of Michigan and his fellow students.
There have been like 20 responses, and people have mentioned at least 7 or 8 different moments that were their favorite. That is just awesome.
It is damn near impossible to pick just one. Maybe a list of 1A to 1Z would be more appropriate for someone this special.
what it would have been like to have Ufer call Denard's games.
I'll never forget during the buildup to the MSU game in 2010 there was a news crew on campus interviewing people about their thoughts on the game outside of the Union. While the reporter was busy picking out students out of the crowd to chat up there was Denard, smiling away joking with the guy that sells food out of a cart outside of the LSA building. The guy is one of the best athletes in the game but never got caught up in the hoopla or took himself too seriously.
And I can almost guarantee in thisday and age there will never be another like him.
Maybe one of my favorite memories is when he came to visit someone in West Quad (my Freshman year, his Sophomore year). He visited the girls who lived right next to me and all I could hear was them screaming. I thought they found a spider in their room so I went to check it out and Denard was there getting his picture with them. As he was leaving I saw him going down the stairs and quickly blurted out "Denard Robinson, you're my hero!" He smiled at me. It was enchanting.
The article brings up a good point. He probably won't ever remember that moment, but I sure will.
How did sliced onions suddenly appear in my car? And my hay fever must be acting up.
And his post-game interview.
Responding to the student section being completely full 20 minutes after the game....
"The game's over! Go home!"
Rick's was full man, we had no choice.
I can't pick an all-time favorite, but the most recent one was when he got sandwiched by the Ohio State defenders and just kept going for the touchdown. Physics, kids. Physics.
First play from scrimmage for me. I was at the game with a bunch of friends who didn't follow recruiting as much as I did at the time. I had been talking him up, calling him the next Pat White since we signed him. After that run, one of my friends says "yeah he's pretty good". Needless to say it panned out.
That sounds terrifying.
...I might actually think about becoming one.
the under the lights game in 2011 when the notre dame defensive lineman was grabbing his jersey and trying to pull him down but he stayed up and threw to Hemingway who ran it down to like the 10 yard line
Kicked off the scoring for Michigan, and set the stage for the best game of his highlight-filled Michigan career.
That's the one for me too, the look on his face just said "No one is catching me, not this time"
My favorite as well, along with the UTL game
The fade to Roundtree to win the UTL. I was in that corner of the endzone, surrounded by a bunch of ND fans. After the catch I hugged my buddy and then turned around to look at their devasted faces. It was excellent.
Probably the UTL game, but that first play from scrimmage is up there, too. I remember thinking it was weird that we pulled Tate Forcier from the game when we seemed to be doing well offensively. But then Denard took the snap, and . . . ah.
Honorable mention goes to all his appearances at the basketball games. Very cool to see Michigan athletes supporting each other in person.
All I know is that when he was on the field you didn't do anything else. Had to go to the bathroom? Hold it. Empty beer? Wait it out, promise to load a cooler or buy tallboys next time. Out of dip? Eat dry chips. Out of chips? You're probably eating too much anyway.
All of the obvious highlights have been noted, so I'll take a different route and say his keynote address at the B1G Kickof luncheon. Dude is a very humble, private person. For him to share as much of himself as he did under that microscope and he let everyone know how much his experience at Michigan meant to him was awesome. I am proud that he is a Michigan Man and I am grateful that he has gotten a return from his time at the University that balances out all the memories he has given me as a fan of the program. God knows he earned it.
It's damn near impossible to pick just one, but the 2010/11 NDs probably top the list. I'd never seen one player just completely take over the game like that. The final drive at the UTL game was near divine.
Also, the 40-50 yd scamper he had against MSU this year near the end of the game. It was so gratifying to see him finally break off a long run vs that defense.
UTL game. Just Amazing. he didnt even play that well for the majority of the game but he found a way to win.
... Or maybe the final drive against ND after he was named the starter over Forcier (I was wondering why we'd replace the guy who had led a few comeback drives the year before and that drives assuaged my fears). Go Denard, and Hail to a Leader and Best.
My number one memory was how Dennard just took over that night game against Notre Dame and willed Michigan to the win.
Didn't someone have Denard sign their forehead at the Union when Denard was a freshman that hadn't played much yet? I'll go with that memory.
Really tough to narrow down. The end of UTL sticks out the most to me because I was there, but that's more an awesome Michigan memory than an awesome Denard memory. There were so many times live when I watched him pull of a big run and I just smiled and laughed at how talented he was. It's funny actually, if we were up big against a bad opponent and one of our RBs pulled off a big run I would cheer like normal, but if Denard pulled off one of his ridiculous runs I wouldn't even cheer, just laugh. He was a truly special player.
It was the first game of 2010 with my dad. It was the start of school and my dad surprised me with tickets. We then saw denard absolutely destroy uconn. I reefer fom the game the second td and me thinking " he is something special"
There are so many memories of Denard Robinson that will be cherished certainly, but one of the best for me, possibly because it turns out to be one of the most poignant in a way, was the rushing touchdown against Ohio State this year. I say that because it turns out it would be the last rushing touchdown he scored (or TD in general, I believe), and it was quintessential Denard Robinson - 67 yards, bouncing off and then getting away from defenders, and on a 75 yard drive that lasted all of two plays.
I will say that in quite a few years of watching Michigan Football, I have never laughed as much as I have from the many times he broke into the open with nothing but grass in front and slower people behind.
Others have pretty much covered my favorite moments, but of the many great memories I have of Denard, one was the play this year against Alabama when he threw an interception and then launched himself shoulders-first at the defender who had the ball, bouncing off and nearly injuring himself. It was a borderline crazy thing to do, but it was also a great example of the way he played the game.
NOW I HAZ A SAD.
When Denard came into my room in West Quad my freshman year (his freshman year as well) one saturday night. We made a toast for him (but he didn't partake in the drinking). Once again, one of those moments that he won't remember but I sure will. What a guy.
All of the obvious big moments have been covered, but along with those, the 2010 Indiana game sticks out in my mind. Michigan's D couldn't get a stop (gave up 568 yards including 480 passing yards), but Denard just kept answering. He racked up 494 of Michigan's 572 yards and five of the six touchdowns. 11.4 yards per carry on 19 rushes. TD pass and TD rush of over 70 yards (would've had a second TD pass over 70 but Roundtree was tackled at the 2). For me, this game epitomizes what people mean when they call Denard the bright light in a dark time for the program.
I'm with those who can't isolate a single moment. There are so many plays, so many stories, and they are all good. I think the striking thing for me is to look at the big picture, and see how I can't recall ONE . . . SINGLE . . . NEGATIVE . . . STORY.
I suppose that is what is most memorable to me. I can't think of any time Denard was rude, or arrogant, or mean spirited, or unethical, or the like. He was always gracious, always had a smile on his face, always had time for fans, always competed to the best of his ability. Denard is human. He made mistakes, maybe the worst being his passing at the 2012 ND game. But he just didn't complain or blame anyone else, but himself.
I live in Chicago, and as a Bears fan, I'm tired of Cutler's attitude. Denard is the antithesis of Cutler. He doesn't have Cutler's arm, but he is much, much more enjoyable as a person. His consistency throughout is what I like the most. I loved seeing him represent Michigan at the Big 10 luncheon. I love seeing the GIF of him at Michigan Basketball last year. I loved his kneeling in the endzone after every touchdown. I loved his soft-spoken, shy, manner, and his joy at life. I will miss Denard a lot, and am very thankful he came to Michigan.
There is one minor quibble I have with some of the posters. While it is technically true that there will never be another Denard, I hope that we will continue to see more Michigan players with his humility, his joy, his time for others, his engagement in Michigan sports. These characteristics are good ones for all of us to emulate.
Like everyone else, I can't pick just one. Probably the entire ND and OSU games from last year. The OSU game is probably one of the greatest experiences of my life with my dad and brother in the student section with me.
On the flip side, though, for some reason the pick against Iowa that essentially killed any chances we had stands out to me just as it did the author of the article linked in the OP. As soon as I saw him collapse into Molk's arms something changed for me and how I watch college football. Denard wasn't great because of his athletic ability, he was great because he gave every single ounce he had on every play. These are kids. When they make mistakes, they're absolutely crushed, to a degree that I can't imagine watching from the stands or my couch at home. Who the hell am I to criticize.
Love that kid.
That was astonishing, beautiful, breathtaking, exalted, grand, impressive, magnificent, majestic, mind-blowing, moving, something else, striking, stunning, stupefying, wonderful, and wondrous.
I can't think of a single other word to describe that performance.
First play of his career. My brother is a Hoosiers fan (don't ask why) I was just telling him how this guy is one of the fastest players in high school and than history was made. We love you Denard, I hope my Cowboys draft you!
When no one could stop him.
Part of me wants to say his 80 yard run against ND in 2010, his under the lights peformance in 2011, his breakout performance against Nebraska in 2011 (we're hungry num num num), or his big 50 yard TD run against OSU in 2011. But, in reality it's his having a positive, humble, cheer free attitude through the whole experience. It's a dozen times he took a hit and his opponent stood there taunting him while Denard patted him on the helmet, it's the many times reports post-game asked him negative question after negative question and he never gave in or fired back but kept a smile on his face, it's his willingness to do anything the team asked of him including pass the torch to Devin and play another position, it's just him being a really good person all the time. That's my best memory of him and something I will actually strive to be more like.
Good and bad... May be one of my favorite athletes of all time. Good luck where ever you end up Shoelace. You will be missed.
Not a Denard play necessarily a play but I dont think i'll forget his reaction to Gibbons winning FG in the Sugar Bowl. Just pure joy and excitement, running around with his helmet off not sure where to go or who to go to. Obviously, there's so many to chose but this is one that will stick with me
Long run against ND
I have 2 of them, his first play when he picked up the fumble against Western Michigan and electrify the stadium. The other is hanging on my wall, his Heisman pose against Notre Dame.
My good friend is a pilot with Delta and we were talking on the phone when he noticed Denard moving quickly past him in the airport. I urged him to hang up, go chase him down, to hurry because he was The Shoelace you know and I would be anxiously waiting to hear about his conversation with him. He hung up laughing, the pressure was on him, and low and behold I get a call back about two minutes later! When I answered I heard my friend introducing himself to Denard exchanging his Alumni status when he tells Denard he has a friend and a big fan on the phone and would he say hi to me! Denard took the phone and I spoke with him, I congratulated him on his football season, wished him good luck in track and that we would be rooting for him! He couldn't have been more gracious with many thank-you's and thank-you sirs, just like we all know him to be in his interviews. This happening for my buddy and I started years of a comical exchange between the two of us whenever Denard would bust a big play it would cause us to yell out loud at games or call one another on the phone saying, "Hey that's our buddy our pal Denard, we know him, talk to him all the time!" It made for a ton of laughs and great memories all because a kind hearted talented kid took the time to chat with two 45+ year old guys in an airport and on a cellphone! Denard, our buddy ol'pal, I wish him all the best in the future in everything he does! :)
This has got to be one of the best runs I've ever seen, by anybody. Cutting that back and making a couple guys miss in quick succession, that's brilliance.
Not the greatest score, but God I still laugh when Millen says that around the 30 yard line.
I guess we're going to do plenty of Denard tributes. Maybe I ought to just collect the favorite vides. Anyway the Flash Dilithium from 2010 Spring Practice was the moment he went from wow that dude can run to wow that dude's going to break records and we will be awesome.
Also note which WolverineBlog lackey was responsible for posting it.
His B10 Speech..
"What you may not know is I once wasn't even the best athlete in my neighborhood, but I had to be one of the ones who made it out. Why? Choices."
And that other player, of whom Denard reminds me, is a very good omen for Denard's future in the NFL (and in life); Jason Avant. Avant 'wasn't even the best athlete in his neighborhood' when he lived in Ann Arbor. Then "character" kicks in.
If I were an NFL GM, I would be begging for any excuse to draft Denard Robinson.
1. First snap. Fumble results in 6.
2. 2010 ND. Longest run from scrimmage in ND Stadium.
3. 2010 ND. Denard demonstrates "dual threat" by taking three steps toward LOS; Corner bites; Roundtree is wide open. TD.
4. 2010 Indiana. Big 10 Opener. Second play from scrimmage with his legs; 1st play of the second half in the air.
5. 2010 Illinois. First play from scrimmage to Roundtree for the first of many TD's that day.
6. UTL: With a ND pass-rusher using Denard's ankle to pull himself up off the turf , Denard's 70-yard strike to Jr.
7. UTL: 40 Yard run, the last 10 of which are earned with 5 or 6 Irish on his back.
8. 2012 MSU. 18 Seconds. The Threat.
9. 2012 Iowa. Highly anticipated return from injury; Denard runs for 10, breaks the Safety's ankles, then runs for 30 more.
10. 2012 Ohio. "The Two Stooges" TD run.
Two springs ago, my brother and I were at the annual spring coaches clinic. Coaches were allowed to be on the sidelines to watch the first team offense in a live scrimmage against the first team defense. I was standing at about the 10 yard line. The ball was at the 15 yard line of the defense. Denard rolled out toward us on a pass play with several defenders in hot pursuit both in front of him and behind him. As he approched the LOS holding the ball with both hands, he quickly put it up and faked a pass thus freezing the defensive backs and the linebacker who was almost right in front of him. Just as quickly, he pulled it down and blew by the linebacker as his ankles broke and slipped btween two other defenders into the end zone a second later. I was not more than 15 feet from him when he did this. It happened so quick it was astounding. I turned to my brother and said "Holy Shit!." It was not something that I could imagine a human being doing. But, Denard sure is a wonderful human being as many of the above comments and clips prove. It's just that he has Dilithium inplants.