April 27, 2013 - 5:03pm
BY LIZ VUKELICH
After years of being the face of the Michigan football program, Denard Robinson is finally heading home.
Robinson, a Deerfield Beach, Fla. native, was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Saturday as a running back in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL draft as the 135th pick overall.
“I’m so blessed,” said Robinson to MGoBlue.com. “You dream of getting that call on draft day, and to get to stay in my home state of Florida, it’s an unbelievable feeling.
“I want to thank the Jaguars organization for giving me this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.“
Robinson spent four years playing quarterback at Michigan, until he was sidelined with an elbow injury in October of his senior year. After redshirt junior Devin Garnder took over the starting quarterback spot, the coaching staff struggled to find a position for Robinson.
The Deerfield Beach, Fla. native saw time as both a running back and wide receiver, despite being listed as a quarterback, officially. Robinson set the NCAA record for most rushing yards (4,495) by a quarterback in his four years, including 100 against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on Jan. 1.
While training for the draft, Robinson practiced mostly at receiver, but even took reps as a punt returner and cornerback when asked to. Despite the uncertainty surrounding his position, Robinson and the scouts seemed to embrace his athletic versatility.
“They can put me in at receiver or running back or whatever,“ Robinson said to reporters after the draft. “There's a lot of different positions, so I'm excited about doing that.“
Defensive tackle Will Campbell — the only other Wolverine to be drafted so far — will also have to adapt to a new position after he was selected by the New York Jets in the sixth round as the 178th overall pick as an offensive lineman. Campbell led the defensive line during his senior campaign and totaled a career-high 44 tackles.