Tate Forcier or Denard Robinson?

Many people are wondering who is going to be "that guy" this year that will finally return Michigan to greatness.  Everyone had high expectations last season when the "California Kid" Tate Forcier enrolled early to take the helm in the spring.  Michigan also had another talented quarterback prospect in that recruiting class in Denard "Shoelace" Robinson.  Denard didn't enroll early like Tate and due to Tate having more time with the offense, he naturally became the choice for the starting quarterback.  By every one's standards Tate seemed like an underdog.  People were saying that he is too short, he is prone to getting banged up, he is quick but alot of times not quick enough, and he has a good arm but not a great arm.  Despite what critics were saying about him, he succeeds in spite of this.  As a true freshman he led Michigan to a 4-0 start, including two late fourth quarter drives against Notre Dame and Indiana.  Could Tate become the next Mike Hart, the little guy that could?  Even though the wheels seemed to fall off after a great start, Tate couldn't be blamed entirely for the rest of the season.  Alot of people don't understand that Tate Forcier was never truly an underdog.  He was a very polished high school quarterback, seemingly groomed to become a quarterback.  Both of Tate's older brothers also played quarterback in college. Tate is probably the most overall athletic quarterback Michigan has had since Rick Leach in the mid-70's.  Due to all of this most people would think that Tate is naturally going to remain Michigan's "that guy." 

Then there is Denard Robinson, "Mr. Lightning", "Mr. Did He Just Do That", and as most of us know him by just one word "Shoelace".  Coming out of high school Denard was the epitome of an underdog.  Nobody wanted Denard as a quarterback.  To be honest, no one really knew where on the field to actually play him during his recruitment process.  Different teams had him slated at different positions.  He was seen as a cornerback, a receiver, and some even had him projected as a running back.  No one seemed to care that he has a cannon for an arm, or was unstoppable in high school running from the quarterback position.  All recruiters seen was a low high school completion rate and that he rarely threw short routes.  No one cared that the coach was making the play calls and who knows how many of his passes were actually poor throws or if they were good throws and the receivers either ran the wrong route or dropped the pass.  All anyone looked at was that Denard Robinson was first and foremost a runner, and a passer last.  Everyone except for Coach Rodriguez doubted his ability to be a college quarterback and he was given the infamous "Athlete" tag.  Denard never listened to the critics and continued working hard to live his dream of being a college quarterback.  When Denard came to Michigan her earned the back-up quarterback position in only one months practice time.  Due to Denard's lack of knowing Rich Rod's offense (only having one moth to learn it) we seen a glimpse of what Denard is capable of on his very first play from scrimmage.  Even though he fumbled his very first snap, he picked it up and ran 43 yards making multiple defenders miss for a touchdown.  By the end of his first season, Denard was 14-31 passing with 4 interceptions and the staff had pretty much made him a run only quarterback. 

Fast forwarding to the offseason, I met with Denard outside his dorm room in Ann Arbor for an interview a few weeks ago.  Denard told me that during the offseason the coaches approached him about possibly giving him some time this season as a receiver.  You would think that Denard would be excited about seeing more playing time, but it was just the opposite.  Denard told me that he didn't want to play any position expect for Michigan's starting quarterback.  He said that when the coaches told him this it lit a fire inside of him.  He started working harder, getting bigger and faster.  He also started working more on his throwing motion and studied the offensive plays in his free time.  Now according to my sources it looks as if this new found attitude and desire has paid off for Denard.   Sources tell me that barring any major mistakes in practice or any injuries, Denard Robinson will be Michigan's starting quarterback when they kick off the season against UConn on September 4th.  Many people have different views on who should be Michigan's starting quarterback.  All that should matter to any of us is that either "Shoelace" or the "California Kid" steps up to become "that guy" who will lead this team back to greatness.


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