Any word on Denard?

Submitted by Oscar Goldman on January 12th, 2011 at 3:06 AM

Has anyone heard much regarding Denard?  I have seen posts about K Grady's twitter and talk of "everyone" staying, but am looking for any info.  I think Hoke would be an absolute fool to not tailor the offense around Denard, regardless of his system/philosophy at this point. 



January 12th, 2011 at 6:21 AM ^ about letting him actually try to get something done before calling him a failure?

It seems critical to keep Denard, and have him play at QB. Tate seems to be gone, leaving us with only DG besides DRob, at QB. Must, must must keep DRob at QB.

I think that the first real chance to test Hoke's mettle will be to see how well he is able to retain the current players and how much of the recruiting class he can salvage.


January 12th, 2011 at 3:36 AM ^

I think denard is going to stay. I think that Bradon made it clear he wanted someone who could adjust their style based on the available talent, e.g. Denard Robinson, and then tweek it again for Gardner


January 12th, 2011 at 3:43 AM ^

Michigan was one of the only schools who promised Denard a chance at QB.  That is one of the reasons he came here.  He was very raw, and many thought that he could not be a QB.  Well, to RR's credit, he was developed and is a a very good spread QB.  With further coaching and experience, he will develop even more into a very good QB in any system.  The potential has been developed, and now, everyone can tell that QB is a good position for him.  He may not remain a QB in the NFL, but in college, he will remain there and thrive.


January 12th, 2011 at 4:22 PM ^

Denard is a transcendent talent. He has the ability to thrive in virtually any offense.

Hoke is getting a bit of a raw deal here, because if you watch video of his offenses at SDSU and Ball State, you'll see that Hoke likes to use multiple sets. His offense is different from Carr's, as Hoke does open things up a bit more, by spreading the field and utilizing roll outs.

Nate Davis ran for over 300 yards his junior (and final) year at Ball State, and he was not someone you would describe as a mobile QB. So the opportunities are there for the run, granted there are only going to be a tiny fraction of the designed run plays that Rich Rod's read option offered.

Mike Vick didn't run a read option offense and was as dangerous a runner at the quarterback position as anyone in the history of college football. IMO Denard is every bit as explosive running the football as Vick (probably more), and while he doesn't have Vick's arm, Nard Dawg's passing stats from this past season easily beat anything Vick ever did at Va Tech.

While the read-option probably fits Denard best, I don't think it's wise to make the assumption that Denard won't produce at a high level in another style of offense. I'm sure Hoke will tailor his packages to fit Denard's skill set.

Ultimate Quizmaster

January 12th, 2011 at 4:05 AM ^

I don't understand why Denard would leave. First off there is no read option QB starting in the NFL. So in order to play at the next level, Denard will either become:


A) Proficient passer, good at reading defenses while utilizing his speed. (Mike Vick/Pat White hybrid)


B) All around athlete AKA Brad Smith, Antwann Randle-El, Percy Harvin.


Michigan would serve him well either way.

Brother Mouzone

January 12th, 2011 at 5:05 AM ^


I don't understand why Denard would stay

The skills sets that Denard has could be served better in a number of other spread friendly offenses with a coach, staff and talent that would maximize his value.

Not very different than the decision Mallett made.

Selfishly I'd love to see him stay.  He'd probably reduce his total future earnings by doing so.

Ultimate Quizmaster

January 12th, 2011 at 6:16 AM ^

I can see him playing a role like Andy Dalton, who runs some read but is a good passer. I don't think he would hand the ball off that many times under Hoke et al. They would use him at his strengths. Besides, Denard ran the ball way too much last year mainly b/c we didn't have a Noel Devine kind of guy, and that took a big toll on him.

If Denard wants to be a NFL QB, then staying here is good for him. If he wants to make the NFL regardless of what position, he should stay here as well, assuming there's a good supporting staff. I know Denard will make the NFL, but probably not as a QB. Randle-El played QB full-time at Indiana, but ended up being a pretty good receiver in the pros.


January 12th, 2011 at 8:40 AM ^

Maybe not...but Shaun King did pretty well for himself, and he wasn't nearly the runner that Denard, Dantzler, Pat White were.  He gained a fair number of yards on the ground at Tulane, but he also had a fair career in the NFL in a pro-style offense and took the Buccaneers to the NFC championship game, if I'm not mistaken.


January 12th, 2011 at 5:00 AM ^

I will be the first person to say that I loved watching Denard last year, I mean I often screeched over his electric runs, but its not armageddon if he doesn't stay.  We have a more than capable qb on the roster in Devin Gardner, and yes he  will be raw, but hes the better passer of the two anyways.

I'm not diminishing what Denard has done, but can he play qb outside of Richies system?  Didn't we say goodbye to him when we fired Rich Rod?  I fear that if we keep trying to put the square peg into the round hole we will be replaying the Masoli situation all over again, and I think my eyes may melt if I have to watch that unfold.


January 12th, 2011 at 6:23 AM ^

that Brady will adapt to his talent, unlike his predecessors.  I really liked RR, but his refusal to slowly faze the spread in at the begining (when we didn't have any spread type guys), and his refusal to develope any special teams or defense did him in.  Hopefully Brady will realize that this is a spread offense and run a few spread plays until he gets "his guys".


January 12th, 2011 at 6:42 AM ^

playbook. If he can quickly get somewhere and use that accumulated knowledge, we know it best fits his skills. I would cry but watch him every chance I get. This has been another painful gd stretch for Michigan football, though--just ouch. 


January 12th, 2011 at 6:48 AM ^

Denard stays through spring practice and then makes his decision. What difference does transferring now or in 4 months make to when he can play again? Since San Diego State ran a spread offense and Tate may not have the grades, I'm thinking Denard stays as one of only two scholarship QBs. Did Denard say that he wanted to be a QB, or did he want to be an RR style QB? I think it was the former.


January 12th, 2011 at 7:17 AM ^

Regarding Denard, he is impossible not to like...obviously a great talent and as nice a person as we have seen around Michigan for a while.

I took a look at his last seven Big Ten Games, when we started playing some serious teams.  Realizing that he was only starting as a QB in his first year, the numbers suggest that there is definitely a lot of room to get better. I just can't see him surviving as a running QB in the NFL He and we were fortunate he didn't have a long term injury last year.  I have seen the numbers showing the differences between spread and drop back QB's, but what those numbers don't take into account is the size of the QB. 

Then you have the performance numbers.  Starting with Michigan State and ending with OSU, Denard had a 57 % completion percentage and had 9 TD's against 9 INT's.  He averaged 187 passing yards per game.  Rushing, he averaged 105 yards per game, which figure was aided by a huge game against PSU. In the seven games, he had two runs greater than 20 yards.  I don't know how many fumbles Denard had, but there were a ton.

Make of these numbers what you want, but you would think he might want to listen to someone else before leaving,

As far as Gardner goes, there was a reason why Tate was the number 2 last year once Gardner had a chance to play.  From having gone to every home game and getting there early enough to watch pre-game warmups, Gardner has a big arm, but he is totally unproven.  My guess is that Tate is gone.

Bottom line, I sure hope to hell Denard stays around. It might be the best thing for him, and it sure would be a good thing for us.


January 12th, 2011 at 7:46 AM ^

Denard must be feeling like Mallet did when RR was hired.  I hope Hoke sits down with him right away and and has a candid conversation about how he WILL fit in with the new system.

The Harbaughnger

January 12th, 2011 at 11:36 AM ^

I'm not saying it's insignificant, but Denard smiles 99.9% of the time and he's a QB...

Could have meant anything...

I desperately hope he stays- some players are more than stats, ability, etc.

Even if he is/isn't a great QB (I say he is), you've got to recognize that Denard's character is second to none.

He says what he means, he gives his all, he doesn't slander or disrespect, and the list could go on and on. 

That is invaluable in an age when players can just get on FB and bash a coach who just got fired.

Denard is the kind of player that parents show their kids in hopes that they turn out like he did- this is coming from a father of two.


January 12th, 2011 at 11:10 AM ^

I'm kind of baffled as to where this "Denard is not a good QB" business comes from.  He is the first player to ever rush for 1,500 yards in a season and throw for 2,000.  In his true sophomore year, first year as a starter, he completed 62.5% of his passes for 8.8 yards per pass attempt.  This was with absolutely no help whatsoever from his receivers in the final three games of the season.  Roundtree probably accounted for 150 yards of drops against Wisky, OSU, and Miss State.  His 18/11 TD/INT ratio isn't great, but it's not terrible, and Christ sakes, folks -- he was a first year starter.  Even with his mediocre TD/INT ratio, he ended up ranked #20 in the nation in passing efficiency.  Ahead of "real" quarterbacks like Landry Jones, Stephen Garcia, T.J. Yates, Matt Barkley, Nick Foles, and Taylor Potts.  He was a significantly better passer than Brian Griese, John Navarre, and Tom Brady all were in their first year as a starter.  Yes, I said Tom Brady.  In his redshirt junior year, he threw 15 TDs and 12 INTs.  The offense sucked most of the year and he averaged less than 8 yards per pass attempt.  But people didn't say he didn't belong at QB, because he was tall, slow, and white.


January 12th, 2011 at 11:19 AM ^

I understand what you're saying, but it's not extremely difficult to throw the ball to a wide open receiver like Roy Roundtree (see his TD against Mississippi State, for one) or Terrance Robinson (see his one catch against ND) when the defense is sucking up because of the run threat.

If you put him in a pro-style offense, that run threat is somewhat diminished.  If he has to sit in the pocket and try to throw to get games like Ohio State and the two MSU games.

Oh, and if Tom Brady were quarterbacking Rich Rodriguez's offense, I would probably say that he's not a good QB, too.


January 12th, 2011 at 11:25 AM ^

Almost every first year starter we have had has sucked being forced to sit in a pocket and throw.  Remember John Navarre?

And it is easy to make those throws, but the reason the defense is stacked against the run is because of Denard and the very good (if not great) offensive line.  Look at the whole package.  Denard is not a great pro style QB, but he is a very good college QB, with the potential to be Heisman-caliber one.  He already has good passing stats as just a sophomore, with more distance to climb to reach his peak than Navarre, Henne, and the like had at this point in their careers.  Some of it is due to the system, but if that's the case, then why not keep at least some of the system intact?

The Harbaughnger

January 12th, 2011 at 12:07 PM ^

Isn't the defense sucking up because of his ability, which, is to his credit?

And, why is the measuring stick whether or not he can run a pro style offense or whether or not he'd play QB in the pros? 

Some of the best players in CFB football history were lousy in the NFL, if they even made it.

That doesn't mean he's not very good.

I agree that he doesn't fit the mold- but fitting molds isn't the only path to being good at something.

The QB position shouldn't be defined by NFL trends, but success at the current level of the player in question.