Denard Robinson: I could beat Bolt in 40

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Denard Robinson is getting ready
for Alabama on Sept. 1.

In the meantime, though, he has another target
in mind.

Usain Bolt.

“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.

And now Robinson wants a part of
him.