Michigan Wolverines: 2013 NFL draft

Denard Robinson is heading back to Florida.

The former Michigan quarterback was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 135th pick in the 2013 NFL draft, the second pick in the fifth round.

Denard Robinson
AP Photo/Michael ConroyDenard Robinson was a fifth-round draft pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The interesting thing is his projected position in Jacksonville. He played quarterback in college and was looked at as a wide receiver during a lot of pre-draft workouts. The Jaguars' Twitter account says they selected him as a running back from Michigan.

Robinson now continues to make the transition from record-setting spread option quarterback to professional hybrid -- something started when he aggravated the ulnar nerve in his right elbow against Nebraska on Oct. 27, 2012. Robinson sat for two games and returned in a role as a hybrid receiver, running back, quarterback with Devin Gardner as Michigan’s starter.

His healing process has been slow. He struggled to grip a football throughout the remainder of his Michigan career and early on in his professional transition. In his college career, he caught three passes for 31 yards.

Robinson set the NCAA record for career quarterback rushing yards with 4,495 and was the first player in FBS history to pass for 2,500 yards and rush for 1,500 yards in the same season in 2010.

He finished his Michigan career second in rushing yards, behind only Mike Hart, and third in career rushing touchdowns with 42. He is fourth in Michigan history in passing yards with 6,250 and fourth in touchdown passes with 49.

He has more total yards than any Michigan player, with 10,769, and scored 91 total touchdowns, more than any other Wolverine.

Robinson chose Michigan over Florida and UCF in his recruiting process. Robinson and Taylor Lewan are two of the better prospects former Wolverines coach Rich Rodriguez signed during his three years at Michigan.

Michigan went without a selection in the first three rounds of the NFL draft for only the fifth time since 1970 -- joining 1976, 1989, 2006 and 2009. The Wolverines went without a pick in the first four rounds for the first time since the 1968 NFL/AFL draft, when Rocky Roesma went to the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth round.

Other stories on Robinson:
Denard Robinson, Jordan KovacsIcon SMI, Getty ImagesDenard Robinson and Jordan Kovacs had a competiton at school's pro day on Thursday.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Jordan Kovacs didn’t need much more motivation for Michigan’s pro day on Thursday, but just in case, his workout partner Denard Robinson gave him some anyway.

Kovacs and Robinson set up a three-event competition for the pro day. Loser buys dinner at The Chop House, an expensive downtown Ann Arbor steakhouse.

This could come as a potential surprise, but Robinson will be the one paying.

“Oh man, stop. Stop bringing it up,” Robinson said, laughing. “He did great today and take my hat off to him. I knew he’d do great today.”

While the former Michigan quarterback turned wide receiver did not do much other than positional drills at wide receiver, running back and punt returner during the Michigan pro day, Kovacs stood out.

The former Michigan safety beat Robinson’s times in the 20-yard shuttle -- which he ran in 4.19 seconds -- and the three-cone drill, which he completed in 6.62 seconds. Robinson’s NFL combine times in those drills were 4.22 in the 20-yard shuttle and 7.09 seconds in the three-cone drill.

Robinson handled Kovacs in the 40-yard dash, running 4.43 seconds at the combine to Kovacs' 4.6 seconds at pro day.

Kovacs entered Thursday knowing he needed to prove his speed and athleticism. Beating Robinson in the competition, along with a good bench-press score for a safety (16 repetitions), helped to prove that.

The Curtice, Ohio, native maintained, though, that while doing well in drills was good for him, it is about what he can do on the field that matters more.

“It’s different. We’re training for the underwear Olympics today; it isn’t football,” Kovacs said. “Coach [Aaron] Wellman did a great job of not overdoing it. A lot of guys will go places and think you’ve got to kill yourselves.

“Coach Wellman, we worked on power. I’m not in great football shape right now. Conditioning-wise, I’m not where I need to be but we weren’t worried about that. I was worried about running 40 yards and I think I did that today.”

Robinson and Kovacs were the two Michigan players who chose to stay in Ann Arbor and the Michigan facilities to train for turning professional, yet another link the two have. Michigan’s two captains last season, they ended up training together while finishing their undergraduate classes in order to graduate in May.

Robinson would be the first in his family to graduate from a four-year college, and that is very important to him. He said he never considered leaving Ann Arbor without his degree in hand.

“I’m taking five classes and working out and putting in the time,” Robinson said. “I want to prove something. I want to get my degree.

“... I want to be a role model to my nieces and nephews to be a role model for them and school was important to me.”

Together they were diligent on both their workouts, where Robinson is converting to a receiver, and their diet. They were planning to celebrate being done by being able to eat their favorite guilty pleasures -- Oreo cookies for Kovacs and honey buns for Robinson.

They were planning on doing that -- and then eventually grabbing steak dinner as well. On Robinson.

Said Kovacs: “I’m going to enjoy that.”


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