Senior Bowl 2013: 'Denard Robinson, athlete'

USA TODAY Sports

Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson knows his role has to change for a shot at the NFL.

Denard Robinson walked over to North head coach Dennis Allen on the first day of Senior Bowl practice and introduced himself as "Denard Robinson, athlete."

Robinson was a utility player while at the University of Michigan who played quarterback, running back and wide receiver, while also running track during his tenure at Ann Arbor.

But if he's going to make it in the NFL, he's going to have to do it as a wide receiver. And contrary to reports that Michigan coaches had pushed him to choose one position or the other, the decision to enter the draft as a wide receiver was entirely his and was made prior to his graduation.

"I've always wanted to play wide receiver because it is really the best fit for me," Robinson said during a Wednesday press conference. "I felt like this was the best chance to make an impact and it was my decision."

But he's not totally prepared to discard his quarterback past. He's working closely with the North coaching staff to use his past under center to improve his routes and defensive recognition.

"When you're a quarterback, you learn to read the tiny things like changes in coverage," Robinson said. "I pick up on that a lot easier now as a receiver. It's those little things that really help you out in the transition.

"It's been a lot of fun. To be the best, you have to play against some of the best. And watching them, anticipating their routes, has been a lot of fun."

Robinson is having so much fun, in fact, that he doesn't even regret leaving the quarterback role behind him. To think about going back would put him at a disadvantage.

"I'm a receiver now," Robinson confirmed. "If I focus on missing playing quarterback, I won't be able to fully commit to being a better wide receiver."

He certainly appears to understand the role he finds himself in now. After getting separation several times in practice on Wednesday, without getting targeted by the quarterbacks, Robinson returned to the huddle and requested more passes come his way.

The former quarterback didn't understand why his receivers would do that in the past.

"Now I get what that's like," he joked.

He's adjusting to his new role just fine.

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