COULD PRESENCE OF MAGEE, GIBSON PUT PITT IN PLAY?
With Brady Hoke on board in Michigan and talk of Denard Robinson becoming a cornerback under Hoke, speculation is rampant in Ann Arbor that the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year is strongly considering a transfer to a place where he can still play quarterback.
By Eric Lacy
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson didn’t want to talk about his future on the day new head coach Brady Hoke passionately laid out his own.
The only effort Robinson showed was use of his 4.3-speed, to evade reporters eager to hear if Hoke’s hiring would make him want to transfer.
“It was all right, it was good,” Robinson said of a meeting with Hoke on Wednesday morning, while running to his car in a parking lot near Michigan Stadium.
“I have to head to class now.”
The question now remains whether that was the last time Robinson, the Big Ten offensive player of the year, put his athleticism to use as a Wolverine.
Robinson wanted Rich Rodriguez to be retained as Michigan coach. When Rodriguez was fired last week, there was heavy speculation Robinson would leave.
Consider the air of speculation much thicker now.
Robinson set his non-committal tone earlier in the day when he headed into the stadium for the meeting, 90 minutes before Hoke’s press conference.
“No comment,” Robinson, 20, told The Detroit News, shaking his head smiling.
Art Taylor, Robinson’s high school coach in Deerfield Beach, Fla., however, had plenty to say — including that “seven to 10” colleges already have called about the star quarterback’s availability.
“It’s like coming out of high school again,” Taylor said.
Taylor, though, believes his former player hasn’t made a decision whether to stay.
“I don’t know if I could say he’s definitely considering a transfer,” Taylor said. “I think obviously, it has to be in his mind. (But) I don’t know. (The new staff) could tell him, ‘Listen, you’re gonna play defensive back instead of quarterback.’
“That could be something he might want to do, that could be something he might not want to do. Maybe he’ll want to go to a place where he stays playing quarterback.”
Taylor also wouldn’t speculate on a timeline for Robinson to make a decision or share advice he could give to help Robinson come up with an answer.
“Denard is going to do the right thing, talk to the coach, ask the right questions,” Taylor said. “He’ll ask about the type of offense, how he would blend into the offense.
“I’m sure he’ll ask if (a new staff) will try to change him (as a player). Nobody really knows right now.”
GIBSON, MAGEE CONNECTIONS
When thinking about the possibility of Robinson coming to Pitt, it’s been laughed at but with Calvin Maghee onboard as offensive coordinator at Pitt, it can’t be ruled out. At least that’s the thinking from those in the industry.
Magee was Robinson’s offensive coordinator in Michigan and is said to have played a big role in recruiting Robinson to Michigan. The two are extremely close.
At Pitt, Robinson would be reunited with Calvin Magee, get to remain at quarterback without any threat to push him for playing time, still be playing in a BCS conference, despite the Big East being a watered down conference.
The 20-year old sophomore will have to sit out a year if he transfers to another school, which remains the major hurdle on whether Robinson will transfer from Michigan.
If Robinson decided to transfer and explore his options, it is certain that a phone call will be coming from Pitt coach Tony Gibson.
Robinson’s accomplishments last season
*Voted Big Ten offensive player of the year, by coaches and media
*495 touches for 3,959 yards of total offense 329.9 average yards of offense per game
*Completed 155 of 250 passes (62 percent) for 2,316 yards, 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions
*Pass efficiency rating of 152.94, 20th nationally 245 carries for 1,643 yards, including 14 touchdowns Nation’s fourth-leading rusher, at 136.9 yards per game