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Robinson Transitioning to New Position

Posted Apr 2, 2013

After a record-setting career at quarterback for the University of Michigan, Denard Robinson is preparing to play a different position in the NFL.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – When he arrived on the University of Michigan campus, nobody knew what position Denard Robinson would end up playing.

Scout.com projected him as a cornerback or wide receiver. Rivals.com simply categorized him as an athlete.

Four years at quarterback later, Robinson will graduate from Michigan as the school’s all-time yardage leader.

Now, as he is set to begin the next chapter of his career in the NFL, the question of what position he will play has come up once again.

“My vision is to try to be the best that I can possibly be when I get to the NFL,” Robinson said. “Whatever teams put me at, that's what I'm going to work my tail off to be. Whatever they ask me to do that's what I'm going to do.”

Robinson has been focusing on the wide receiver position in his post-college training, along with kick and punt returning.

He was timed at 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash, showcasing the speed that helped him set the NCAA record for most rushing yards by a quarterback.

Robinson’s raw speed that has NFL scouts intrigued, but his lack of experience at wide receiver is something that he is trying to overcome in the pre-draft evaluations.

“I don't think I'm a big risk,” he said. “I think I can go out and make plays. Anybody who watches film of me, they know I can make plays and they know I won't be a risk when I get the ball in my hands.”

With his background at quarterback, Robinson understands the timing and routes that wide receivers need to develop.

While he hadn’t practiced at wide receiver before recent months, Robinson said he has enjoyed learning the nuances of his new position.

“I played football all my life so I've got used to doing it,” Robinson said. “It's kind of fun learning a new position and going out there and having fun playing it.”

Hindered by a nerve injury in his arm, Robinson wasn’t able to play quarterback for the final five games of his college career. He missed two full games with the injury, and then spent time in the backfield as a running back, rushing for at least 98 yards in all three of those games.

The still-healing nerves have made his training more difficult, but Robinson isn’t using the injury as an excuse as he transitions to a new position.

“I'm out there and I'm going 100 percent,” he said. “That's me. I'm not going to have any excuse, and I'm going to try my best. That's the only thing I can do.”

Robinson said he has watched tape of former Indiana quarterback-turned-NFL-wide-receiver Antwaan Randle El as he goes through a similar transition.

Just like Randle El, Robinson knows that his versatility on the field can be an asset to whichever NFL team drafts him.

Whether it’s as a returner, wide receiver, running back or even quarterback, Robinson just wants the opportunity to show what he can do with the football in his hands.

“Once I get the ball in my hands I'm real explosive,” Robinson said. “And I want to score every time I get the ball in my hands.”