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Posted on Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 5 p.m.

Michigan recruit Jerald Robinson growing as a receiver

By Dave Birkett

Jerald Robinson was lukewarm about playing more slot receiver during his senior season at Canton (Ohio) South High School. Now that Robinson has enrolled at Michigan, he’s glad he had the opportunity.

“Inside, that’s when you’re playing the big boys, the linebackers,” Robinson said. “What I didn’t really have, wasn’t good at my junior year was going across the middle. But I actually feel like the slant is one of my most favorite routes now.

“I feel like if you’re going to be a receiver you got to be able to catch the ball anywhere on the field. I like going across the middle.”

Robinson is 1 of 6 members of Michigan’s 2010 recruiting class who enrolled early. He started classes Wednesday, along with fellow receivers Jeremy Jackson and Ricardo Miller, offensive lineman Christian Pace and running backs Austin White and Stephen Hopkins.

Two other Michigan recruits who hoped to enroll early, quarterback Devin Gardner and safety Marvin Robinson, will not move to Ann Arbor until the spring.

“I decided to enroll early because I felt that I could help the program right now and I don’t want to wait,” Jerald Robinson said. “I felt that I could make an impact on the program in my freshman year, so I wanted to come in now and put in work so the coaches could see that I’m capable of getting some playing time as a true freshman.”

Michigan returns 6 of its top 7 pass catchers, but graduates second-leading receiver Greg Mathews (29 catches, 352 yards).

The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Robinson will play on the outside at Michigan, a school he grew up rooting against as an Ohio State fan.

Robinson said his allegiances changed when Michigan became the first school to offer him a scholarship last signing day. He visited the campus, liked it better than Ohio State’s, and liked the design of Michigan’s spread offense having played in a spread system in high school.

He committed to the Wolverines on Feb. 9.

“He’s got real good speed and the most important thing is he can catch the ball,” said Gardner, who developed an immediate connection with Robinson when the 2 played together at a Michigan football camp last summer. “If you play receiver, you got to catch the ball. When the ball’s in the air he attacks and doesn’t wait for it to get to him, that’s always a plus.”

Robinson, who doubled as a standout basketball player at South before giving up the sport to enroll early, said he’s looking forward to reconnecting with Gardner on the football field and looking forward to his first spring practice as a Wolverine.

“I know I can’t be cocky,” he said. “I got to stay humble, and I feel that I’m better than a lot of receivers that are there right now and the only thing I got to do is go hard and get the coaches to feel the same way, show them why I’m coming in.”

Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.



Mon, Jan 11, 2010 : 5:31 a.m.

kid has potential. Gardner has a good relationship wit him. Remember last years team was very young, many of the WR will be back and will make plays. Looks good in QB too. Offense looks to be in good shape wit many starters coming back. Defense will be a question but i trust RR and GR will take care of it. The defense will surprise many next year i believe. GO BLUE!!!


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 9:44 p.m.

Yeah,Roundtree is a BEAST!!!Look forward to watching him play in future games.


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 7:07 p.m.

Nothing better than snagging an ex-suckeye fan. He looks alright on the vid. But damn people, start buying hd camcorders or something. That was terrible resolution. Glad to have ya. GO BLUE


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 5:01 p.m.

Before everyone gets too excited about all of these offense UM is supposedly going to have lets remember you still have to play some defense and I don't see a lot of improvement on that side of the ball. Hopefully with the new AD nim-rods days are numbered anyway.


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 4:49 p.m.

I think Hemmingway, Roudtree, and Odoms will have great years. I am really excited about the progress of Roundtree!


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 4:30 p.m.

I wasn't impressed with our wideouts last year. Matthews was OK, but not outstanding. Hemingway was injured for too long. Michigan needs BIG improvement at that position next season. Maybe Robinson and Je'ron Stokes are two guys who can step up. I like Gardner's comment about Robinson's ability to "go after" the ball rather than waiting for it to come to him. That's one thing we need. Someone who can consistently separate from the DB's AND make the tough grabs in the corner of the end zone. To that, you need an aggressive, rangy receiver.


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 3:55 p.m.

Like Micky said to Rock, "Now you've got lightning fast speed!!!!"


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 3:37 p.m.

Competition is going to get fierce this off season...Spring Game 2010 will be amaizing


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 3:15 p.m.

2 words...Roy Roundtree!


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 2:32 p.m.

Woops, meant to say "since Manningham left", not "graduated".


Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 2:31 p.m.

I love the kid's physical stature and attitude. He also has breakaway speed, which is something we've lacked in our WR corps since Manningham graduated. He has all the tools to be great at Michigan.

Sean T.

Wed, Jan 6, 2010 : 2:25 p.m.

Go Blue!