Junior Hemingway: Michigan QB Denard Robinson 'probably' knows he'll play different position in NFL
Denard Robinson has held firm on his public stance that he wants to play quarterback, and only quarterback, for the Michigan football team and in the NFL.
But privately, it appears he already is weighing the prospects of switching positions, according to former teammate Junior Hemingway.
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
"But Denard's is a humble guy," Hemingway continued. "Whatever it is, he’s going to take it in stride, and I ain’t worried about that."
There's no doubt Robinson was the Wolverines' best quarterback last year, when he completed 142-of-258 passes for 2,173 yards and rushed for his second consecutive 1,000-yard season, and there's no reason to believe that will change next year.
But some question whether the decision to keep him at quarterback is his best career move. He's been an effective leader of the offense, but he lacks consistency in the passing game. Accuracy issues continue to plague him, after completing 55 percent of his throws last year and tossing 15 picks, sixth most in the country.
Robinson continues to be an electric runner. He set an NCAA single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback (1,702) in his first year as a starter, and ran for 1,176 more yards last year despite a scheme change that diversified Michigan's rushing attack.
Most analysts believe Robinson projects to play in the NFL, but at another position, probably receiver. ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. went as far as to say recently that Robinson, as of right now, would be been a top-two receiver in next year's draft.
Hemingway, who was Robinson's leading receiver last year, agrees with that projection.
"He’ll probably go into the league as a receiver," Hemingway said.
Robinson has never run a route in a game, although he did line up a few times at wideout in Michigan's deuce formation. Backup Devin Gardner played quarterback in those sets.
Hemingway said Robinson has run routes in practice, though.
"He’ll come out, ‘Hey, let me run a go, let me run a go, man,'" Hemingway said. "'I'm like, Denard, learn something else, man. Everyone knows you’re going deep."
Hemingway said he thinks Robinson has good enough hands to be a receiver.