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Posted on Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 9:45 a.m.

Jerald Robinson hoping to end questions about Michigan's thin wide receiver group

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan sophomore receiver Jerald Robinson is hoping for a breakout season in 2012.

Angela J. Cesere |

In the beginning, everyone starts with nothing.

Michigan football wide receiver Jerald Robinson, of course, is no different.

The redshirt sophomore is aware of how many career catches he has to this point in his career (zero), and he's aware that people have targeted Michigan's receiving group as one of the team's thinnest positions.

But he's also aware that starts mean nothing, and finishes mean everything. Desmond Howard had just nine catches before his junior season, Braylon Edwards only had three as a freshman.

Everyone starts with nothing, but those who take advantage of an opportunity are the ones who get remembered. For Robinson, that opportunity begins on Sept. 1 -- and he couldn't be more excited about it.

"At Michigan, you had all these receivers that came through here and the expectation is so high," Robinson says. "And every day you've got to come out here and work 100 times harder than those guys did.

"I want to be that guy one day."

For the first time in his career at Michigan, Robinson is about to get his chance to do just that.

With the graduation of Junior Hemingway and the dismissal of Darryl Stonum, the Wolverines will enter 2012 with just three truly battle-tested wide receivers.

One, Roy Roundtree, is currently rehabbing from arthroscopic knee surgery. And the other two, Jeremy Gallon and Drew Dileo, don't possess near enough size to fill Michigan's massive void for a big, physical downfield pass catcher.

Robinson, however, does.

Despite never catching a college pass, the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder possesses all the physical tools to fill the void Hemingway left as a big-play threat.

But now comes the hard part. He has to turn physical promise into game-time production.

"I think we've got to put enough pressure on him and get him out of his comfort zone," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said of Robinson. "You test him as best you can, and then he's just got to go out there and do it. There's no other way.

"We can put him in situations, test him, make him uncomfortable and see how he reacts, but at the same time, he's just got to do it."

Robinson was one of Michigan's pleasant surprises for his on-field improvement during spring practice, but during the offseason, he made headlines for a completely different reason.

The untested wide receiver faced one misdemeanor charge of malicious destruction of property after damaging an Ann Arbor parking structure gate in early February. His case dragged on throughout the summer before he entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge earlier this month.

He'll be sentenced in September, and if he doesn't violate probation, the charge won't likely appear on his record. It's not something Robinson's of, but also something he's not dwelling on either.

"Right now, I'm just worried about this camp and Sept. 1 and Michigan football," Robinson said. "I never really felt like I took any steps backward or anything, I'm just going to continue to work hard like I've been doing."

On the field, Robinson's focused on getting better each day. Receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski and offensive coordinator Al Borges believe Robinson has what it takes to take the next step, but he understands he has to prove it.

He's never made a catch, his offseason wasn't exactly calm and he'll start the 2012 season with plenty of unanswered questions.

He'll start the year with nothing.

But he can't wait to find out what he'll finish it with.

"It's a great honor to be a receiver here at Michigan, it's a blessing and it's a great opportunity for all of us," he says. " But at the same time, it's just the expectation here to work hard every day. And that's what we do.

"No slackers. That's my motto. No slackers."

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 20, 2012 : 11:05 p.m.

IMO the WRs are not as thin as people think. They have some key skilled guys with size that are coming in, and some of the older players like Gallon and Dileo are very effective in the slot. They are just a bit year though, look out...especially if they can land Tredwell.


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 7:52 p.m.

..Raise 'em Up. Go Blue! v


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

Ah, the smell of the desert in the Autumn, the smell of my barbecue on game day. I enjoy putting up my Michigan flag a tip to my neighbors out here in the desert that 3hours of magical Michigan football is about to begin. Can't wait !


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 9:03 p.m.

what time does the barbecue start and do we bring a dish to pass!! that's that's what i call living. . . GO BLUE!!!


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

Jerald, step up and be the playmaker you should be!


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 4:14 p.m.

"Desmond Howard had just Nine catches before his junior season"...........................ummmm I don't think that is correct. GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve McQueen

Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 11:11 p.m.

I just did a google and found this excellent article on Desmond back in his HS days, along with OJ McDuffy and some guy named Smith who went to Ohio, and is now an obnoxious commentator on ESPN

Steve McQueen

Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 11:06 p.m.

Dont forget that Des came in as a RB recruit...he played HS with Grbac at St. Joes in Cleveland... at Michigan he was switched to WR.

Nick Baumgardner

Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

Heartbreak nailed it. The level of talent when he came in was just ridiculous. Although, I was still surprised to see that number when I looked it up. But has anyone had a better two-year stretch than he had in '90-91? 125 catches, 2,010 yards, 30 touchdowns? Crazy.

Ryan Hale

Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 7:49 p.m. 9 is all.


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

The receiving crew when Desmond came to Ann Arbor was incredible--Chris Calloway and Greg McMurtry got most of the catches, with a few tight ends that got the rest--Jeff Brown and Derrick Walker. Mcmurtry led the team with 44 or so catches, and that was considered a passing team. Howard redshirted and only got in at garbage time during the redshirt frosh year (1989-1990). It was the Notre Dame game in 1990 that was Mo's first game as head coach in which Desmond had his coming out party.


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

That's correct bigblue.


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 2:37 p.m.

Let's hope Roy Roundtree has a full recovery in time for the season opener. If not, then we'll need to see how some of the freshman like Chesson will do. Lots of intrigue because we'll soon find out how accurate Denard will be throwing the ball.


Mon, Aug 20, 2012 : 2:14 p.m.

i love his attitude and his NO SLACKERS motto. . . look for JR to step up bigtime this season!! GO BLUE!!!