Denard Robinson trying to make return as passer before transitioning to NFL prep
CLEARWATER BEACH, Fla. -- Denard Robinson will go pro in something other than quarterback.
But he's giving his best effort to have one more go at it.
The Michigan captain said Sunday that his elbow is improving -- and with it, he's beefed up his throwing load heading into the 19th-ranked Wolverines' matchup against No.11 South Carolina (10-2) in the Outback Bowl.
"It’s getting better and better," Robinson said Sunday at the team's Florida hotel. "I’ve been throwing more in practice, and that's getting better."
Robinson knows he will have to transition to another position in the NFL, and plans to stick around Ann Arbor after the season to train for it while he finishes his degree. He's on track to graduate in May with a degree in general studies.
He's waiting to decide on a trainer until he hires an agent after the season. He said he's already been invited to multiple postseason senior games, including the Senior Bowl, but hasn't decided which he'll attend.
Those are decisions he will make after the Outback Bowl.
For now, he's focused only on facing South Carolina, which likely offers his final chance to play the position he loves.
Robinson hasn't been Michigan's full-time quarterback since damaging the ulnar nerve in his throwing elbow against Nebraska on Oct. 27. He missed two games, then appeared in the next two at tailback, receiver and quarterback.
Although he prefers quarterback, he said he's grown increasingly comfortable in his new utility role now that he's had several weeks to rep in it.
"I’m a football player," Robinson said. "I’ve been playing football for I don’t know how many years. I know I can play anything. When it comes down to it, it’s just going out there and keep playing."
Robinson lately has worked to add a new dimension to his game: Route running.
Although he lined up some at receiver in the season's final two games, he never caught a downfield pass. His only two receptions came against Iowa on screen passes.
But Robinson said he's worked on his routes in practice lately, something he said he hadn't done much of since playing street football as a kid back in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
"It’s fun," he said. "Just learning something new and getting used to it."
Robinson continues to remain coy about his role against South Carolina, and that likely will remain the case until game day.
But it's clear he hopes throwing will be on the menu one final time.
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