Loading…
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Current Weather
Loading Current Weather....
Published: 11/13/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Robinson’s status still unknown

BY RACHEL LENZI
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, left, and quarterback Denard Robinson, right, call over the offense during a timeout in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Minneapolis. Robinson did not play because of an undisclosed injury. Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, left, and quarterback Denard Robinson, right, call over the offense during a timeout in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Minnesota, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Minneapolis. Robinson did not play because of an undisclosed injury.
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

ANN ARBOR — Patrick Oma­meh won’t deny it. De­nard Robin­son has be­come the de facto face of the Mich­i­gan foot­ball pro­gram.

“It would be hard to ar­gue that he’s not,” said Oma­meh, a se­nior of­fen­sive line­man for the No. 23 Wol­v­er­ines. “He’s a leader at Mich­i­gan foot­ball, in many ways, and a guy who’s be­come very im­por­tant to not just the teams he’s been on, but to the pro­gram.”

But since a 23-9 loss Oct. 27 at No. 16 Ne­braska, Robin­son’s face has been ab­sent from the play-call­ing and shrouded from the me­dia as he con­tin­ues to re­cover from an in­jury to the ul­nar nerve in his throw­ing arm.

The in­jury has side­lined him for the past two games, and it raises a ques­tion: Will Robin­son play Satur­day for Mich­i­gan (7-3, 5-1 Big Ten) in its fi­nal home game and on the day the pro­gram’s se­niors are hon­ored?

It was dif­fi­cult to ex­tract much in­for­ma­tion in re­gards to Robin­son’s sta­tus from Mich­i­gan coach Brady Hoke dur­ing his weekly me­dia avail­abil­ity Mon­day at Schem­bech­ler Hall. Hoke de­scribed Robin­son as “day-to-day,” but didn't give much in the way of clar­i­fi­ca­tion in re­gards to Robin­son’s avail­abil­ity, ei­ther Satur­day against the Hawkeyes (4-6, 2-4) or for the re­main­der of the sea­son.

“I won’t have any­thing to do with it,” Hoke said of mak­ing that de­ci­sion. “His health is what will have to do with it.”

If Robin­son does not play Satur­day, does Hoke have any par­tic­u­lar emo­tions about it? He an­swered in broad terms.

“Any time a guy can’t fin­ish the way that they would like to, be­cause of in­jury or what­ever, you’re dis­ap­pointed for them,” Hoke said. “They’re all our sons.”

Still, Robin­son’s ab­sence on the field would be glar­ing. He’s wind­ing down his se­nior sea­son and his ca­reer as one of Mich­i­gan’s bright­est and most recog­niz­able play­ers. Even this sea­son, he has ce­mented him­self as one of the Big Ten’s more pro­lific rush­ing quar­ter­backs, de­spite miss­ing the Wol­v­er­ines’ last two games.

Robin­son is third in the Big Ten in rush­ing (118.2 yards a game), third in to­tal of­fense (283.1 yards a game), sixth in all-pur­pose yards (118.2 yards a game) and sev­enth in pass­ing av­er­age (164.9 yards a game).

Yet while Devin Gard­ner has emerged as a re­in­force­ment, pass­ing for 286 yards and two touch­downs in his sec­ond start this sea­son Satur­day against North­west­ern, there is a sen­ti­men­tal swing to­wards Robin­son, who has dressed and been on the side­lines for the Wol­v­er­ines in wins at Min­ne­sota and at home against North­west­ern.

“He’s a source of en­cour­age­ment,” Oma­meh said of Robin­son’s side­line pres­ence. “He’s the kind of guy, what­ever he can do for the team, no mat­ter what the ca­pac­ity is, he’s go­ing to try and do that.”

How much does Oma­meh hope Robin­son gets the op­por­tu­nity to play?

“Ev­ery­body wants to go out the way they dreamed, com­ing into Mich­i­gan,” Oma­meh said. “How those things un­fold, it’s out of my hands. But you have to play the hand that you’re dealt.”

When asked to imag­ine what it would be like not to be able the fi­nal games of his se­nior sea­son, se­nior de­fen­sive end Craig Roh of­fered a hy­po­thet­i­cal an­swer, but of­fered some in­sight into Robin­son’s psy­che.

“Per­son­ally, it would be a lit­tle bit of a tough sit­u­a­tion,” Roh said. “But that’s the great thing about De­nard. He, re­ally, does not seem fazed by any of the stuff he’s go­ing through right now. You give credit to the re­sil­iency that he has, and I think that’s some­thing that’s spe­cial about him.”

BIG TEN HONORS GARDNER: Mich­i­gan quar­ter­back Devin Gard­ner earned Big Ten Co-Offen­sive Player of the Week hon­ors on Mon­day. Gard­ner — who was 16 of 29 for 286 yards pass­ing with two touch­downs — shared the weekly award with Wis­con­sin run­ning back Mon­tee Ball, who rushed for 198 yards and three touch­downs Satur­day against In­di­ana.

BROADCASTS ANNOUNCED: ESPN will broad­cast Mich­i­gan’s fi­nal home game on Satur­day, a noon start against Iowa. ABC will broad­cast Mich­i­gan’s reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale Nov. 24 at Ohio State.

Con­tact Rachel Lenzi at:

rlenzi@the­blade.com,419-724-6510 or onTwit­ter @RLen­ziBlade.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. If a comment violates these standards or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, click the "X" in the upper right corner of the comment box to report abuse. To post comments, you must be a Facebook member. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

Related stories