Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wolverine Wednesday: Denard's and Big Will's Last Stand at the Big House

This Saturday will mark the final time Denard Robinson and Big Will Campbell will walk on to the field at the Big House and play a football game.   Both of them get to travel to C-Bus and play in a Bowl Game but this weekend is their final game in Ann Arbor.

Both players are a microcosm of the success and failure of Rich Rodriguez at Michigan.  

Denard has been one of the most electric players in Michigan history.   When he finds the slightest of holes, he could be gone for a 85 yard touchdown.  He made the RR years on offense exciting and fun to watch.  He will always be remembered as a true Michigan man for being a great role model and staying when everyone said he should leave during the coaching change.

Big Will has come very far from a lazy 5 star freshman that really didn't know if he should be on the offense or defensive line.   "It's been bumpy, it's been up and down," Campbell said. "I wish I was under this coaching staff all four years, but I wasn't, so the opportunities they gave me I just tried to capitalize on.

"I'm not saying that (the previous staff held me back). I was just lazy and young, and didn't realize the opportunities in front of me."

Denard is the type of player RR likes to recruit, he takes guys that don't fit in other systems and turns them into a stars.  Denard was highly recruited as an athlete but most programs wanted him as a DB or WR.  Rich Rod wanted him as a QB.  He was a perfect fit.    "We had a pretty good idea, but I don't think you ever know for sure until you get him," Rodriguez said. "I remember we really liked his film and his high school coach raved about him. But then when our coaches went down to watch him practice, I remember them calling me and saying, 'This guy's got it.' I said, 'What do you mean?' They said, 'He can throw, he can run.

"He has kind of an infectious personality, he has the leadership, he has all those other qualities that sometimes you have to see in person to recognize. I remember when (the coaches) called, they said, 'This is going to be a guy we think we can build an offense around,' and certainly he's had a great career."    Let's hope he is healthy this week and gets a chance to leave the Big House the same way he came in.  Best thing RR did at Michigan = Denard Robinson

There is a long list of bad things RR did at Michigan but the Defense has to be close to the top of the list.   The non-development of Big Will just pains me.  

I know I have said it a 100 times on this blog but not red-shirting Big Will is just stupid.   He said above he was lazy and was out of shape.   He didn't understand the commitment needed to be an Division 1 football player.   Those type of guys you either throw into the fire so they can learn or you keep them on the bench and redshirt them.   RR did the worst thing possible and put him on extra point duty.   What a waste of a year.  Can you imagine another year under Mattison and Hoke?  I would guess probably about a 3rd round draft pick. 

How is Big Will doing now? 
"Will Campbell is a guy who’s really grown and probably played his best football game (against Northwestern),” Hoke said. “Uh, really grown -- well in some ways he hasn’t grown. He’s gotten thinner.

"I think his approach to the game (has helped), and you see that. You see that in guys who become juniors and seniors that are focused. Their mind-set, how they prepare. That’s part of it. Leadership’s part of it.

"The comfort zone a guy gets because he’s been through it and been through the struggles.”

Sorry Big fella, we should of had you for another year.  Congratulations on the hard work and the good play!  Send RR a bill for a couple years of your NFL salary if it doesn't work out for you on draft day.


maize n blue blood said...


HOKE knows it and needs to fix it.

To get that BIG TITLE & NC we must be balanced on offensive and defense

Squashman said...

I don't think at the timr RR had much choice but to play Campbell. They were desperate and it wasn't like there were other guys who were ready to play.

Big35Hurt said...

Squashman...the point is that RR DIDN'T play him and DIDN'T redshirt him! The f&ckin idiot blew his redshirt on f&ckin extra point duties!

Side note.....I heard Notre Lame is going after Treadwell VERY hard....has anyone heard any news?

Bob said...

Big 35, yes it is true ND is recruiting Treadwell very hard and don't expect anything to happen with him until the season is over. The insiders still say, Michigan or the either OK schools. His favorites will change 10 times before he commits.

You are also right about Big Will. Play him on the Dline or redshirt him as a freshman, don't waste a year being on extra points.

Squashman said...

Campbell-Still think they were in a situation where they had to give the heralded 5 star a chance to play early because they were terribly weak at those positions. He did play against western and eastern and actually played in most games on the d line early in the season. The true shame is that he wasn't coached up and 2010 was a complete waste of a season for him. I wish roh had been redshirted too but at the time we didn't have a choice. Wasting gardner's redshirt is a true injustice to him and our program.