Denard Robinson for Heisman? Not yet, but he’s off an running

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines carries the ball on a 13 yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Michigan Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Denard Robinson just made Michigan fans’ wildest dreams come true. Well, not quite, but he’s definitely going to have the maize and blue clad minions smiling from ear to ear tonight.

Robinson torched the Connecticut defense today for 198 yards on 29 carries, and was 19-for-22 for 188 yards through the air in Michigan’s 30-10 victory. That second number is huge, because anyone that watched Robinson throw a football in game action last year might faint at the sight of that completion percentage.

When he arrived on the scene in Ann Arbor a year ago, Robinson excited Michigan fans with his elite speed. His inability to produce in the passing game, however, made him more of a situational player while his classmate, Tate Forcier, handled the bulk of the load. Now that Forcier has fallen out of favor with Rich Rodriguez (true freshman Devin Gardner entered the game for a few plays after Robinson went out with a minor injury in the third quarter), Robinson seems to have a firm grasp on the starting quarterback position in Ann Arbor. His performance today will do nothing but strengthen that.

So is Robinson a true Heisman Trophy contender? It’s way too early to say — and remember, Michigan started out on fire last year, and many were asking the same question about Forcier. But he’s definitely off to a good start, and I’d expect him to be on most Heisman watch lists on Monday. If he helps lead Michigan back to prominence, don’t be surprised to see him in New York in December.

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