There is a blazing fast freshmen quarterback nicknamed Shoelace, who is turning heads in Ann Arbor. Denard Xavier Robinson acquired the nickname Shoelace, because he doesn’t tie his shoelaces when he is playing football or running track. That seems a bit strange for sure but it seems really bizarre when you consider just how fast Robinson is. He has run the 40 yard dash in 4.32 seconds, the 100 meter in 10.44 seconds and the 200 meter in 21.89 seconds. He runs that fast without his laces tied. “Damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. Anybody that runs that fast, I’m not going to tell him how to tie his shoes.” remarked Michigan’s QB coach Rod Smith.
Michigan plucked Shoelace, who hails from Deerfield Beach, Florida, out of the clutches of Urban Meyer, who also coveted the lightning fast playmaker. Since arriving on campus in June, Robinson has forced his way into the QB race. His speed and playmaking ability demand that he see the field early and often. Take a look at a few of the highlights MGoBlue reports from practice last week.
- 8/21: Robinson scored on a 58-yard run around the left side of the offensive line.
- 8/20: Denard Robinson hit wideout Kelvin Grady along the right side of the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown.
- 8/19: Denard Robinson had a pair of plays over 40 yards, including a 45-yard TD pass to receiver Greg Mathews in the two minute drill.
- 8/18: Quarterback Denard Robinson scampered 68 yards on a broken play during third down drills.
- 8/17: Quarterback Denard Robinson accounted for four touchdowns at practice, scoring a pair of rushing scores and tossing two TD strikes.
Robinson’s speed was a huge topic at Michigan’s Media Day on Sunday. Tate Forcier was asked about Robinson and said, “He’s gifted. The speed he has, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m surprised his shoes haven’t fallen off. He gets tackled and his shoes stay on, so if that’s how he wants to play, then I ain’t going to question him about it.”
Michigan RB Coach Fred Jackson didn’t hold back when talking about Shoelace’s speed, “I promise you this, there ain’t nobody in the country who can catch him,” Jackson said. In my 18 years here, I’ve never seen a kid that fast. Nowhere. And I’ve seen some fast kids on other teams, (but) I’ve never seen anybody that fast. “I mean, it’s scary. Every time you miss him in practice, strike the band up, it’s a touchdown. He’s going to shock a lot of people.”
I’m telling you Michigan is going to surprise people this year. The debacle that was 2008 featured an offense devoid of healthy playmakers and experienced players. The 2009 offense will look dramatically different. Starting with the offensive line, which is much improved and features Rimington Trophy Candidate David Molk at center as well as Stephen Schilling at guard (Mel Kiper rates Shilling as the fourth best guard prospect in the nation among underclassmen). Setting up shop behind that line will be a combination of Tate Forcier, Denard Robinson, and yes Nick Sheridan. At their disposal will be a rejuvenated Brandon Minor, the speedsters; Carlos Brown, Michael Shaw, and Vincent Smith as well as Kevin Grady, Mike Cox and fullback Mark Moundros.
The receiving corps is deeper and more experienced then last years thin group. A surprise infusion of talent came from Michigan’s basketball team when point guard Kelvin Grady swapped in his hoops jersey for a winged helmet.
Shoelace will add another dimension to this offense.
For more on Denard Robinson check out these links