Robinson Ready To Make Plays

Affectionately known as "Shoelace", Denard Robinson was one of the players surrounded by reporters at the Wolverines' Media Day on Sunday. GoBlueWolverine was there to catch what the Deerfield Beach, Florida native had to say.

Denard Robinson isn't forgetting who he is or where he came from as he gets ready to don the Maize and Blue for the first time on September 5th against the Western Michigan Broncos.

"I guess you always have to know where you came from. I'm still me. I'm still hungry and I still love competition. I really don't know what's going to happen. It's up to the coaches and I can't hold that against them. I enjoy the suspense, just waiting to see who's going to start. Whoever starts, I know they are just as good as me."

Between himself, or fellow freshman Tate Forcier, or the more experienced Nick Sheridan, Robinson knows it is not purely on the quarterback's shoulders in Ann Arbor.

"I don't feel pressure at all. I have teammates that will help do what we have to do and be a better team. It's all in for Michigan."

Robinson will certainly have a chance to showcase his talents and provide an explosive playmaker undercenter. While Robinson is often soft spoken, it's clear that he's well aware of his speed and how he can utilize it as a weapon on the field.

"I just enjoy running. When I get the ball, I don't feel like I need to be caught. If I'm in front of everyone, I need to be faster than anyway. Nobody will catch me from behind. I get away with a lot because of my speed, even if I make a mistake."

Mistakes are a natural part of playing the quarterback position, especially manning it as a true freshman. Robinson admits learning has been a little tough, but that he has a strong support system to help him through those times.

"It's pretty hard. But I've got Tate and Nick and other guys to help me, including Coach Smith."

Some have written Robinson off as only a threat to run, and that he may not make much of an impact due to only being a one trick pony. Robinson has certainly heard the critics, and is ready to send each one of them a message.

"Everybody says I can't throw, but I'll show you different in two weeks from now. I'm just going to step up to the plate."

While Robinson is definitely ready to make an impact, it certainly hasn't strained his relationship with either quarterback in the competition for the starting spot. In fact, it's quite possible it's made them closer.

"We're like brothers. It's just like family. Tate and I are pretty similar. We all love music you know, but Nick likes slow music. Tate and I like fast music like hip-hop. Nick likes R&B though."

While he's been quick to make friends, Robinson is definitely missing one of his long-time friends and former teammates, fellow freshman Adrian Witty, who's had NCAA Clearinghouse issues. On the other hand, Robinson expects to have him back in the fold sooner than most expect.

"It's been kind of hard (without him over the summer), but I expect him to be up hopefully next week. I have faith in him, so most likely."

Another factor in keeping us his spirits are that his parents have made the long trek from the Sunshine State to the Great Lakes State to see where their son is looking to shine for the next four years.

"My parents are still up here right now, so I guess I'll be seeing them every weekend when I have a game. It's just playing football, and football is what I love."

Loving the game is certainly a big part of being on Rich Rodriguez's team. Loving it as a Wolverine can only be furthered by taking in a packed Big House on a football Saturday. It's something Robinson will experience for the first time when he runs down the infamous tunnel in two weeks.

"I've only been up for the spring game, but I've dreamed about being in there for a game. I can't really imagine it all the way full. I guess it's just going to be mind blowing. But everyone has told me like after the first play, you just settle into your game and you don't really hear the noise or anything."

He'll certainly hear the noise when he steps on the field though. Anticipation among fans about his explosion that has been one of the summer's top storylines is running high, and Robinson knows how to live up to the hype in theory.

"Keep making plays. I don't have to change my style unless the coach wants me to. It would mean a lot (to play as the starting quarterback). I'm not that far behind, so I don't really know. Just going out and making plays is what I do."

Making plays involves having fun with his football brethren. It's often been said he's the fastest player on the team, and one of the teams speedsters, Darryl Stonum, stepped up to the plate to challenge Robinson's title. At first Robinson was reluctant to admit it, but the truth eventually spilled over.

"(Laughing) It's true, but I didn't really want to say anything and embarrass him. Everybody is telling me I have to race Troy (Woolfolk) because they say he's the fastest on the team, so we'll probably race at some point in time."

One of the other storylines of the summer is how Robinson acquired the nickname "Shoelace." It's something that's he's had for a while, dating back to his high school games. Many theories have been tossed around as to why he got the name, but Shoelace squashed them all with a simple reply.

"I really just don't tie my shoes. I've never gotten stepped on, or lost a shoe."

When a question was posed as to whether he was too fast for anyone to have been able to step on his shoelaces, Robinson smiled widely and responded in the only way he could.

"I guess so (laughing)."


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