Posted at 12:00pm -- 1/18/2010
Mailbag question: Devin Gardner
How will getting Devin Gardner into Michigan early benefit not only him, but also Michigan? Well, is he in for sure or are there still some strings attached? Is this a case of one of those factions in the administrative part of Michigan not allowing him in early?
How does this affect Denard Robinson? How will the coaches approach this spring, knowing, or hoping, that Devin Gardner is coming in early?
Thanks for the question.
Getting in early is a huge benefit for Devin Gardner. The extra time allows him to (somewhat) learn the offense and importantly helps Devin to adjust to college life, where the student-athlete must adapt to going to class and playing football full time.
Getting the extra fifteen practices, having the critical position coaching, receiving a full semester of S&C, and engaging in film break-down is going to have him light years ahead of where he would be if he had arrived in late summer. Just remember the difference between Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson as to coming in early. There was simply a huge, and eventually insurmountable, gap for Denard to overcome.
Devin’s early entry also will benefit Michigan in the long-term. Any short-term prediction for Michigan benefits becomes a bit trickier.
Instead of splitting reps two ways, with D. Robinson and T. Forcier, Michigan will now need to split the reps three ways. That could very well slow the progress of T. Forcier and D. Robinson. We always felt that Nick Sheridan's unfortunate injury really helped T. Forcier's development. He received so many more additional reps that he had a little tired-arm during the spring practices.
D. Robinson will be interesting to watch. If he does not win the quarterback job what happens? We believe he will stay at quarterback for the majority of the spring and early summer.
If it becomes obvious Denard is not going to receive many quarterback reps, he will have a decision to make. Does he stay at quarterback, as a back up, or move to another position without benefit of the spring practice time to learn the position. Or does he want to play quarterback bad enough to consider leaving the program/transferring.
We hope, like we pointed out last year, that we will see one of the best athletes on the field as often as possible. With D. Gardner coming in, the coaching staff will get a look at him early to see if he will be capable enough to be considered a back-up quarterback. If he is capable enough, then D. Robinson could play at quarterback in the wildcat formation, at running back, in the slot, and also at the split end position. UM is in a position where such a talent needs to be on the field and used as a weapon, instead of holding a clipboard. He can still be a quarterback while playing other positions as well, and could help open up the field for everybody else on the team. Can anyone see him one on one with a safety covering the slot, instead of running up the middle into five defenders?
Written by GBMW Staff
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