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Posted on Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Michigan QB Denard Robinson lists his Heisman frontrunner(s), says winning it himself not a goal

By Kyle Meinke

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson says he likes quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford or Robert Griffin III or Baylor to win the Heisman Trophy.

"And I like Trent Richardson," he added in the next breath of the Alabama tailback. "He runs the ball really tough."

Then, laughing: "I'm not a defensive guy, but I like (LSU's Tyrann) Mathieu. The Honey Badger, I like him."

For those keeping score at home, Robinson likes every finalist except Wisconsin running back Montee Ball to win the Heisman Trophy (8 tonight, ESPN) — ironically, the one player who hails from his conference.


The Heisman Trophy will be presented tonight in New York.

Associated Press

But his coach, Brady Hoke, says the junior quarterback should have been among them.

"I can't sit here and rattle off statistics, but in the Big Ten Conference he took a team to 10-2," Hoke said.

Robinson finished 133-for-237 passing (56.1 percent) for 2,056 yards, 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He also rushed 208 times for 1,163 yards and 16 scores.

He finished first in the Big Ten in total offense and third in touchdowns, despite transitioning to offensive coordinator Al Borges' "spread-West Coast" hybrid offense and an assortment of injuries, including a staph infection that was revealed for the first time Friday.

He nearly lost a game because of it, but didn't. Robinson has started at quarterback each of Michigan's 25 games the past two seasons.

Hoke said Robinson deserves to be in New York for the way he led his team to 10 wins, despite the adversity.

"I think the biggest growth was him understanding progression reads and understanding how you move in a pocket without moving 100 mph, how you step up in there a little bit and gain a little more time and scan the field a little better," Hoke said.

"At the end of the year, because he was healthier and because we were able to some degree take a little relief off him running the ball, he was much more physical and decisive in running the football."

Robinson said he is unsurprised by his coach's support of him for the Heisman, but that winning the award will not be a goal of his next year.

"I just want to go out there and rack up some wins," he said. "That’s it."

Kyle Meinke covers Michigan football for He can be reached at 734-623-2588, by email at and followed on Twitter @kmeinke.



Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 6:13 a.m.

The Heisman should not be your goal. Working hard enough as to get results out of yourself that make Heisman voters take notice? That should indeed be everyone's goal.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

I don't know why we're talking about this. Denard has the right idea. I think he did what was most important for Michigan this season, i.e. win, get better at QB, send the seniors out right, beat OSU and ND at home...BCS bowl a definite bonus. Next season, trying to win our division and beat MSU are reasonable, given the brutality of our schedule, and keep getting better at QB. Winning the Heisman is cool, but #1 is getting Michigan back where we belong--in-state dominance, Big Ten dominance, rivalry dominance and national dominance.


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 11:10 a.m.

Michigan AD: Ohio State has too many football coaches on staff Associated Press Ann Arbor— Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says he doesn't understand the waiver that allows Ohio State to briefly exceed the limit of football coaches on staff after hiring Urban Meyer. The existing staff, under Luke Fickell, will prepare the Buckeyes on the field up to and including their Gator Bowl game against Florida on Jan. 2. Meyer, the incoming coach, will handle only recruiting while hiring his own assistants. The NCAA has approved the arrangement, saying it's not all that rare. Brandon, though, said in an e-mail to the Associated Press: "It allows more coaching resources to work on the two primary responsibilities of any staff — coaching and recruiting. I am struggling to understand how this relates to the 'level playing field' the NCAA claims it is always working


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 1:55 a.m.

Didn't he already win the Heisman in September 3x in a row, including this year?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

Denard has the attitude! You work and practice and play as hard and as well as you can, and do what you can to help the team to win every game. At the end of the season, if your work was better than theirs, you win the Big Ten and go to the Rose Bowl. After the regular season and the conference playoff, if someone on the team has really earned an award and is chosen to receive it, that's great. This kid I hereby dub Saint Denard of Michigan.

Terry Star21

Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

Denard is modest, though certainly of Heisman conversation. Without making excuses, DRobb is adjusting between two systems. We should reserve our Heisman talk until next year - as his decisions and playmaking should be much improved. Right now and always for DRobb it's THE TEAM ! MgoBlueForTiM.........DRobb like Bo, the team, the team, the team.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 11:27 p.m.

10-2 in the big ten apparently means you deserve lots of things in this world!!!!! LOL This is ridiculous (Hope Don is right that it was a baited question) So according to that logic, Wisconsin, MSU, and OSU should have had players in New York last year?!?!


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

HEISMAN!!!!!!! Now you're talking the MEANIES language! Meangoblue has a score to settle, your not hansel, he's not Gretel Drob will win the bronze in 12 AND 13 he is the greatest, the best ever seen!!! is it possible to trade the U-M Alumni Association-organized prize package valued at approximately $4,200 for a trip to the Heisman ceremony??


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Meinke: &quot;Hoke said Robinson deserves to be in New York for the way he led his team to 10 wins, despite the adversity.&quot; From the press conference transcript located at: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Question: &quot;Why do you think Denard should be in New York for the Heisman ceremony? Hoke: "Well, I can't sit here and rattle off statistics, but in the Big Ten conference, he took the team to 10-2. It wasn't solely him, because none of those awards are solely one person's. I don't know his stats for the year -- I'm not a big stats guy -- but what he did." There's some lost context here ... nowhere earlier in the press conference do I see Hoke saying Robinson should be in New York for the ceremony. Did Hoke imply that Robinson should be? If so, I don't see it. Hoke's answer does not suggest Robinson should be in New York. Hoke's answer was a relatively generic acknowledgement of Robinson's accomplishments. But most importantly, I don't see the word &quot;deserves&quot; anywhere in Hoke's comments with respect to Robinson and the Heisman. He uses the word with respect to Molk at the Rimmington, but that was after the award from given. Kyle ... this is not nit-picking; this is important ... Hoke has a foundational philosophy of hard work and earning what one receives. The idea of &quot;deserving&quot; to be in Heisman consideration when he's not a finalist is a direct contradiction to that philosophy. To say Robinson &quot;deserves&quot; to be in New York when he's not a finalist makes Hoke sound whiney, which he most definitely is not. You put the words into Hoke's mouth ... he did NOT say it, nor did he imply it.

Lorain Steelmen

Mon, Dec 12, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

Don, Thanks for your post! It is particularly significant, given the Hoke program, of 'team first'. I agree with your perspective here.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

Is this a joke? He turned the ball over 16 times.