Brady Hoke and Al Borges didn’t reinvent the wheel when they transformed San Diego State from a two-win team into a nine-win squad in just two years — with the nation’s 12th-best passing attack to boot.

No, they just installed a pro-style offense and guided a transition from a spread attack that wasn’t cutting it for the Aztecs.

This time around, with a similar transition in mind at Michigan, Hoke and Borges will have a few more toys to play with on offense — considering the unit lost only one starter in graduating guard Steve Schilling.

“I think it will be easier,” Borges said. “When we were at San Diego State, we were dealing with a two-win base. Okay? The transformation was not just physical. The transformation was huge mentally. Where here — they weren’t bad now — they won seven games.

“In my opinion, (it’s) a better starting point — in everyone’s opinion, it’s a better starting point. I don’t think either one is easy, but with a team that’s won more games than it lost; (it) gives you a better chance.”

And when you talk Michigan offense, sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson has to be mentioned. All eyes will be on the Wolverines’ signal-caller this spring as Borges installs an offense that will take Robinson out of the comfortable spread-option offense he blossomed in last season and require him to spend more time under center.

That doesn’t mean Michigan’s going to completely abandon the designed quarterback runs and using Robinson’s athleticism in space, even though Robinson will be expected to adapt to the new offense.

“From day one, we’ll be under center — we’re a pro-style offense; we’re not going to be in shotgun on every play,” Borges said. “But we’ll favor a little more shotgun than a year ago when we were at San Diego State.

“Because of (Robinson) and the things you can do with him, we will be in a little more shotgun than we’ve used in the past. But to say we’re going to be a (shotgun) team? No, we will line up under center, with a guy in the home position coming downhill on our runs.”

The first thing that Borges will work with Robinson on is his footwork, as the difference is a major complication in switching schemes. His past experience with the Aztec quarterbacks won’t be exactly replicated in Ann Arbor, either — San Diego State ran more of a passing-oriented spread offense, while Michigan’s was more run-oriented.

“The way we step to the target, the way we hitch step, it’s just coached differently,” Borges said. “There’s nothing wrong with either way, but they fit the way the offense works. We’re going to have to make it so (Robinson) understands how the footwork in the offense fits what we want to do. And it will be different. We literally went through some growing pains at San Diego State with that.”

Robinson proved during his jump from his freshman to sophomore seasons that he’s willing to put in the work in the offseason to improve. Teammates raved after Robinson dazzled during the 2010 spring game that he had progressed, had a better grasp of the offense and had a lot more touch on his throws.

But that was also after he had a year to marinate in Rich Rodriguez’s scheme and digest it.

Rodriguez said a year ago that he always knew Robinson had an arm. In the pro-style offense, Robinson will be required to make throws to receivers standing in the pocket after five-step drops, for example. Based on the film he’s watched on Robinson, Borges said Robinson’s arm was not an issue — he wants to see how Robinson can handle NFL-like schemes.

“We push,” Borges said of quarterbacks in his system. “We want to get underneath of the rush — feel the cracks in the rush — make the throw. Where a lot of the spread guys are more foot-fire guys where they sit in the back of the pocket and see.

“And it’s different, but they’re going to have their routes timed out. You know, so that’s a parallel.”

Michigan’s offensive line, charged with protecting Robinson in the pocket, won’t have a huge hill to climb as it transitions under Borges. The offensive coordinator watched film to see how difficult the transition would be in terms of blocking schemes — he found there were some similarities with what Michigan ran last season.

In less than a week, Borges and Hoke will start molding Robinson and the rest of the offense. San Diego State junior quarterback Ryan Lindley’s success could be a decent measuring stick. By their second season together, Lindley threw for nearly 1,200 more yards and 12 more touchdowns than he did his freshman year in the spread offense.

But it took Lindley and the rest of the Aztec offense two years to reach that next level under Borges.

Michigan’s new offensive coordinator already has the blueprint — he also has an experienced offensive line and a deep wide-receiver core to help ease the transition around Robinson this time around.

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