“Bobbles the snap, takes off...”
ESPN announcer Mike Patrick uttered those words in 2009 when a freshman out of Deerfield Beach (Fla.) took his first shotgun snap in a Michigan uniform. He dropped the ball, picked it back up, and sped through the Western Michigan defense for 43 yards and a score.
You know the rest. Denard Robinson amassed 6,250 passing yards and 49 touchdowns, as well as 4,495 yards and 42 scores on the ground. He was an unquestioned bright spot and constant highlight reel during a trying time for Wolverine football.
The heights of his time in Ann Arbor crashed back to reality in the NFL. His switched to running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2013-16, barely eclipsing 1,000 yards. His best season was a 582-yard, 4-touchdown campaign in 2014.
For two more years, not a whole lot else from “Shoelace.” It’s what makes moments like Sunday night so special for him and the litany of Michigan fans that love him.
Denard Robinson scored a TD playing in the AAF. pic.twitter.com/tYcyT3Wrd2— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) March 4, 2019
He took a pitch off right side and sprinted nine yards for a touchdown, helping the Atlanta Legends of the AAF to a 14-11 victory over the Arizona Hotshots. In total, he carried nine times for 43 yards. He added a catch for four more.
It’s the first time Robinson has reached the end zone since Dec. 13, 2015 during a 51-16 Jaguars win over the Indianapolis Colts. Through four games, he has 17 totes for 53 yards.
Meanwhile, Orlando short-yardage back De’Veon Smith led the Apollos with 51 yards on 12 carries in a 20-11 triumph over the Salt Lake City Stallions. Smith and company remained undefeated, and it’s the second-straight week over 50 yards for the Michigan alum.
The effort boosted his season total to 29 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns. He also punched in a couple two-point conversions.
The only other former Wolverine to see the playing field this weekend was Memphis Express cornerback Channing Stribling. He chipped in a tackle in a 26-23 over the San Diego Fleet.
He has 12 tackles, four deflections and an interception in the inaugural AAF season.
San Antonio Commander defensive lineman Matt Godin was ruled inactive today. Birmingham Iron back Ty Isaac did not record a statistic.