You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 10 a.m.

Denard Robinson has cut out the 'Little Debbie' snacks, gotten into the best shape of his career

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan football quarterback Denard Robinson says he's taken better care of his body this offseason, and believes he's in the best playing shape of his career.

Melanie Maxwell |

Throughout his career, Denard Robinson has been able to make Michigan football fans hold their breath for two main reasons.

One: He has the potential to score six points just about every time he touches the ball.

Two: He's had the potential to leave the game due to injury, just about every time he's taken a hard hit.

This summer, Robinson says he's done everything he can off the field to amplify No. 1 and lessen No. 2 at the same time.

And that process, he says, began at the snack counter.

"I never (used) to pay attention to what I ate," Robinson said. "I'm probably the biggest junk food eater ever. I'm like Lamar Odom when it comes to stuff like that.

"It'd be all candy, all Little Debbie snacks. All the bad stuff."

While it seems Robinson hasn't completely tossed aside any guilty pleasure of following Odom's famous candy-consuming "Keeping up with the Kardashians" lifestyle, he has gotten rid of the junk food.

The senior quarterback said Michigan strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman has put an added emphasis on taking care of his body at all times. Not just during the days he's in the gym working out, but also when he's at home -- especially on weekends.

As a result, Robinson believes he's in the best playing shape of his career.

And Brady Hoke agrees.

"He's worked real hard with fundamentals and mechanics," Hoke said. "But his conditioning level, probably, is the highest it's been since he's been here.

"(He's doing) everything it takes."

Robinson's electric career has been plagued by periodic bouts with injury. Nothing's been overly serious, but he's never made it through a full season without missing snaps her or there due to a bump or bruise.

Last season, he was forced to miss game action due to injury on four separate occasions -- at Northwestern, at Michigan State, at Iowa and at Illinois.

Those numbers were down significantly from 2010, when he missed parts of 10 regular season games.

Last fall, he said he did a better job of allowing his body to recover from week-to-week. But this summer, he says he's gone one step further.

"I had to get up (in weight), so I could take the hits and the impact," he said. "Coach Wellman is a great guy, he's got us eating right and making sure we take care of our bodies all the time."

Robinson estimates he's put on five pounds of solid weight, and should begin the season at an even 200 pounds.

He's averaged 18.3 carries per game since the start of the 2010 season, and no matter what anyone might say, those numbers aren't likely going to dip this season.

He'll be asked to carry the ball. He'll be asked to take hits. And he'll be asked to stay healthy.

With one more season left in the tank, Robinson says he's prepared to do all three.

"I feel like I need to get better," he said. "I don't want to be the same player I was my freshman year, my sophomore year or my junior year.

"I want to get better."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.


Steve McQueen

Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 12:43 a.m.

Denard is moving on to Lil Sparty snacks. They taste horrible and are very thin and brittle...but they sure do make a satisfying meal.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 10:17 p.m.

Mosely, Johnson, DePriest, Williams, Square, Hubbard, Dial, Lester, Sunseri, and Milliner will replace Little Debbies in their diets with Little Denards.

Steve McQueen

Mon, Aug 6, 2012 : 12:44 a.m.



Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 6:40 p.m.

Every athlete can step up his/her game with correct nutrition.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 3:54 p.m. staff - I came to this page to read this article based on the number of comments it has. There are 6 comments here, yet the counter reads 13. It is counting the deleted comments. This is a misrepresentation that I think needs correcting in the system. Thanks.


Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

Hi Kyle - I didnt think it was intentional, it just seemed like something within the system that should be adjusted. Thanks!

Kyle Mattson

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 : 4:50 p.m.

Hi edjasbord- We do not delete comments, the counter totals all replies and blocked comments which may create the appearance of a mis-count. We will investigate the matter further however to ensure there are no issues on the backend of the commenting module.


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

Glad to hear that Denard has upped his game regarding nutrition and conditioning. Although Denard probably burns way more calories each day than the rest of us, junk food like Little Debbies offer empty calories with no nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that elite athletes need. I can't wait to see the "new and improved" Denard when the season starts Sept. 1st.

Howard the Duck

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

Little apropos!


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

Only an MSU guy would have a name like "Drive a Deere"


Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 9:15 a.m.

I heard that John Deere is changing their slogan to "Nothing runs like a Deere except Shoelace"


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 8:08 p.m.



Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

Looking forward to MSU dominating him again this year.


Sun, Aug 5, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

We will see on October 20th game time TBD!


Fri, Aug 3, 2012 : 3:32 p.m.

Glad to know how serious Denard is about how diet can affect his athletic abilities. No stone unturned these days. On a side note: back in my day most of us were on a see-food diet whereas we ate everything we saw. Weight and BMI were not issues but the distance runners were doing 100 plus miles a week and walking all over campus to classes, so we needed the extra calories. As for Bo's guys; they ate a lot of red meat and high protein and they still won their fair share of football games and there were lots of All Americans on the roster.