2011 Countdown: #63 Terrence Robinson

2011 Countdown: #63 Terrence Robinson

June 29, 2011
Terrence Robinson

Name: Terrence Robinson
Height: 5’9″
Weight: 175 lbs.
High school: Oak High School in Klein, TX
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #8
Last year: I ranked Robinson #57 and said he would be a backup returner and slot receiver.  He was both of those things and had 1 catch for 43 yards to go with 1 kick return for 23 yards.

Robinson is a former 4-star athlete from Texas who got a lot of Michigan fans buzzing early, based largely on one high school move that started off great but ended with him stumbling to the ground untouched.  Beyond that he has 2 career catches for 56 yards, 1 kick return for 23, and 1 punt return for 11.  And once the Brady Hoke regime took over, it seemed to make Robinson even more of an afterthought.

Three- and four-receiver sets will still be a large part of Michigan’s offense in 2011, but that doesn’t mean the new coaching staff favors 5’9″, 175 lb. receivers to play in the slot.  If Robinson wants to make an impact on the team, it will probably be in the same way that he’s kinda sorta had a chance to play in the past few seasons – on kick and punt returns.  Especially with a quarterback who’s only 6′ tall, the team needs taller receivers running routes over the middle of the field.  Robinson looks like he might be a bit player for the rest of his career.

Prediction: Backup kick and punt returner


  1. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Personally, I'm assuming that "the rest of his career" will be this season. He is almost certainly not going to be brought back by this staff given the number of scholarships that still need to free up to accommodate the large 2012 class.

  2. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Yea, he probably won't be offered a 5th year. Too many slot ninjas. Shame, I wanted to see what robinson and gallon were capable of in the ninja position RR recruited an army for.

  3. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Here's to hoping that he can see a little playing time and get his degree. Likely probability that he will not get his 5th year. Who knows, maybe he can be a grad assistant on his way to getting more education.

  4. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    So assuming Stonum is suspended at least for a few games, who would be the fourth adn fifth receiver after Hemingway, Odoms and Roundtree?

  5. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    @ Anonymous 11:02 a.m.

    My guess would be Stokes and Jerald Robinson, with Kelvin Grady and Jeremy Jackson fighting in there, too.

  6. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    It'll be interesting to see if the 4th and 5th WR get much run. Under Carr, they were hardly used at all. You pretty much had your starters, a reliable 3rd, and then a drop off. Often a TE would be deployed for 4 WR sets.

    This staff also seems to want to use TEs more and FBs too.

    It'll also be interesting to see how Odoms and Roundtree get used – proven players but short for a pro-style offense outside WR position.

    How the offense will look remains a mystery.

  7. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    Jeremy Jackson in particular looks ready after seeing him get some snaps last year. Granted, he's only about as fast as a tight end, but he looks even bigger than his measurements and catches with his hands well.

    I'm guessing Grady will get snaps ahead of him, though. The guy's an end-around whiz if nothing else, and he's made some pretty tough catches as well.

  8. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    I really think Kelvin Grady is our best option at #4. He is pretty sure-handed. I recall the MSU game last year when no one could catch a ball, and he was the only one that could hold on for big 3rd down conversions.

  9. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    @ Lankownia 11:37 a.m.

    I think it depends on how much Borges uses the spread and how much he lines up with a fullback or two tight ends. If Denard can't do the whole play-action thing very well, then I imagine we'll see a lot of 3- and 4-wide sets, and you'll probably see a little more rotation.

  10. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    @ David 11:46 a.m.

    I'm not a big fan of Jackson's abilities. He can catch, but if you only have two receivers on the field, I'd prefer a guy who can make something happen after the catch. If we go 4-wide, then I can see putting him in there more.

  11. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    @ Anonymous 11:53 a.m.

    I've seen Grady drop some passes, too, so I don't know if his hands are necessarily better than the other guys (although Roundtree did drop a ton of passes in the last few games of 2010).

  12. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    I'm excited for the return of the waggle (sort of)!

    Koger = Tuman (maybe…a little)

  13. Comments: 21383
    Painter Smurf
    Jun 29, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    I re-watched some of the UConn game from last year. T-Rob caught a nice long ball over the middle. But it struck me how slow he looked. It reminded me of watching Mike Hart get run down with ease in the open field (of course Hart was otherwise great). I wonder if T-Rob lost a step when he was hurt early in his career.

  14. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    I concur with the general consensus here.
    We have an abundance of backups, under 6'0" and under 200lbs. As to who plays next, I've begun settling that with coin flips.

  15. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    I maintain that height is an overrated factor for WR (with the exception of goalline pass plays). The list of short WRs that have success in pro-style is just too long, and Michigan's greatest WR (Howard) was pretty short too. It helps, sure, but hands, speed, route-running, elusiveness with the ball in your hands and toughness are more important.

  16. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 8:19 PM

    @ Lankownia 4:01 p.m.

    Perhaps height is overrated, but it's not irrelevant. Guys who are 5'9" have a hard time succeeding in football, almost regardless of position. You don't see them anywhere except an occasional tailback, slot receivers, cornerbacks, and a rare safety. Meanwhile, Desmond Howard played at Michigan 20 years ago, and the game has evolved a little bit since then. I'm not saying he couldn't be great in today's game, but taller wide receivers are the norm these days because of the fade route, the fade-stop, taller cornerbacks, etc.

    If a guy has all the skills you listed and is only 5'9", then he might still be successful. But you could also take away speed and say that a 6'1" guy with hands, good route-running, and elusiveness could be successful, too…and that describes Junior Hemingway. Take away elusiveness and you've got Jason Avant. Etc.

  17. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 9:57 PM

    Yeah, like I said, its one of about 8 different things. But of all the attributes I listed, height is one of the least important. Better to be 6'5 than 5'9 all else being equal, but generally they aren't.

    Michigan's best receiver last year was 6'0 (being generous). Before that, it was Mario Manningham, who is 5-11. So the 'Desmond was 20 years ago' line is weak.

    'The game has changed' line of argument is weak as well. The game has indeed evolved, but TOWARDS smaller wide receivers. Passing is a bigger component of the game and expectations for QB accuracy are much higher. As a result, reliability is more important than catching the occasional (i.e. rare) fade. [Anecdotaly, The Patriots passing attack is more dependent on Welker than Moss] Furthermore, there is a recognition that big plays can come on YAC just as easily as on tough catches.

    Across the NFL we see many of the best receivers being under 6' (e.g. Steve Smith, De'Sean Jackson, Santana Moss is 5'10 or less and there are many others.) With their success, shorter WR are being drafted higher and utilized more readily than ever before.

    I doubt this means anything for Robinson, who just simply doesn't look very good after 3 years on campus. But we should be cautious in continuing to rely on the false dichotomy of 'slot WR' and 'outside WR'. We've already seen one 'slot ninja' look better as an outside WR (Odoms). They were distinct positions to some degree in the spread offense, but if Michigan moves to a pro-style or west-coast offense as expected, its about as significant of a difference as the two CBs. You're either a good receiver or not, and 9 times out of 10 your height or pre-snap location aren't going to make much of a difference.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love for Michigan to land Stanford or one of the other tall, old-school prototype tall-and-fast, type of guys. Those guys open up some nice play calling options, particularly in the red-zone. But I'm not going to sweat it if our starting WR are Martavious Odoms and Roy Roundtree in 2011 or Drew Dileo and Jerald Robinson in 2013 (which well could be the case).

  18. Comments: 21383
    Jun 29, 2011 at 10:33 PM

    @ Lankownia 5:57 p.m.

    The average height of the receivers drafted in 2011 was 6'0 1/2".

    The average height of the receivers drafted in 1992 was 5'11 1/3" (rounds 1-7 because I got tired of clicking).

  19. Comments: 21383
    Jun 30, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    That's not very convincing to your point. Less than an inch difference, considering the sample size and the fact that it's two arbitrary years? Does one random guy change the storyline for average – probably.

    Furthermore, aren't players (at all positions) generally getting taller/bigger on average? It seems there's a lot more 6'4-6'6 WR than they used to be, which would affect the average significantly. If so, that would allow for way more short WR to be used.

    More pertinant would be how many guys under say 5'11 got drafted.

    I'd hypothesize that several things are happening:
    1. The range is getting wider. There are just more physical freaks now and not every 6'6 guy is automatically going to be a DE or basketball player anymore.

    2. Nor is every 5'8 guy immediately going to be sent to DB. The acceptance for short guys has increased since the late 90s and early 00s, when there was an extreme focus on taller WR. The NFL is coming back around on the trend. (If for no other reason than more passing and 4 WR formations today)

    The only real detailed information I see on heights is this very long and in need of editing link from back in 2005:


    FWIW He concluded that the most productive WRs statistically are 6'0 tall or so and that is the prototypical height for a reason…

  20. Comments: 21383
    Jun 30, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    It's apparent now that TRob doesn't have the hands necessary to be a WR (also drops a lot of punts). Wondering what might have happened had he stayed at RB. Rated #9 all-purpose back by Rivals…ahead of McGuffie (#10) and Lamichael James (#12).

  21. Comments: 21383
    Jun 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    @ Lankownia 8:53 p.m.

    No offense, but the size of wide receivers is not something I feel the desire to argue exhaustively. I'll save that for our running back debates.

    The only two points I want to mention are:

    a) The years I chose were 1992, the year Desmond Howard was drafted (who you brought up as an example), and 2011, the most recent NFL Draft. They weren't necessarily chosen arbitrarily, and they're 19 (a.k.a. almost 20) years apart.

    b) Considering height of NFL wide receivers ranges from about 5'9" to 6'5", I would say an average height change of more than 1 inch is not insignificant.

  22. Comments: 21383
    Jun 30, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    @ Lutha 7:51 a.m.

    It would be interesting to see what Robinson could have done as a running back, but if he still gets a knee injury as a freshman, perhaps that dooms him no matter what. I agree with the above commenter that he just doesn't look very fast, and it was two years removed from that knee injury. Personally, I think/thought Robinson was overrated coming out of high school and that McGuffie was significantly better than him, but Sam hasn't exactly set the world on fire, either.

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