Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is third-best Heisman Trophy candidate, according to noted oddsmaker
It took Denard Robinson just two starts to propel himself into Heisman Trophy consideration.
Now heading into his third season as a starter, Robinson has yet to become a Heisman finalist — although one noted oddsmaker gives him a good shot at getting to New York as a senior.
Danny Sheridan, one of the country's preeminent handicappers, is giving the Michigan football team's star quarterback 7-to-1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy next year. That's the third-best odds in the country, trailing USC quarterback Matt Barkley and Wisconsin tailback Montee Ball.
Robinson is tied at 7-to-1 with Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
He operated the spread-option offense of Rich Rodriguez his sophomore year, and opened the season by torching Connecticut and Notre Dame to jump into early Heisman talks. He eventually set an NCAA single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
Last season, Robinson ran a hybrid offense that blended components of the spread with the West Coast offense preferred by his new offensive coordinator, Al Borges. His numbers were down, but the offense actually had a slight uptick in scoring (33.3 points per game, up from 32.8).
Borges has said he expects Robinson to make a leap next year, especially in the passing game, as he becomes more accustomed to the new offense. However, Borges also has said he plans to continue to diversify the offense, which could make the unit better but also will impact Robinson's numbers and his viability as a Heisman candidate.
Robinson's Heisman campaign will be put to an early test, as the Wolverines open the season by playing defending national champion Alabama in Dallas. The Crimson Tide finished No. 1 last season in scoring and overall defense.
Alabama will be replacing most of its secondary, however, after cornerbacks Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie and All-America safety Mark Barron each left.