Thank You, Denard

Submitted by Sleepy on November 16th, 2012 at 4:34 PM

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.








November 16th, 2012 at 4:46 PM ^

Gosh, I'm going to miss watching this guy. I really hope he finds success in the NFL.

Earlier this week, somebody posted a video of an interview with Denard from his senior year of HS, after he had committed to Michigan. I was struck by how little his demeanor has changed, even after going through some of the most difficult times of his life. He's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of guy, and I'm glad to have been able to live through this time.

Tha Quiet Storm

November 16th, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

He will never be truly appreciated until he is gone. After over a decade of getting shredded by dual-threat QBs (Donovan McNabb, Brad Banks, Troy Smith, Vince Young, Juice Williams, etc.) many fans were clammoring for a weapon like that and we finally got one. Now those same people are dying to get rid of him because they want a better passer, someone who fits the system. After a few years of Shane Morris and other tall, strong-armed pocket passers, these people will inevitably complain about the staleness of the offense and the need for a QB who can run.

"Why can't we get someone like Denard?" they will say.


November 16th, 2012 at 4:59 PM ^

I don't necessarily agree with you that people are dying to get rid of him (I think its actually just a vocal minority) but I wholeheartedly agree with you about the feeling of finally having a dual threat QB on our side instead of shredding us.  It felt so good to watch opposing defenses deal with him after having to live through McNabb and Vince Young, etc.  And now, alas, its back from the future, so to speak.  I, for one, will forever think of Denard as my favorite Wolverine ever (ahead of Desmond and Woodson).

snarling wolverine

November 16th, 2012 at 5:16 PM ^

After over a decade of getting shredded by dual-threat QBs (Donovan McNabb, Brad Banks, Troy Smith, Vince Young, Juice Williams, etc.) many fans were clammoring for a weapon like that and we finally got one.

I actually don't see Denard as the same kind of QB as those guys. Denard is clearly a runner first and a passer second, and for whatever reason, he doesn't scramble on passing downs.   Devin Gardner actually is more of a true dual-threat - a QB very comfortable throwing the ball and quick to find a scrambling lane when one comes open.  That's more the type of QB that's given us fits.  

Regardless, Denard's been fun to watch, and has been a wonderful representative of the school.   But let's remember to thank all of our senior players.   Most haven't gotten as much adulation as him. 


November 16th, 2012 at 4:50 PM ^

Well said OP.  The kid is special and will continue to  represent the University well for a long time to come whether he makes it into the league or not.  Just a feeling.


November 16th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

When I was a student at Michigan, I saw 6 different starting quarterbacks.


Denard gave us back the consistency we had been missing for a few years. And he was pretty exciting to watch, too.


Thanks for sticking it out Denard.


November 16th, 2012 at 4:53 PM ^

Wow, I am honored to have the opportunity to attend every single home game Denard has played in, as a student. Let's just say that tomorrow the Big House is expected to be very dusty. 

Well said OP!


November 16th, 2012 at 5:00 PM ^

I agree.  As a moderator, I'm going to let all these slide, at least until they get out of hand and start bumping important things off the front page of the Board.  Denard deserves it (even if some people say he shouldn't be honored above all the other seniors).


November 16th, 2012 at 5:02 PM ^

A duel threat QB is and always has been the hardest thing to defend.  So many guys have proved it, T. Smith (ugh), Vick, Young, Tebow, Crouch, the list goes on and on.  If you have a running game seperate from the QB, and the QB can throw and force defenses to defend both, but then he can also get out of the pocket and make plays with his feet as well...that is so hard to defend.  I personally hope we recruit more guys like Devin because of, well, what I just said.  Don't get me wrong, I'm really excited about Shane, but a QB than can do both is harder to defend.  


No doubt Denard will be missed.  What I will miss most about him though isn't his ability or big plays but his attitude.  He is just such a quality person.  I always enjoy hearing him speak.  He is so positive and upbeat with everything he says, and yeah, he's got that smile that makes you smile back at the TV like an idiot.  


November 16th, 2012 at 5:10 PM ^

Denard is not the best player I've seen suit up for the Wolverines, but no one has earned more of my affection.  It's hard not to use cliches here: he is a great representative of Michigan sports and the school as a whole.  From what I can tell, you'd want your son to be like him.  I watch every game he plays knowing that we'll never have anyone quite like him again. 


November 16th, 2012 at 5:20 PM ^

regardless of quarterback or not... we haven't had a weapon like Denard, period. He is that once in a lifetime, game-breaker. We've had speed before ( Fargas, and Baraka come to mind).... but it has never shown out or given us what we were lucky to witness with Denard. Hell, not many schools ever get someone like him.

I'm not sure we will ever see it (that speed, that ability) at Michigan again.


November 16th, 2012 at 5:32 PM ^

Back in the fall of 2010, I was at the worst point in my life and was just generally an all around depressed motherfucker who spent a shitload of time considering killing myself. One of the few things that got me through the practically intolerably long week was knowing that I got to watch three hours of Denard every Saturday. A lot of good things happened in the last few years and I'm fine now, but I'm honestly unsure I would have stuck around long enough to see them had it not been for Nard Dawg. So, I would like to extend the biggest most sincere thank you of my life to Denard.



November 16th, 2012 at 6:07 PM ^

his first play as Michigan quarterback September 5, 2009.

I watched the game with my father and brother and 6 year old son.  Most people in the Stadium, including my father, didn't notice the quarterback change for that series.

I remember saying to them: "There's a new quarterback in, Denard Robinson. He's really fast."

The way that place erupted with that fumble-turned-touchdown-run was just unbelievable.

My father was 71 and told me he had ringing in his ears for up to a week after.

It was a special memory.

Thank you Denard Robinson!


November 16th, 2012 at 6:59 PM ^

I got to say man, you are a awesome QB. If you have an account and you are on I just want to tell you that you are a awesome athelete and that I hope that you are going to have a awesome NFL career.


November 16th, 2012 at 7:23 PM ^

Maybe it is because I remember Bo and being a bright eyed kid who loved everything he said, but these kind of posts bug me. It is all about the team, the team, the team. I've seen Anthony Carter, Jim Harbaugh, Anthony Thomas, Desmond Howard, Tyrone Wheatley, Braylon Edwards, etc., etc., come and go and it still has always been all about the team, the team, the team. Denard is a great player and he deserves an amazing amount of credit, but he does not deserve to be singled out to this degree. Do you think Jordan Kovacs, Kenny Demens, Roy Roundtree, Patrick Omameh, etc, etc, haven't given everything they have to make us what we are? Denard is a great player and he is leaving and after him a long line of Michigan greats will follow and also leave, but it will still always be all about the team, the team, the team.


November 16th, 2012 at 8:43 PM ^

But I also remember the lead up to Anthony Carter's last game at Michigan Stadium.  I remember how there was a special focus on him though all the seniors were honored and appreciated.  I also remember AC catching one or two typical AC balls, tipped and juggled and brought down on the fly.

Equal honor to all, but maybe a bit of special love for one.


November 16th, 2012 at 7:47 PM ^

None of those other players had to go through the years denard did with RichRod. Every other player listed had Michigan defenses to back up their play. Denard had none of that. And still stuck with Michigan. In my opinion,were not all sad denards leaving because he was such a magnificent player (which he was) but because he is one of the true epitomes of a Michigan man that we have left from the RichRod years, something those other Michigan men didnt have to endure


November 16th, 2012 at 7:52 PM ^

Tomorrow at the Big House, I will untie my is about all the seniors, but I will pay special homage to Mr. Lace...I'm hoping he somehow gets into the endzone...

Buck Killer

November 16th, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

Please keep your shoes tied, so we don't have a bunch of asshats tripping in the stands. Thank you Denard, and I will cheer loudly which many don't do. Why is our stadium quiet with such an electric young man running? Fucking cheer old fucks! Thank you for staying Denard!!!! Fuck ohio up!


November 16th, 2012 at 7:54 PM ^

Tomorrow. My son adores him, we went last week to the game and are fortunate to be going again this week. I hope my son gets to see him play live. He is 7 and is always talking about Denard.

Ron Utah

November 16th, 2012 at 7:57 PM ^

I do love Denard; his game is bested only by his character and demeanor.  He is definitely the type of athlete I hope my children grow-up to be: fiercely competitive yet still joyous and light-hearted.  Heck, I wish I could be more like him in many ways (character-wise, although running a 4.3 40yd dash would be pretty sweet too).

Mmmm Hmmm

November 16th, 2012 at 8:10 PM ^

Just a few thoughts:

  • Notre Dame 2010
  • Notre Dame 2011 (Under The Lights)
  • OSU 2011
  • 2011 Sugar Bowl
  • MSU 2012

All are wonderful Michigan memories for me, especially being at both ND games.  And Denard is front and center in all of those memories.

Thank you, Denard. 


November 16th, 2012 at 9:17 PM ^

My own introduction to Denard  - I was at the September 5th, 2009 game, and long before I posted these sorts of things on MGoBlog (I did lurk here), I kept extensive stats on every game. Indeed, I fumbled around with the program and I wasn't even finished writing down his name in my notes when he scored on that 43-yard TD run against Western Michigan, and for all the games I have been at or watched since (all of them, in this space), he has been the most common name in those notes on offense. Granted, many of those notes are taken when our defense is on the field because Denard has been that mesmorizing. 

They will honor all the seniors  tomorrow, and they should honor all the seniors  tomorrow. They have stuck together through a lot and led this team through a lot.

On a personal level, my own memories of watching Denard Robinson in person in particular will always stick out in this era of Michigan football, and they all make me sit there and think, "Damn, look at this guy play...", and it is a good feeling which I will revisit from time to time. Personally, I do thank Denard Robinson for those electric memories, literally (on the neurological level, of course) and figuratively. 


November 16th, 2012 at 9:19 PM ^

Though tomorrow is your last day on the field you will always be a part of the family that is Michigan.

Play hard as you always do and continue to rep is well.

Thank you Michigan Seniors and Denard for everything that you've done, are doing, and will continue to do both on and off the field wherever your lives may take you.

Go Blue. Beat Iowa. Beat Ohio.


November 16th, 2012 at 9:23 PM ^

The only reason Michigan has been an 'entity' for the past 4 years has been because of Denard Robinson. He deserves so much praise on so many different levels. Denard Robinson is a unique individual and every Michigan fan should thank him for what he has done for this great university.


November 16th, 2012 at 10:16 PM ^

He stuck by us when it may not have been in his own best interest, so we'll always stick by him.

I hope we see him on campus a lot in the future as an ambassador for the program, ala Desmond or Charles or Steve the Viking.


November 16th, 2012 at 10:41 PM ^

You have been amazing to watch in all of your games. Your speed is incredible and your attitude on and off the field mirrors the true image a student athlete in the NCAA should have. You are calm and composed through defeat while humble and appreciative in victory. You have put up amazing numbers in your career here and I have never seen a Michigan football player so active in student events and other sporting events since probably Desmond Howard or Charles Woodson. Thank you for all the wonderful memories and moments that all of us will always remember. Good luck in whatever you do after graduating Denard. Either NFL or your future career may you have the best of luck and a happy and fulfilling life ahead of you. GO BLUE #16. Shoelace forever.


November 17th, 2012 at 6:23 AM ^

There is no question that ALL the senior members of Team 133 deserve credit for "holding the rope" for "The Team. The Team. The Team."  And for bringing pride to their families and the entire Michigan Family.

But I suspect that, to a man, they're all grateful that one young man from Deerfield Beach, Florida with a positive attitude and a smile that has captivated Michigan football fans and many of the nation's college football fans, and even brought recognition from the President of the United States, became one of their leaders.  Congratulations, thanks and best of luck to Denard and all the seniors on Team 133.



November 17th, 2012 at 10:04 AM ^

Im thankful I have a TV, because there are at least 2 games left where I can send off one of the greatest Michigan players ever.  I will wait tell his career at Michigan is over before saying goodbye and all the onion stuff.