Denard Robinson practicing on return teams, Brady Hoke says
TAMPA, Fla. -- Brady Hoke says Denard Robinson can do just about anything.
Against South Carolina, that could mean returning kicks and punts.
The Michigan coach said Saturday during a news conference at the Wyndham Westshore Hotel in Tampa that his senior quarterback has worked "a little bit" on return teams during practice for Tuesday's Outback Bowl.
Will he play there against the Gamecocks?
"Possibly -- we'll see," Hoke said, continuing the gamesmanship he has played regarding Robinson's role for his final game.
Hoke said Robinson has fielded punts and kicks well in the month of prep work, noting his days as a high school center fielder has helped him acclimate to the position.
And he certainly knows what to do with the ball, once it's in his hands.
"Denard has pretty good instinct of running with the football," Hoke said. "He was a center fielder in high school. So, seeing the ball off the bat and all those things. You look at the punt game or the kickoff game, he’s got that skill level to field balls."
Robinson lined up once on kick return, to open the second half against Michigan State, but the kick resulted in a touchback. He hasn't lined up there since.
He injured the ulnar nerve in his throwing elbow a week later against Nebraska, and has yet to return to the full-time quarterback role. He missed two games, then spent the past two cycling between tailback, receiver and quarterback.
Offensive coordinator Al Borges said Friday that although Robinson's passing has improved, he will continue to be used in a variety of roles. Hoke affirmed that assessment Saturday, but remained mum on specifics.
"He can do about anything," Hoke said. "He doesn't punt real well, but he can do a lot of things."
Hoke said Devin Gardner will remain involved at quarterback, and that redshirt freshman Russell Bellomy, who hasn't played since struggling in relief of Robinson against Nebraska, is taking most of the second- and third-team snaps at the position.
Quickly: Hoke said offensive lineman Patrick Omameh, who is wearing a cast on his left hand, is fine and will play against South Carolina. "Just a boo-boo," Hoke said.
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