Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson says he could beat Olympic track star Usain Bolt in 40-yard dash.
By DAVE HOGGFS Detroit
ANN ARBOR, Mich. –
Denard Robinson is getting ready for Alabama on Sept. 1.
In the meantime, though, he has another target in mind.
"I've watched him run, and I'm pretty sure I can beat him in a 40-yard dash," Robinson said at Michigan's media day on Sunday. "I'd get a better start, and I could take him.
"At 60 yards, I'd be in trouble, and at 100 meters, he'd be gone, but I could get him in a 40."
The idea for the race came from Devin Gardner, Robinson's backup and the Wolverines' newest weapon at wide receiver. Gardner was asked if the possibility existed of Robinson seeing some snaps at receiver with him at quarterback.
"Denard could do that in a heartbeat – he's the fastest man in the world," Gardner said. "I know what Usain Bolt did in the Olympics, and Denard probably couldn't beat him at 100 meters, but when it comes to football speed at 40 yards, I'd take Denard. He's that fast."
The "experiment" of playing Gardner at wide receiver took on a little more importance this week when the Wolverines' number-one receiver, Roy Roundtree, injured his knee in a freak accident.
"He had just run a route and was perfectly fine," receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski said. "He was walking back to the huddle and something happened."
The result was arthroscopic surgery for Roundtree on Friday, and an expected two-week recovery period. That puts Roundtree's availabilty for the Alabama game in jeopardy, but Gardner isn't worried about filling that role.
"Roy's going to be fine," he said. "I've seen him, and he's going to be OK. No one worry about Roy."
There's also a question mark hanging over another of Michigan's offensive stars. While running back Fitzgerald Touissant will return to practice on Monday, coach Brady Hoke isn't willing to say that he'll be allowed to play against the Crimson Tide. Touissant and defensive end Frank Clark were both suspended for the first week of fall practice due to offseason arrests.
"They will be allowed to practice on Monday," Hoke said. "The next set of decisions will be made when I decide to make them."
If Touissant doesn't play against Alabama, much of the running duties will fall on Thomas Rawls, who is more of a power runner than Touissant..
"This is Michigan, and when one person goes down, another one steps up," Rawlssaid. "I'm a Michigan running back, just like Fitz. That means I'm tough, I'm good and I'm ready to do the job. I might be more of a downhill runner than some of our other guys, but this is still Michigan. We step up."
Of course, when it comes to the Wolverines, the most dangerous runner is the man taking the snaps from center. Robinson enters the season with a chance to finish as the NCAA's career rushing leader at quarterback, but hasn't exactly been keeping track of his place on the list.
"Is that true? I had no idea until you just asked me that," he said in a media huddle Sunday. "I've never paid any attention to that. I just run the ball when I need to run it and throw it when we need to do that. I'm just trying to make plays to help us win games, I'm not worried about the numbers."
He does know one number, though – 9.63.
That was Bolt's gold-medal time in the 100-meters in London.