He may be more than a season removed from playing for the Michigan Wolverines, but former quarterback Denard Robinson is keeping tabs on his former teammate and successor under center, Devin Gardner. As many fans and pundits witnessed last season, Gardner showed the highs and lows of what he can bring to the offense. Robinson was among the many who saw what we all saw.
“He’s a freak athlete, I think he’s one of these guys that can change the game,” Robinson said to MLive.com. “He just needs to do it consistently.”
That is a pretty good summary fo what Gardner is for the Wolverines. Michigan may have tried to make him in to more of a drop back passer at times, but it was clear when he was able to be on the move he brought more to the offense. Perhaps shouldered with the weight of the team’s success riding on his play in a more traditional style offense, Gardner saw his pass completion percentage dip every week through the first month of the season. Too often last season Gardner saw his quality of play dipping over stretches before he could spike them back upward.
Gardner may have had his best game of the year against Ohio State, although in a losing effort against the unbeaten Buckeyes. Robinson has faith that the ups and downs of the 2013 season experienced by his former understudy will pay off in 2014.
“If you go through a full season (as a starter), you know the game now,” Robinson said Saturday. “You know what it takes. (The toll) it takes on your body, the hits, how other teams are going to play you. You grow from that.”
Michigan fans hope Gardner has gone through his growing pains.