Michigan's Robinson plans to be an NFL QB

Michigan's Robinson plans to be an NFL QB

Denard Robinson knows some people think he'll have to switch positions to make it in the NFL. He has other ideas.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Denard Robinson knows some people think he'll have to switch positions to make it in the NFL.

He has other ideas.

"I'm planning on being a quarterback,'' Robinson said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "We'll see what happens.''

The dynamic Michigan QB can start taking more steps toward his goal when the Wolverines start spring practice on Saturday.

"It's a big spring and it'll be a big season for Denard in that regard,'' offensive coordinator Al Borges said. "If he can take the next step as a passer, there will be a team that will tailor an offense to his skill level, just like the Denver Broncos did with Tim Tebow. But Denard's got to improve in the passing game and he knows that.''

Robinson connected on 55 percent of his passes last season - down from 63 percent from the previous year - with 20 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions. He ran for 1,176 yards and 16 touchdowns.

The speedy QB with an inconsistent arm helped Michigan win 11 games, including the Sugar Bowl, in Brady Hoke's debut as coach.

Robinson filed paperwork with the NFL Draft Advisory Board to get a gauge of where he might be selected if he skipped his senior season, but insisted he didn't pay attention to its response. He said the board didn't let him know what areas need improving for him to play at the next level, but Hoke and Borges have given him a list to check off this spring to help him next season.

"I've got to be a better leader,'' he said. "I have to do things on and off the field that help us accomplish our goal of winning the Big Ten championship.''

Robinson sounded as if he intended to stay in school all along. That has allowed him to be just like another student, cheering and jeering in the stands at Michigan basketball games.

"That showed me that it was a great decision that me and coach Hoke made,'' Robinson said. "I'm enjoying college life. I'm having fun with it.''

Michigan closed last season with four straight wins in the regular season, finishing one game behind rival Michigan State in the Legends Division.

Robinson struggled to have success consistently in a new scheme that presented him with a mix of old and new tasks, including going under center for snaps regularly for the first time since he was at Deerfield Beach (Fla.) High School. He also wasn't Michigan's first, second and third option on offense as he was for Rich Rodriguez when he became the first NCAA player to pass for 2,500 yards and run for 1,500 in a season.

He was slowed by a staph infection on his right forearm last season. The pain lingered for two to three weeks and almost kept him out of a game.

Robinson bounced back by completing 71 percent of his passes for five TDs with only one interception in wins over rival Ohio State and Nebraska with 253 yards rushing and two more scores. Those performances helped the proud-again program win 10 games and get a BCS bowl bid for the first time since 2006.

Borges believes Robinson will show tangible signs of improvement in his second season with Hoke's staff and system.

"We should see it with the timing of his throws and him having a better grasp of route structures, audibles and protection checks,'' Borges said. "He'll also improve with decision-making, knowing when to throw it away and when not to run. And if he can get better with his footwork issues in the pocket, it should reduce interception and increase his completion percentage.''

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