Michigan's Robinson closes gap in QB race

When Michigan opened spring practice last month, many wondered how much longer Denard Robinson would remain a quarterback.

The better question these days: Could Robinson win the Wolverines' starting quarterback job?

The competition under center appears to have tightened between Robinson and Tate Forcier, who started all 12 games for Michigan as a true freshman in 2009. Head coach Rich Rodriguez said Tuesday that Forcier and Robinson are "in a battle" for the top job this spring, and no decision is imminent.

"We’ll continue to do that throughout the spring and see if somebody separates themselves or if they both continue to get better," Rodriguez said.

Robinson appeared in every game last fall and showcased his incredible speed, but he often looked unpolished as a passer, completing less than half of his attempts (14 of 31). Rodriguez on Tuesday said Robinson has improved his reads and fundamentals.

Rodriguez also said Forcier has responded well to some recent challenges from the coaches.

"We’ve talked a little bit about how we were going to challenge him -- not just football-wise but how we were going to challenge him academically and how our expectations are for him as a student-athlete,” Rodriguez said. "I’ve had a couple conversations with Tate, particularly because he plays that high-profile position, and how we expect him ... to continue to progress and get better each and every year."

It'll be interesting to see how the two quarterbacks fare in Saturday's scrimmage, which Rodriguez is calling more important than the spring game. Robinson is the more dynamic athlete of the two, but in my opinion, he'll really need to make a jump to overtake Forcier.

  • One other Michigan news nugget: reserve defensive lineman Will Heininger suffered a torn ACL in practice last week and will miss the 2010 season.