Denard Robinson - On Track to Finish 3rd in All-Time UM Career Passing Yardage?

Submitted by markusr2007 on January 5th, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Assuming he can stay healthy another season, Denard Robinson appears to be in position to overtake Tom Brady, Jim Harbaugh, Todd Collins and perhaps even Elvis Grbac in all time passing yards at Michigan.

As of the end of the 2011 season, including Sugar Bowl, Denard Robinson is ranked 7th all-time among UM QBs having thrown for a career 4,931 yards, 40 touchdowns and 30 INTs over 38 games played. 

Currently ahead of Denard Robinson:

6th Tom Brady, 5,351 yards, 35 TDs, 19 INTs over 40 games

5th Jim Harbaugh, 5,449 yards, 41 TDs, 22 INTs over 49 games

4th Todd Collins, 5,858 yards, 37 TDs, 20 INTs over 48 games

3rd Elvis Grbac, 6,460 yards, 71 TDs, 31 INTs over 48 games

2nd John Navarre, 9,254 yards, 72 TDs, 31 INTs over 50 games

1st Chad Henne, 9,715 yards, 87 TDs, 37 INTs over 47 games

Robinson should easily surpass the passing records of Brady, Harbaugh and Collins next season.

Robinson needs 1,530 yards to surpass Elvis Grbac. Not impossible, but highly doubtful that Robinson gets 32 TD passes next year to break Grbac's career TD passes.

For the passing records of Navarre and Henne to fall, Michigan will have to wait until the next freshman phenom QB comes to Ann Arbor to start all 4 years.

Another 1,000 yard rushing season for Denard Robinson might place him close to or above TB Tyrone Wheatley (UM's #4 all time leading rusher with 4,179 yards).This along with the passing yardage numbers above...que ridiculo, no?!




January 5th, 2012 at 6:39 PM ^

Could these two possibly be the best playmakers to ever wear a winged helmet? They obviously are in my top 5 players in my mind. Braylon,touchdown tim,and mike hart finishes the list.


January 5th, 2012 at 7:35 PM ^

People see he's got all that flash and they think that it must be less substantive that an athlete who is more conventional. Look at the total yards that he's responsible for. Look at his statistics. The man is a once-in-a-generation talent for UM. His passing yards alone make him very good. His rushing yards make him outstanding. Put them together, and he's a true phenom. Let's appreciate what we have here.


January 5th, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^

I hate arguing this point because it looks as if I'm hating on Denard, which I'm not, but he has yet to lead his team to a B1G championship, a requirement I have to be called truly great.  His yardage statistics are certainly impressive, but there is obviously a system component to those, and his high amount of turnovers certainly hurt his legacy as well.  He is an amazingly fun player to watch and by all accounts an amazing person and teammate, but he isn't a "great" player.....yet.  That could all change next year. 


January 5th, 2012 at 9:54 PM ^

That was our record when Brady was the starting QB in 1998 and 1999.  He won a bowl game against #11 ranked Arkansas and won a BCS bowl against the SEC champs Alabama.  In his 5 losses the defense surrendered 36 (ND), 38 (Syracuse), 31 (OSU), 34 (MSU), and 35 (Illinois) points.  And he got taken out of some of those games because our coaching staff wanted to give a bad minor league 3rd baseman a few reps over an NFL Hall of Famer.

snarling wolverine

January 5th, 2012 at 11:31 PM ^

A co-championship is still a championship.  Besides, you seem to be forgetting that OSU didn't go to the Rose Bowl, either.  It was a three-way tie, and Wisconsin went - not because they beat us (we blew them out) but because of the old "Team that waited the longest" rule.

Are you going to argue that Wisconsin wasn't the Big Ten champ because they went 0-1 against the other two champs (we were 1-1)?  They won the Rose Bowl.


January 5th, 2012 at 11:39 PM ^

This is correct.  I don't think we should be splitting hairs about who won tiebreakers and whatnot.  Brady quarterbacked the team to a 7-1 record, which was tied for the best in the league while facing the most difficult schedule (having to play both OSU and Wisconsin, while those two didn't play each other).  The 1998 players have Big Ten championship rings and rightly so.  We had already clinched a share of the title when we played OSU, in fact.



January 6th, 2012 at 12:29 AM ^

Who went to the Rose Bowl by more points than Ohio State beat us. What you do out of conference has nothing to do with who is Big Ten champ. It's what you do in the conference. They're all co-champs. They all get trophies from the Big Ten. If you think it should go to the best overall team you can petition the Big Ten, but good luck with that. By your logic Michigan would be Big Ten Champs this year since they'll probably be ranked the highest, and will have the fewest losses. Doesn't work that way, but we can dream, right?


January 5th, 2012 at 6:40 PM ^

Personally I'd say no, his int ratio is very bad relative to those others and I suspect his completion % and yards per attempt generally don't match up either.


January 5th, 2012 at 6:44 PM ^

are going to start giving Devin more playtime, just to give him more real game experience, especially at the beginning of the season against the likes of Air Force and Mass, and perhaps in games where we are up by a lot (i.e. Minnesota). You want to start giving Devin a bit more playing time so that he has more real game experience behind his belt. I am assuming that Denard leaves for the NFL after the 2012 season and it would be nice to have a QB with some experience behind his belt. So far it has been a few snaps here, a few snaps there. IMO, Devin should have played a bit more in the early games, against the cupcakes. (A) you give him in-game experience, and (B) it's less time for Denard to be exposed to an injury. Do you really need to continue playing Denard when you are up on Minnesota 50+ points?


January 5th, 2012 at 9:43 PM ^

Although Henne amassed his stats over four years, his per-game average of 228.6 yards passing wasn't that exceptional.

To get to 10,000 yards over the course of a career, a QB starting just three years and thus playing 39 games would need to average a little over 256 yards passing per game. That seems like a possibility for a Michigan QB in Borges's West Coast offense. In 2010 at San Diego State, Ryan Lindley averaged 294.6 yards per game for a season total of 3,830. That's well above Navarre's U-M season record of 3,331.


January 5th, 2012 at 6:48 PM ^

Denard isn't leaving for the NFL (which makes it sound like he's leaving early), he's graduating.

Also, if Denard isn't playing how Borges wants him to play, then maybe you keep him in longer against cupcakes to improve his game (which is what they did this year, but he'll have another Spring and Summer ball ahead of him before 2012).


January 5th, 2012 at 6:53 PM ^

I guess that is why they kept him in those games, to give him more playing time, to help him refine his skills and adapt to the system. My point was, when the game is really in the bag, especially this year, Devin should get more than a snap here a snap there.


January 5th, 2012 at 7:32 PM ^

It is hard to compare him to many past players.

#1 Seasons have slowly added more games than in past years = more yards and stats

#2 Denard had some minor playing time as a Freshman, but then became THE main guy for his final three years -- while others like Tom Brady for instance, was just a starter for 2 years and shared some of that time with Henson.

#3 Denard is playing in an era that focuses more and more on offense, from rules that favor the offense and I wouldn't be surprised if today's offenses sees more plays per game than offenses 20 years ago as strategies and styles have changed.

#4 He also benefits from a lot of players that can get yards after the catch.


Denard is very good and we are lucky to have him.  However, as much as I love him, he isn't in that top tier of the best pure passers that I have seen in my lifetime at UofM.


January 5th, 2012 at 8:56 PM ^

One thing I'll go out on a limb and predict - no matter what record he sets, he'll talk about his teammates and smile.


January 5th, 2012 at 11:43 PM ^

Only the magical group that is Michigan fans could come up with a thread where people bitch and moan that Denard Robinson isn't that good.  We just went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl with a true junior at QB.  In addition to the impressive passing stats mentioned in the OP, he's rushed for 3,229 yards and 35 TD's in his career.  Yes, that is 75 TD's with an entire season of eligibility left to go.

Chad Henne never beat Ohio State and never won a BCS bowl game (Denard did both this year).  Tom Brady never won an outright Big Ten title (Denard has another year to do it in an offensive system that isn't brand new and should be the favorite to make it happen).  Todd Collins never finished higher than 3rd in the Big Ten as a starter.  John Navarre didn't beat OSU or win the Big Ten until his 5th year on campus and still never won a BCS bowl game.

Anyone who is bitching about Denard Robinson at this point in his Michigan career is either a dumbass or an asshole, or both.

Picktown GoBlue

January 6th, 2012 at 12:09 AM ^

and the dual-threat QB has better ratio than Brady or Henne (didn't have energy to figure it out for everyone in the initial list, but I would bet the pattern holds).



  Year Games Pass Rush Total TDs Pass TD / Int Total TD / Int
Att Comp Int Comp % Yds Yds/Comp TD Att Net Yd TD Total Yds
Tom Brady 1998 13 350 214 12 61.1 2636 12.3 15 59 -108 2 2528 17 1.3 1.4
Tom Brady 1999 12 341 214 6 62.8 2586 12.1 20 37 -47 1 2539 21 3.3 3.5
Tom Brady Career 31 711 443 19 62.3 5351 12.1 35 98 -169 3 5182 38 1.8 2.0
Denard Robinson 2010 13 291 182 11 62.5 2570 14.1 18 256 1702 14 4272 32 1.6 2.9
Denard Robinson 2011 13 258 142 15 55 2173 15.3 20 221 1176 16 3349 36 1.3 2.4
Denard Robinson Career 36 580 338 30 58.3 4931 14.6 40 546 3229 35 8160 75 1.3 2.5
Chad Henne 2004 12 399 240 12 60.2 2743 11.4 25 55 -137 2 2606 27 2.1 2.3
Chad Henne 2005 12 382 223 8 58.4 2526 11.3 23 54 25 1 2551 24 2.9 3.0
Chad Henne 2006 13 328 203 8 61.9 2508 12.4 22 47 -83 0 2425 22 2.8 2.8
Chad Henne 2007 10 278 162 9 58.3 1938 12 17 24 -120 0 1818 17 1.9 1.9
Chad Henne Career 47 1387 828 37 59.7 9715 11.7 87 180 -315 3 9400 90 2.4 2.4

Sure, no one uses this as a real measure out there, but Denard produces with both his arm and his legs.  16 more TD's and I think he'll have the most total TD's of any QB at Michigan.  As a note, from this group of 3, only Brady and Denard have seasons with greater than 62 completion percentage.  And Yd/Completion for Denard is way above the other two.  If you calculate Yd/Attempt passing, you're still ahead of Brady and Henne.

Avoiding staph infections and being in the 2nd year starting in this offensive system...I'm expecting it will be a great year.  After watching way too many of these bowls, I'm not sure that any of them are a terribly good measure of the teams; I think the long time off takes something away from their normal game.  For some, their game goes down.  And for some teams, their ab-normal games happen to be sick and lucky like West Virginia.