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Posted on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 10:31 a.m.

Michigan football teammates Denard Robinson and Fitz Toussaint make Maxwell Award watch list

By Nick Baumgardner


Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and running back Fitz Toussaint were both named to the 2012 Maxwell Award watch list Monday.

Melanie Maxwell |

Denard Robinson and Fitz Toussaint figure to be pretty important cogs for the Michigan football team this season.

And more than a month before the season kicks off, the Wolverine backfield duo has already received national notoriety.

Both Robinson and Toussaint were named to the 2012 Maxwell Award watch list Monday, putting their names in preseason contention for an award that goes to the most outstanding college football player in America.

The Michigan senior quarterback and junior running back were among 65 players to make the first cut for the award.

The Maxwell list will be trimmed to semifinalists on Oct. 29 and will eventually be awarded on Dec. 6 as part of ESPN's College Football Awards show.

The last Michigan player to win the Maxwell Award was Desmond Howard in 1991. Tom Harmon also won the honor in 1940.

Generally considered the most prestigious non-Heisman Trophy college football award, the Maxwell went to Stanford's Andrew Luck last season. Former Auburn signal-caller Cam Newton won the honor in 2010, while ex-Texas quarterback Colt McCoy took it home in 2009.

Robinson threw for 2,173 yards last season and ran for 1,176. He accounted for 36 total touchdowns and also threw 15 interceptions. Currently, the Michigan signal caller is listed as an 11-to-2 favorite to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy by noted sports betting site

Toussaint, meanwhile, ran for 1,041 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. He became the first Michigan running back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark since Mike Hart in 2007.

Also last season, Toussaint and Robinson became the first Michigan duo to each rush for 1,000 yards since Rob Lytle and Gordon Bell did so in 1975.

Other notable Maxwell Award watch list members are Wisconsin's Montee Ball, Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell, Nebraska's Rex Burkhead, Alabama's A.J. McCarron, Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Notre Dame's Cierre Wood.

The full list can be found here.

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



Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

What's Denard saying to Fitz? "Where we gonna go bar hopping after the game?" "Where's the treat?" - Jaba the Hoke


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:06 a.m.

Nice to hear that an award has already been named after Andrew Maxwell. Fitz will drink to that! Where's the threat?


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

Awards watchlists mean two things: 1. Nothing. 2. That football season is just around the corner. Ergo, I LOVE awards watchlists.


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

...and I'd like to add that the pic accompanying this article should serve as pretty solid proof that Denard is anything but a fragile, skinny kid.


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 10:53 a.m.

Thank you for an article on players who have played and played well......and not on the meanderings of high school "stars."

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Them guys is real good! Okay, now: How many days till Alabama???? Go BLUE!


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

if the Shoelace, Fitz ... let them be outstanding! GO BLEU...


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

Braxton Miller, seriously? This list is not too exclusive, just yet!

Howard the Duck

Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

Every year the media projects the Michigan quarterback as one of the top players in the country, or even a Heisman candidate. Every year, after about the second B1G game, that projection evaporates. This year, history will again repeat itself.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

Michigan's defense is slightly above average. MSU's defense is OUTSTANDING. UM is not a physical team. MSU will dominate them physically in all phases. Not touch football. The recruiting rankings go out the window when the teams are between the lines. Where's the threat?


Tue, Jul 10, 2012 : 10:57 a.m.

It may well do so, but it should be very interesting when they play.....with Robinson, you are never out of the game.......and Michigan's defense is now a big factor, unlike being a second thought under RR........


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

MSU won't be? Let's see - Le'Veon Bell is also on this same list, and Sparty has four players on the Bednarik watch list for best defensive player, awarded by the same group while U-M has...none. The only other schools with 4 candidates are LSU and Alabama. I'd say Sparty is going to be extremely relevant this year.


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

and maxwell will do what for sparty this season? oh that's right the media doesen't care, the heisman watch is non existant and any projection for him can't even evaporate. . . good times!! have a quack of a summer! GO BLUE!!!


Mon, Jul 9, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

You are probably right about history repeating itself. Michigan will be relevant and MSU well, won't be. This is proven by your continuous posts on U-M articles.