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Posted on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

As Michigan receivers erase 'carnival of missed assignments,' Jerald Robinson stands out among them

By Kyle Meinke

In the Michigan football team's continued search for a third wide receiver, one name is mentioned more than any other.

Jerald Robinson.

The sophomore has appeared in only two career games, and has yet to record a catch. But whenever the topic of who will play alongside Roy Roundtree and Jeremy Gallon is broached, it is Robinson whose praise has been most effusive.

Consider this from offensive coordinator Al Borges, on who has stepped up this spring: "The same cast of characters, you know, save Jerald Robinson, who’s really proven some toughness because he’s been a little banged up, but he’s not bad. He’s done a very nice job. I’ve been happy with Jerald."


Jerald Robinson (83) is tackled by Quinton Washington during last year's spring game. Robinson is the hot name among wide receivers headed into the 2012 spring game on Saturday.

Angela J. Cesere |

There are major questions regarding the Wolverines' receiving corps. Junior Hemingway, last year's top wideout, has graduated and Darryl Stonum, the top returner, was kicked off the team.

That's a lot of firepower lost from a group that recorded only 108 catches last year. For comparison, receivers made 197 catches in 2010 -- and Roundtree and Stonum combined for 121 themselves.

Of course, it wasn't just the receivers who were culpable for last season's struggles. Quarterback Denard Robinson had accuracy issues much of the year, completing only 55 percent of his passes and tossing 15 interceptions. That was sixth most in the country.

But there also were an array of missed assignments among the receivers, as they picked up Borges' new spread-West-Coast offense. That's one area where they could make a big leap next season.

"We get very few missed assignments now, whereas last spring, it would be a carnival of missed assignments," Borges said. "It’s not their fault. New system, that’s going to happen. But we just don’t get it anymore from those players that have played significantly."

Borges also mentioned juniors Drew Dileo and Jeremy Jackson as possible contributors.

"Drew Dileo, again, is consistent, smart, tough," Borges said. "Jeremy’s been healthy, and because he’s been healthy, his game has taken another step. It’s good to have him because he gives us some range at the position that we lost in Junior."

The competition could take on a new look in the fall, when freshmen Amara Darboh and Jehu Chesson arrive on campus. Both come highly touted, although Darboh is considered a little more college ready.

But Borges isn't promising anything.

"The guys coming in, we have no idea who’s going to help us," Borges said of the freshmen in general. "Neither does anybody in the entire country, regardless of what you told them in recruiting. No one does, because sometimes, guys come in and ... they’re just not as good or they’re not ready.

"When we get into the first weekend in fall, we start all over again. You install your system, evaluate what you have, and see who’s got the best chance to play at that point. You have a new batch of players.”

Robinson, on the other hand, is more of a known commodity, even if he hasn't yet shown it on Saturdays. He's a big body at 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds, and could help fill the role occupied last year by Hemingway on deep balls.

"This year, Jerald’s going to get a great look," Borges said recently. "So far what we’ve seen, he’s going to make a contribution, and he is that big, physical guy much like Junior was.

"If you’re asking how to replace (Junior), he’s definitely at least one answer. ”

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



Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 4:39 p.m.

Just out of curiosity, how many games did DR lose last year due to accuracy issues or throwing off his back foot? How many games did DR help win by his ability to make a play? How many games were lost to admitted poor play calling? JUST ASKING!

Scott Laux

Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 1:33 a.m.

No kidding. These people who criticize Denard don't have a clue. When he's gone we'll know what we lost.


Tue, Apr 10, 2012 : 5:13 a.m.

I agree whole heartedly T10! Take for instance the msu game. I could have called better plays than that. And O line were just getting beat and out played on every single snap it seemed. The running game stayed at home. But the play calling was just horrible. And oh yeah, I guess it was DR's accuracy issues that cost us the ohio game???? Oh my bad, we won that one.


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Thank you Tally 10! I don't understand why all the hate on Denard. It's not like he hasn't admitted that he has things to correct. And it's not like he has ever shown anything but a humble team first attitude. So why hate on him??


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

it won't matter any if St. Denard doesn't stop throwing off his back foot...


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 2:41 p.m.

Even one good receiver especially a tall receiver can do major damage if the QB can get him the ball. What was that young mans name that played for Notre Dame last year during the night game against Michigan ? That young man was all over the Michigan secondary I mean we just couldn't stop him and he was tall and ran good routes. When Shane comes to town I imagine that ball will be zinging to receivers. If Denard can get his accuracy under control, I believe the sky is the limit for Michigan this year. Go Blue !

Scott Laux

Wed, Apr 11, 2012 : 1:44 a.m.

Didn't you say it was hopeless? That we'll be lucky to go 7-6? With all the hype my bet is that both Denard and Bellomy are more successful than Morris. Nothing against Morris- it's just that when you count your eggs before they are hatched- heck even before the chicken has laid the egg- bad things happen (ego, delusion, arrogance, kharma).


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

Denard Robinson, winner of two September Heismen Trophy's is all that Michigan needs!


Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 12:31 p.m.

Why am I looking for an ad for The University of Alabama on an Ann Arbor publication that covers University of Michigan athletics?

Small Business Owner

Mon, Apr 9, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

Agreed. I think UM should follow suit and place an ad on Alabama's main site.