The Wolverine

February 2013

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Junior Devin Gardner, who stepped in behind center, never felt any tension from the displaced dynamo. In fact, he experienced just the opposite. "He helped me to be a tough individual and the best leader possible," Gardner noted. Others watched closely while Robinson battled through the end of the season. What they witnessed only served to confirm what they knew. "That has nothing to do with onthe-field stuff," Lewan said. "It's how humble he is. You will never meet a more humble person. When Devin started playing quarterback, it wasn't 'Dammit, I'm not playing quarterback.' It was 'What can I do to help the team? What can I do?' "He's just an unbelievable person. I'm so excited for him and for his future." No Ring, Not Empty-Handed Robinson's NFL future figures to involve a role similar to the one he took at the end of Michigan's 2012 season. He'll head to the pros without a Big Ten championship ring, a gap in his résumé of which he's all too aware. "Oh yeah," he said. "Everybody that comes to Michigan, that's your goal — to win the Big Ten championship, make it to the Rose Bowl. That is a letdown, that you didn't win the Big Ten championship." Don't put that on an individual, Beckmann cautioned. "That's a team thing," Beckmann said. "I don't think you can hang that on an individual and say he didn't win it. The team didn't win it. They haven't won it since '04. It's been eight years. "I don't think you can hang that on Denard. It's a disappointment for him, but I don't think you can say it diminished what he's done on the field. They wouldn't have been what they were without him — that's the bottom line." Nor is Robinson leaving emptyhanded, pointed out fifth-year senior wide receiver Roy Roundtree. "It's pretty tough not winning the Big Ten, but life goes on," Roundtree said. "Denard is going to graduate, I already graduated, most of the seniors are going to graduate. I feel like we accomplished something when we got that degree from Michigan. "It wasn't a Big Ten ring, but we've got something we can cherish for the rest of our lives." Shed no tears for No. 16, Roundtree added. "Denard is a Michigan Man," he said. "His legacy at Michigan is going to stand. I don't think anyone is going to break the records that he has, and he's going to be honored at Michigan, because of the things he's done on the field. "I was blessed to have him as a teammate — great guy, and he's a funny person. I know I'm going to miss him, being around him every day, getting to hear that country accent. He's really going to be missed." Lewan summed it up: "The most dynamic player in college football, and one of the most dynamic players in college football ever. I love the guy." ❑

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