ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Denard Robinson’s position is a secret for the final game of his college career.
It perhaps provides a preview of his unclear future in football.
The three-year starting quarterback might not throw for No. 19 Michigan against No. 11 South Carolina on New Year’s Day at the Outback Bowl. He probably will catch some passes, lining up as a running back or receiver.
Robinson hopes showing that he can make plays without taking snaps will help NFL teams see what he can do.
“If you’re making plays on the field, you can’t hide that,” Robinson said earlier this month before the Wolverines traveled to Florida. “You can’t hide a playmaker.”
Some project Robinson as a receiver in the pros.
NFL draft consultant and former Dallas Cowboys general manager Gil Brandt has another idea.
“I’d draft him to be a cornerback,” Brandt said. “A quarterback never wants to be told he’s going to have to play another position, but I don’t think he can play quarterback in the NFL. I do know teams are always looking for cornerbacks, and I think Robinson could do it because of his quickness and speed.
“But he’d have to want to do it to make it work.”
Robinson has declined to say much about what position he wants to attempt to play at the next level, saying he just wants to enjoy his senior season.
Nerve damage in his right elbow knocked him off the field Oct. 27 at Nebraska, keeping him out for the next two games and limiting his ability to throw in the final two games of the regular season.
Michigan moved him to running back and also had him take snaps without throwing a pass against Iowa and Ohio State, games in which he had 23 carries for 220 yards and a score and two receptions for 24 yards.
The Gamecocks are preparing for Robinson to play up to his spectacular potential.
“He’s the best athlete that we’ll play at quarterback,” said South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing, a former Michigan State assistant. “He’s a tremendous athlete and he can throw the ball. And if he’s healthy throwing the ball, he can cause us some problems, and we know that.”
In his career he has thrown for 6,250 and 49 TDs and ran for 4,395 and 42 scores.