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Should Denard Robinson really be considered top rushing QB ever?

January 02, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Michigan's Denard Robinson rushed for 100 yards against South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on Tuesday to become the NCAA's all-time top rushing quarterback.
Michigan's Denard Robinson rushed for 100 yards against South Carolina… (Al Messerschmidt / Getty…)

Denard Robinson wasn't really Michigan's quarterback during a 33-28 loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.

He hasn't lined up at the position much since a late-season injury forced him to finish his college career mainly taking handoffs from fill-in quarterback Devin Gardner.

Still, Robinson became the top rushing quarterback in NCAA history Tuesday, with his 100 yards against the Gamecocks giving him 4,495 in his career. West Virginia's Pat White set the previous record of 4,480 from 2005 to 2008.

But does Robinson really deserve that spot in college football's record books? He certainly is one of the best runners the sport has seen, ranking 20th on the all-time rushing list. Who knows how much higher he'd be on that list if he had been a full-time running back for his entire career.

Still, it might be hard to get past the fact that 256 of those yards came in his final three games, when he primarily played tailback. Michigan says that yardage is counted as part of his record total because he was still listed as quarterback.

On the other hand, Robinson could have very easily broken the record taking every snap as quarterback if he hadn't suffered a nerve injury on Oct. 27 and missed two games before returning in his new role Nov. 17 against Iowa. Before getting hurt, he averaged 129 rushing yards a game.

In other words, if he hadn't been injured, he probably would have crushed White's record instead of slipping past it by a mere 15 yards.

Let us know what you think. Does Robinson deserve the distinction of college football's best rushing quarterback of all time?

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