Michigan's Denard Robinson named to watch list for O'Brien Award, given to nation's top QB
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
The Michigan football team's star quarterback has been named a top-five Heisman Trophy candidate by several outlets. He has been called the Big Ten's best quarterback. He's been named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which goes to the nation's most outstanding player.
Now he's landed on another watch list, this one for the Davey O'Brien award, which goes to the country's best quarterback.
Robinson is one of 34 players who made the original list. It will be whittled to 16 semifinalists Oct. 22, then to three finalists Nov. 19. The winner will be announced Dec. 6 at ESPN’s Home Depot College Football Awards.
A Michigan quarterback has never won the award. Brian Griese was a finalist in 1997, as well as Elvis Grbac in 1991 and '92.
Robinson could have a shot as perhaps the country's most dangerous dual-threat quarterback.
He's already set an NCAA record for rushing yards in a season by a quarterback, and is third in career rushing yards (3,229) among active players. Only Boston College's Montel Harris (3,735 yards) and Wisconsin's Montee Ball (3,310) have more.
His weakness has been his passing, although coaches say they expect to see Robinson make a leap next year now that he's in his third season as a starter, and the second year of coordinator Al Borges' spread-West Coast offense.
Robinson was 142-of-258 passing (55.0 percent) for 2,173 yards, 20 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last year. He also rushed 221 times for 1,176 yards and 16 more scores.
He was one of Big Ten quarterbacks to be named to the O'Brien list, joining Iowa's James Vandenberg, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Ohio State's Braxton Miller and Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase.
Other Michigan players to appear on watch lists this summer:
- Kenny Demens (Rotary Lombardi Award for best lineman/linebacker)
- Brendan Gibbons (Lou Groza Award for best kicker)
- Jordan Kovacs (Bronko Nagurski Trophy for best defender)
- Taylor Lewan (Rotary Lombardi Award for best lineman/linebacker, Outland Trophy for best tackle/guard/center)
- Roy Roundtree (Biletnikoff Award for top receiver)
- Fitz Toussaint (Maxwell Award for most outstanding player)