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Posted on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 9:29 a.m.

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson part of inaugural Big Ten players to watch list

By Staff

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is part of the inaugural Big Ten Conference players to watch list released this morning to kick off the league's annual football meetings in Chicago.

Robinson is one of 12 players on the list, and the only one from Michigan. Nebraska (defensive tackle Jared Crick, linebacker Lavonte David), Ohio State (center Mike Brewster, defensive tackle John Simon) and Wisconsin (running backs Montee Ball and James White) were the only teams with more than one player named.

The longtime annual media poll was scrapped by the Big Ten this season in favor of a watch list that honors five players from each division, but an independent poll of 24 media members was released Monday and Robinson and Crick were named league's top offensive and defensive players.

The Big Ten preseason players to watch
Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan
Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State
Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska
Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern

Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois
Damarlo Belcher, WR, Indiana
Mike Brewster, C, Ohio State
John Simon, DT, Ohio State
Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
James White, RB, Wisconsin

*Additional honorees due to tie


Wally the Wolverine

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 4:10 p.m.

My concern about DR is he looked unstoppable against lower echelon teams. When it came time to play the big boys, we had no answer. Hopefully, the O-line is up to the challenge - if not, he'll be forced to create something and risk a beating/injury. Gardner better be ready if called upon.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 6:14 p.m.

Valid concern. Denard's effectiveness against high-level defenses was not his fault, though. Like most have noticed our RBs need to produce more, the OL needs to get a better push and open more holes, but the RBs need to do a better job of finding and exploding through those holes. A high-level defense can minimize the damage from one amazing player, our offense needs more options. Denard improving his accuracy 15+ yards downfield will also help (and I'm not talking about 10 yard passes that turn into 15+ yard gains after the run)

Chad Williams

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 4:48 p.m.

Good point but against good teams means they had better players as well. The offense was so focused on DR. Teams with players that could make plays made the plays. Everyone knew what was coming after the ND game but you can coach all you want its the players that have to make the plays. Also it will help with a running game appeared sometime in the near future.

Chad Williams

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 4:07 p.m.

@hailmary... DR is a freak athlete forget how great of a pro style QB he is or can be. This is college football home of the option for god sake. What DR has is what cant be coached or cant be unlearned. His ability to run is natural. His ability to throw can be taught by what everyone is saying better coaches. This offense will cheat themselves if he doesnt have 10-15 carries a game and those carries will be far more effective if they have RBs who can run the ball and if they give him plays that favors his current passing ability. He is no Chad Henne by far so im not expecting to see him rifle the ball to anyone, but if he becomes stays accurate and learns patience with his running ability he will be a lot more dangerous than any QB not saying better. I dont believe Vick is better than Brady or Manning. The difference is you can beat Brady and Manning rushing 4 players and dropping 7. Flush them out the pocket they are almost useless under pressure because they cant run away. Flush vick out the pocket 10 yards a carry easily especially if your only bringing 4 guys.

Chad Williams

Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 4:49 p.m.

From what i have read from Borges that he isnt no dummy and he knows what he has. I dont think for a second that if needed that denard will have a game or two like last year.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

I think is pretty much spot on ... and I'd bet a dollar to a donut Borges is *way* ahead of us in mapping this out.


Thu, Jul 28, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

Well okay, what I'm really watching for in DR is whether or not he can QB in the pro style (some spread). We know what DR can do in an all out spread atack. The two elements I'm very interested in this yr. is our defense and special teams. I look at QB like this, we're starting from scratch anyways, back to the pro style, new coach and staff and really a seemingly upbeat positive attitude in the players and fan base so if we have to play t he back up QB's a bit I think this is the year to see what we've got. See if DR can QB this offense if not, it's a good year for the backups to get their feet wet so to speak.