Nearly two years ago I shared a photo at the end of my 100% whole wheat sandwich loaf post that started me down the path that would lead to Photoshop Phridays. This week I revisit that and take a closer look at one of my favorite Michigan football players, Denard Robinson. From 2009 to 2012 Denard was one of the most exciting players in all of college football. His first play ever at QB, a bobbled snap that turned into a touchdown run, set the tone for fans that with him there was always the potential for a big play. Denard somehow stayed relentlessly positive in what was a darker time for the Michigan program. He stuck with the program through coaching changes, moved to different positions as a senior, and in doing so demonstrated some of the most admirable qualities of a leader and team player. I recommend Ryan Kartje’s 2010 profile of Denard to learn more about his story before coming to Ann Arbor.
As for the highlights and records, where to even begin? His logic defying performances are all over the Michigan and NCAA record books. In 2010 he became the first player in NCAA history to pass for 2,500 yards and rush for 1,500 in a single season. That year he also set the NCAA QB season rushing record (1,702 yards) and as a senior surpassed Pat White for the career QB rushing record at 4,495 yards. Denard is responsible for 8 of the 10 highest single game yardage totals in Michigan history (Devin Gardner has the other two). If you want specific highlights, I’d recommend starting with his 87 yard TD run against Notre Dame (part of a 502 total yard performance), or the miraculous ending to the 2011 win against Notre Dame. These days Denard is on the Jacksonville Jaguars and last season finally had a chance to show NFL fans what he was capable of. No doubt his favorite banh mi sandwiches helped fuel his legendary collegiate performances and infectious smile (Photo credit to Joseph Tobianski).