- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Michigan sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson is the 2010 recipient of the Chicago Tribune's Silver Football Award, given to the Big Ten's top player.
The league's coaches vote on the award. Robinson and Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor both received three first-place votes, but Robinson got one more second-place vote than Pryor. Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan finished third, a bit of a surprise given his incredible production.
It's a quarterback's league, folks, and "Shoelace" is leading the way.
Who would have predicted that at the beginning of the season?
Robinson earned consensus Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors after setting an FBS single-season quarterback rushing record and becoming the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000 pass yards and 1,500 rush yards in the same season. He ranked 20th nationally in quarterback rating after completing only 14 of 31 passes as a freshman in 2009.
No complaints with Robinson getting the Silver Football. He was outstanding and extremely exciting to watch this fall.
Some notes on the voting from my guy Teddy Greenstein:
Purdue defensive end Ryan Kerrigan came in third, one spot ahead of Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa, who missed the season's final two games after rupturing his right Achilles tendon, and Badgers defensive end J.J. Watt each received one first-place vote.
It was an odd year, considering that running backs have dominated the award, winning 44 times since Illinois' Harold "Red" Grange claimed the first in 1924. But the best a running back could do this season was garner a single second-place vote. It went to Michigan State's Edwin Baker, whose rushing total of 1,187 yards was trumped by Illinois' Mikel Leshoure (1,513).
Robinson's string of major awards could help Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez in his quest to return to the sideline in 2011. It seems harder to dump the coach who molded the league's most dynamic player.
Robinson is the biggest reason for Michigan to keep RichRod, and today's announcement doesn't hurt.
21hBrian Bennett and Austin Ward