Fans inundate M Den store to meet Denard Robinson
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Sales associate Dearron Haygood, who has worked at M Den for the last eight years, said he's never seen a bigger crowd at the downtown Ann Arbor store than he did Saturday. The draw: Denard Robinson, University of Michigan senior and star football player.
Fans started lining up outside the store at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning to get Robinson's autograph and maybe a quick word with him.
"I've watched Denard through his career and want to wish him good luck," said Allen Haire from Adrian, who came with his grandson, Marcus Pooten.
"I think Denard is great!" said Pooten, a 12-year-old football player.
Mike Mendez from Detroit brought his 10-year-old son Michael Jr. and 6-year-old son Isaac. All three were carrying footballs intent on getting them signed by Robinson.
"He is so fast!" said Michael Jr. with a big grin.
An estimated 850 people lined up in a queue snaking around the store's aisles and continuing outside the store on South State Street.
"My son is a huge fan," said Sarah Ruggles, who was saving a place in line for her 12-year-old.
"I've seen him in the halls but never met him," said U-M Freshman Megan McDermott.
"We're big Michigan fans and he plays really well," said Alexis Diaz, also a freshman.
Haygood said Saturday's response went beyond store employees' expectations.
"It shows that people really love Denard, and it's an opportunity for him to be up front with fans," said Haygood, who added that Robinson's appearances was also a big boon for sales at M Den.
Lisa Carolin if a freelance reporter for AnnArbor.com. Contact the news desk at 734-623-2530 or firstname.lastname@example.org.