|Denard Robinson accounted for 36 total touchdowns for Michigan last year. (U.S. Presswire)|
Denard Robinson is perceived as the catalyst behind the revival of a traditional power that had recently fallen on hard times. Heading into his senior year, he's one of the most recognizable players in college football with his signature dreadlocks and 'Shoelace' nickname. What he lacks in proficiency on the passing side he makes up for with his elite speed and vision running the ball. He's got a flair for the dramatic and an innate ability to abruptly change games with his athleticism.
In short, he's got the 'wow' factor that RG3 used to his advantage last season. Voters are well aware of his exploits; he finished sixth in Heisman balloting as a 2010 sophomore. A change of offensive systems put a damper on his numbers last season, but he still passed for 2,173 yards and rushed for 1,176 while accounting for 36 touchdowns. He should be more productive in Year Two under Brady Hoke. He's got the perfect schedule for a Heisman run, with defending national champ Alabama in the season opener and Ohio State to close things out.
A good game in a win over the Tide would vault him to front-runner status. His main challenge all season long, as usual, will be to stay healthy and limit mistakes. If he can lead Michigan to the Big Ten title while continuing to wow the voters with his highlight-reel plays, he'll have a good chance to win the Heisman.
It's important to note that Michigan's athletic department does not believe in Heisman campaigns and will not be supporting Robinson in this regard. I would tell you how many yards he needs to become the all-time Wolverines rushing leader -- but that's their job, not mine. OK, it's around 1,800.
Check out more coverage from Chris Huston on the Heisman Watch page