A transcription of dialogue on last night's episode of #theUCshow after I brought up the current legacy of Denard Xavier "Shoelace" Robinson to Kenny...
Kenny: "I have no words for Denard Robinson."
Eddie: "Have we given up on Shoelace Robinson already?"
Till: "Yeah....uh, yeah. He'll still be exciting I guess, but the phenomenon is over."
The phenomenon is over...really? For a man who was arguably the most electrifying man in college football not named Cameron Jerrell Newton, the man whose dreads swished from left to right as he ran wind sprints up and down the field, the man who made us feel comfortable calling a grown man "Shoelace," it is fascinating to hear how quickly we have written off the man. Is the demise of Shoelace truly upon us?
Let's take a quick recap of what Shoelace achieved in 2010:
- In his first season as Michigan's starting quarterback, Robinson had the four top single-game performances in total yards in Michigan history, and six of the top ten.
- Shoelace set the single-season performance record in total offense with 2,570 passing and 1,702 rushing yards.
- Robinson led Michigan to a 28–24 win over Notre Dame. He finished the game with 502 of Michigan's 532 yards of total offense (258 rushing yards and 244 passing yards), breaking the Michigan record he set in his first start.
Safe to say, Shoelace left his mark on the 2010 season.
However, things have changed greatly since the end of the season. The architech, the Oracle, the Godfather, the mastermind of the spread option run offense, Rich Rodriguez, officially left the building due to not living up to "the standard" that Michigan football sees themselves performing at. We know that Rich Rodriguez has done masterful work with quarterbacks in the past like Shaun King, Marc Bulger, and Pat White, and with the full season under Rodriguez's watch, we saw Shoelace light the world on fire.
So what happens with #16 now?
We know that Al Borges has been selected to be the offensive coordinator for Big Blue, and what offense does he run? The same offense that all dual-threat quarterbacks who have played for the Philadelphia Eagles run...the west coast offense. Brady Hoke told Borges that his job is to take Shoelace up another level from what he did in 2010, and the biggest question mark in Shoelace's game has always been his passing ability. Hell, the homie JAG has consistently called Shoelace a "glorified scatback who happens to wear a QB number." He might be biased though, you know JAG is a 2x Buckeye. Al Borges turned Cade McNown and Jason Campbell into first-round picks, and although they had iffy careers in the pros, there's no denying they were "what that was" in college football.
So is the demise of Shoelace Robinson premature? The west coast offense might be the best thing to ever happen to Denard. All that running up and down the field caught up to him at the end of the season, as those nicks and bruises turned into dings and knocks, which sidelined him for a couple of games last season and ruined his candidacy for the Heisman. I'm cautiously optimistic that Shoelace can figure it out. He's got weapons out on the flanks and a team that started out very young are now juniors and seniors. Shoelace captivated our attention last year; now it's up to him to get us to refocus.