- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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A lot of people were curious to see and hear Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson's speech on behalf of the players the Big Ten kickoff luncheon Friday in Chicago.
Robinson had a tough act to follow, as Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins wowed the crowd at last year's event. Cousins is a polished public speaker who spent a lot of time during his career giving talks to groups around the state of Michigan, so it wasn't a big surprise to see him do so well on that stage.
By contrast, Robinson has been known as a shy and introverted guy during most of his time in Ann Arbor. Though he has an infectious personality and a great smile, Robinson was usually a man of few words. But he worked hard on becoming more of a team spokesman this offseason, culminating with that speech Friday in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.
And he knocked it out of the park. It was an emotional speech, as Robinson talked about his difficult upbringing and the death of his brother, topics he had been reticent to share before. He got choked up a couple of times. Adam and I were in attendance at the luncheon and were moved by the speech.
If you haven't seen it yet, make sure to take a few minutes and watch the whole thing here from the Big Ten Network official coverage.
It's almost hard to believe the strides Robinson has made in coming out of his shell. While he still might need a little work as a public speaker, this speech came from the heart and you'd have to be made of stone (or, I guess, just a super diehard Ohio State fan) not to appreciate it.
14hBrian Bennett and Austin Ward