- Michael Rothstein, ESPN Staff Writer
While Michigan junior quarterback Denard Robinson will likely finish his career at the end of next season at or near the top of the Wolverines' passing, rushing and total offense ledgers, getting there on the NCAA level is a lot more difficult.
And save for a couple of records, it'll be a reach for him to reach the top 25 -- but that is impressive in itself considering he wasn't used terribly much as a freshman.
Here we break down where he currently stands, who is next on the list what he'd need to average through 14 games to set the record (giving Michigan the benefit of the doubt of reaching a bowl next season but not necessarily the Big Ten championship game), his likeliness to set or tie the record and a guess where he'll eventually end up. This will be career marks only.
Rushing Yards, all players: Robinson is well outside the Top 25 with 3,216 yards. Average to set the record: 227.2 yards a game to catch Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne, who gained 6,397 yards. Likelihood to reach the record: None. Where he ends up: Hovering around the top 25 all-time. Ken Simonton is No. 25 with 4,802 yards and Robinson would have to average 113.3 yards a game to have a shot at him. While that seems unlikely, it isn’t impossible.
Rushing Touchdowns, all players: Robinson is tied for eighth among active players with 35 but well outside the all-time top 25. Average to set the record: 2.7 touchdowns a game to tie or pass Miami (Ohio) running back Travis Prentice, who had 73. Likelihood to reach the record: None. Where he ends up: It depends. If guys like Wisconsin’s Montee Ball and Oregon’s LaMichael James leave for the NFL, it is possible he could sneak into the top 25 -- Ball and Bernard Pierce both are at No. 25 with 51 career touchdowns -- but he’d need to have a Heisman-like season to get there.
Rushing Yards, quarterbacks: Robinson is 13th with 3,215 yards. Next up: Former Tampa quarterback Fred Solomon, with 3,299 yards from 1971-74. Average to set the record: 90.2 yards a game to catch West Virginia’s Pat White, who gained 4,480 yards from 2005-08. Likelihood to reach the record: Good. A 1,000-yard season gives him a good shot. Where he’ll end up: Barring injury or a drastic offensive change for Michigan again, Robinson will pass White in one of the final two games of his career to hold the career mark.
Rushing Touchdowns, quarterbacks: The NCAA doesn’t do a great job tracking all leaders, but Robinson has 35, inside the top 25. Average to set the record: 1.7 a game to tie or break the record set by Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick (2007-10) and Nebraska’s Eric Crouch (1998-01) with 59. Likelihood to reach the record: Not likely, but not impossible. Where he’ll end up: He could end up fourth behind Kaepernick, Crouch and Florida’s Tim Tebow, who had 57. But he passes 50 rushing touchdowns, that should cement him in the top 5 -- at least among those who also are the top 25 quarterback rushers of all-time.
Total offense: Robinson is well outside the top 25 at 8,030 yards. Average to set the record: Unknown, as Houston quarterback Case Keenum is the career leader with 19,217 yards and counting. Likelihood to reach the record: None. Where he’ll end up: Again, tough to say. To reach the top 25, he’ll likely have to gain between 3,800-4,000 yards next season and counting. It isn’t out of the question -- but he’ll probably at best finish in the top 20. Too many active players to make a true determination right now.
7dMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy