There Are......

Submitted by LKLIII on August 18th, 2016 at 1:50 AM


Days until legendary Michigan quarterback Denard Xavier "Shoelace" Robinson cheers on his alma mater as they crush the Rainbow Warriors of Hawai'i in the season opener at the Big House.  With his electric athleticism, cheerful demeanor, and embrace of the student-athlete role, Robinson was perhaps the brightest light in an otherwise difficult era for the University of Michigan Wolverines when he attended from 2009-2013.  He is a true "Michigan Man."

As first team All American in 2010 he broke the Michigan school record for total offense with 4,272 yards.  He also lead the Wolverines to a victory in the Sugar Bowl during Brady Hoke's inaugural season, helped to engineer an epic comeback against Notre Dame in UTL1, and graduated with with his degree in 2013.  He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 5th round of the NFL draft, where he still plays as a running back.





August 18th, 2016 at 7:46 AM ^

became a very good QB by the end of 2003.  He still occassionally overshot a receiver and his lack of mobility was always really frustrating, but he did move himself in to the upper tier of Michigan QBs by the time they beat OSU and won the conference.  He also may have won a Rose Bowl if Braylon could have hung onto that post on the first drive against USC.  That is an entirely different game if that goes for 6.


August 18th, 2016 at 6:40 PM ^

He had an absolute cannon of an arm, but for me aside from the lack of mobility was that--at least in the earlier years--he had a tendancy to telegraph exactly where he was going to throw the ball.  He'd lock onto a certain receiver and get tunnel vision--essentially force throws rather than maybe see an otherwise open receiver who was his 2nd or 3rd option.

He may have gotten better at that as he got older, but I think the telegraphing his throws at least partially contributed to the tipped pass thing (in addition to maybe his throwing mechanics).


August 18th, 2016 at 10:04 AM ^

struggled in his second year, although Marquis Walker did not hurt things.  He was more than serviceable as a Junior although I think the team slightly underperformed.  He was very good his senior year.  He played fairly well even in the losses (Oregon especially where our wide receivers dropped about every ball thrown their way).  I think he went through the progressions you would expect from a moderately rated recruit thrust into action earlier than expected.


August 18th, 2016 at 6:43 PM ^

This is true, although Navarre's name on a lot of the top career QB statistics is also owed to the fact that he started from such a young age.  Even a mediocre freshman or RS freshman passing season from a QB is a big boost in those career statistic columns.

UofM Marine

August 18th, 2016 at 3:00 AM ^

Definitely will be missed. Too often he put the team on his shoulders. Sometimes it would work and other times it didn't. It was always fun to watch and see what he would do.


August 18th, 2016 at 4:28 AM ^

I'll always remember those first games of his as the new starting QB  in 2010. He was electrifying, a huge shot in the arm at that time, made many of us feel that we could have good things again. And that smile could light up the Big House. Michigan Man.


August 18th, 2016 at 7:33 AM ^

The zero part I suspect is spot on.

I'm starting to wonder about the 63.  Michigan is no doubt capable of scoring that many on Hawaii, but the question is will Harbaugh take that opportunity?

There's a part of me that thinks when the game is well in hand, Harbaugh is going to make the game a practice session.  Nothing fancy, just extra practice reps for the starters and backups.  I can picture something like 35-0 or maybe 42-0.


August 18th, 2016 at 7:56 AM ^

The reason I would disagree is based on the Citrus Bowl last year.  We were up 38-7 late in the 4th quarter but Harbs kept the entire starting offense in the game.  The man does not subscribe to conventional thinking.  Every second of a game is a chance for his starters to gain valuable experience.


August 18th, 2016 at 8:10 AM ^

Agree Harbaugh is unconventional.

I thought about the bowl game win over Florida ... but this game is the first game of the season vs. the last game.

I think we'll see the starters in fairly deep into the game.  But I think the plays will be intended to reinforce a set of fundamental execution things.

But then I could be wrong -- I often am, according to my wife :-) -- maybe Harbaugh uses this to let freshmen he intends to use this year spread their wings a bit.

What I do not expect is one of those 84-0 routs we see some teams put up against hapless opponents.  The only way I see the score going there is if Hawaii is truly helpless to stop off-tackle runs by our second and third string RBs, as jdon mentions below.


August 18th, 2016 at 8:20 AM ^

won't do that.  He runs it up when something has been done to irritate him.  He ran it up on USC because they had been doing that their opponents for years and were cheating with impunity, on Rutgers because of the "intent to deceive" and Rutger's reaction to it, and Florida because they had the audacity to decieve us and not get called for it.  If Hawaii is as hapless as I expect them to be he will not do that, unless they do something before or during the game that rankles him.


August 18th, 2016 at 9:53 AM ^

I also think part of the Florida strategy was to get some good additional film for guys on the NFL draft bubble.  Florida theoretically had a pretty solid defense, and he wanted Rudock, Houma, etc. to have additional opportunities to show their stuff to NFL scouts.

That's something I noticed in a comment Harbaugh made earier this week too.  He was talking about Peppers and where he'd deploy him on the field, and one of the factors he mentioned (after helping the team win of course), was making sure he was able to put some film together to show NFL scouts how Peppers might be used in a traditional NFL style defensive scheme.  So it seems to me, that at least once a kid puts in solid work for The Team, The Team, The Team, if it looks like the kid might have a shot at the NFL, what Harbaugh does is makes sure the kid has an OK film resume for NFL scouts to examine.  

Which indirectly still helps The Team, The Team, The Team because when it comes to recruiting, if one of Harbaugh's sales pitches is, "I know NFL guys and what it takes to get you there," that sales point gets extra creedence if top flight high school kids see Harbaugh being a good advocate his players when the NFL draft/combine rolls around in the spring.


August 18th, 2016 at 9:56 AM ^

Harbaugh will run it up on MSU when he gets the chance. I've heard from former players close to him, he didn't expect Sparty to be running their mouth as much as they have after that lucky win. Dantonio naming that play has really pissed him off. Now he knows what we've been dealing with over the past decade in this state. I'll bet he'll proparare for that game in EL like his life is on the line. You never wanna piss Harbaugh off... MD will learn that the hard way. 


August 18th, 2016 at 9:14 AM ^

Agree here...  Once the game is safely out of hand (probably about 10 minutes in!) the playbook will be narrowed down to the basic foundation plays of both the offense and defense.  They'll show nothing while working on perfecting the foundation of what they want to do.  A starter will be replaced when he shows that he's got those base plays down pat.  That's when the two's will get in.  The freshmen won't see the field until the guys in front of them have the foundation plays under control.  If that runs the score up, so be it - if you can't stop us, that is on you.

What we won't see are exotic plays meant to gain chunks, just to intentionally run the score up.  Well, unless Hawai'i does something to piss him off, anyway...

This is the Harbaugh way.

Ali G Bomaye

August 18th, 2016 at 9:49 AM ^

That game was a send-off for a group of seniors who grew a ton during the course of the year. There were no more games to play, so risking injury and putting tactics on film for future opponents wasn't a consideration.

The goal for the season isn't to crush Hawaii, it's to beat our Big Ten opponents. If you look at our "warmup" games last season against Oregon State and UNLV, the backups got plenty of run.


August 18th, 2016 at 8:09 AM ^

You may be right ... if the chatter from the submarine is correct, there are freshmen who'll see the field this year for sure ... so if this game is sealed early, they come on and get some game-time reps:  Rashan Gary, Chris Evans, McDoom, etc.

Ali G Bomaye

August 18th, 2016 at 9:46 AM ^

I think the gameplan for the Hawaii game is going to look a lot like the UNLV game last year. A few big plays early to get up by a few TDs, then a steady diet of predictable off-tackle runs by backups so that we don't show our hand to future opponents. I'd be surprised if we break 45 points, despite the talent disparity.

The only change might be if Harbaugh feels like he needs to get the new starting QB some additional work.


August 18th, 2016 at 8:11 AM ^

Mike Jolly was defensive back in the late 70's who went on to play for the Packers.  All Conference a couple times.  Great guy and a hell of a golfer.  Has a lot of great Bo and NFL stories.