The Wolverine

September 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 46 of 99

ing, certain the Maize and Blue had just secured a special group of ath- letes that would help turn the tide in the right direction for a program coming off its first losing season (3-9) since 1967. Rodriguez's foresight has proved accurate, though he wasn't around to see it come to fruition. Quarterback Denard Robinson, of W hen Rich Rodriguez com- pleted his first full recruit- ing class at Michigan, he couldn't stop from smil- course, is the headliner of the class of 2009, setting records for total offense while he continues to establish him- self as simply one of the best to ever wear the winged helmet. Though not as accomplished as 1997 Heisman Trophy-winner Charles Woodson, Robinson is a once-in-a-generation athlete that will forever be remem- bered in Michigan lore. What Robinson lacks is a confer- BY MICHAEL SPATH Showstoppers Class Of 2009 Has Star Power, But Must Continue To Win To Cement Its Legacy CLASS REVIEW: 2009 ence crown. If he and his teammates win one, they will move into the pan- theon of U-M's proud football tradi- tion. The class — which also includes left tackle Taylor Lewan, tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint and defensive end Craig Roh — is on its way to realizing that ambition after leading the Wolverines to an 11-2 record in 2011 and earning preseason-favorite status in the Legends Division. Now comes the tough part — making it happen. current roster features only two All-Big Ten honorees — Robinson (first team, 2010) and Lewan (second team, 2011). A 22-game starter, the quarterback is reaching the point in his career where hyperbole has replaced honest evaluations (faster than a speeding bullet), but despite some faults, Robinson is college foot- ball's most spectacular game-breaker. Good for an average of 293.1 yards of total offense per game and account- ing for 2.6 touchdowns per contest during his 26 starts, Robinson is one of the most dominant players in Michigan football history. His story is not yet complete, however, but with or without a Big Ten championship ring his résumé will stand up for de- cades to come. Taylor Lewan — The Wolverines' Denard Robinson — The senior CONTRIBUTORS SO FAR THE TOP FOUR Left tackle Taylor Lewan was a second-team All-Big Ten pick last season, making him one of just two players from the class of 2009 (along with quarterback Denard Robinson) to earn all-conference notice thus far. PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL SEPTEMBER 2012 THE WOLVERINE 47

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