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Ex-NFL GM: Michigan's Denard Robinson could be CB

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Ex-NFL GM: Michigan's Denard Robinson could be CB

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Denard Robinson's position is a secret for the final game of his college career.

It perhaps provides a preview of his unclear future in football.

The three-year starting quarterback might not throw for No. 19 Michigan against No. 11 South Carolina on New Year's Day at the Outback Bowl. He probably will catch some passes, lining up as a running back or receiver.

Robinson hopes showing that he can make plays without taking snaps will help NFL teams see what he can do.

``If you're making plays on the field, you can't hide that,'' Robinson said earlier this month before the Wolverines traveled to Florida. ``You can't hide a playmaker.''

Some project Robinson as a receiver in the pros.

NFL draft consultant and former Dallas Cowboys general manager Gil Brandt has another idea.

``I'd draft him to be a cornerback,'' Brandt said. ``A quarterback never wants to be told he's going to have to play another position, but I don't think he can play quarterback in the NFL. I do know teams are always looking for cornerbacks, and I think Robinson could do it because of his quickness and speed.

``But he'd have to want to do it to make it work.''

Robinson has declined to say much about what position he wants to attempt to play at the next level, saying he just wants to enjoy his senior season.

Nerve damage in his right elbow knocked him off the field Oct. 27 at Nebraska, keeping him out for the next two games and limiting his ability to throw in the final two games of the regular season.

Michigan moved him to running back and also had him take snaps without throwing a pass against Iowa and Ohio State, games in which he had 23 carries for 220 yards and a score and two receptions for 24 yards.

The Gamecocks are preparing for Robinson to play up to his spectacular potential.

``He's the best athlete that we'll play at quarterback,'' said South Carolina defensive line coach Brad Lawing, a former Michigan State assistant. ``He's a tremendous athlete and he can throw the ball. And if he's healthy throwing the ball, he can cause us some problems, and we know that.''

South Carolina has an answer for Robinson whether he runs right, left or up the middle. Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney helped his team shut down Clemson's speedy QB, Tajh Boyd, sacking him 4 1/2 times in a win.

Even though Robinson has been hurt, Lawing said the defensive staff has to come up with a game plan to keep him contained.

``Guys like him, you lay up awake every night and worry about him,'' Lawing said.

``One play, 80 yards from the goal line and boom, it's a touchdown,'' he added.

In Robinson's career, which started as Tate Forcier's backup when they both were freshmen, he has thrown for 6,250 and 49 TDs and run for 4,395 and 42 scores. He had a school-record 502 yards of offense at Notre Dame two years ago in his breakout performance and has 10 of the top 11 games in terms of total offense for college football's winningest team.

Robinson is confident his talents will translate one way or another in the NFL, but he's trying to put those thoughts on hold until his college career on the field is over.

``I'm soaking it in and having fun,'' he said. ``This is my last game and I want to make the most of it. My last time probably wearing the winged helmet, having fun with the team and just enjoying it with my teammates, the coaches and the staff that's around us.''

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AP Sports Writer Pete Iacobelli in Columbia, S.C., contributed to this report.

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Follow Larry Lage on Twitter:http://twitter.com/larrylage

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Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

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Associated Press

Bradley Beal makes most of his opportunity in first All-Star Game

Bradley Beal may have had a slow start in the three-point contest on Saturday night, but in Sunday's All-Star Game he worked quickly to make the most of his relatively small window of playing time.

Beal checked in for the first time with 5:45 left in the first quarter and less than 25 seconds later had his first points on a two-handed dunk assisted by LeBron James.

In his All-Star debut, Beal helped lead Team LeBron to a 148-145 victory over Team Stephen as the league utilizied a new format for the annual showcase.

RELATED: BEAL BOUNCED EARLY IN THREE-POINT CONTEST

Beal finished with 14 points and a steal in a productive night. He shot 5-for-10 from the field and an impressive 4-for-8 from long range. 

Beal also tried to get a travelling call from the refs on Karl-Anthony Towns. Yeah, that's not likely to happen in an All-Star Game:

Beal more than held his own and only played 16 minutes, which was good considering he has logged the fifth-most minutes of any player so far this season. A realistic best-case scenario was a strong showing and a short night and that's exactly what he got.

Not only does Beal play a lot of minutes, the Wizards need him now more than ever with John Wall's injury. He needs whatever rest he can get during this All-Star break.

Speaking of Wall, he was in the house despite being in the middle of his rehab from left knee surgery. Per usual, Wall was shining bright:

RELATED: BEST WIZARDS/BULLETS MOMENTS ON ALL-STAR SATURDAY NIGHT

The All-Star Game wasn't all about Beal, of course. Here are some other things that stood out...

*The new format and increased financial incentive were intended to make the game more competitive and that's what happened late in the fourth quarter. Usually, that's how these things go where the players will start trying at the end. But this time it seemed to be up a few levels and it was fun to watch. 

Both teams scored in the 140s, so it wasn't exactly a defensive battle. No matter what the league does, the players will only try so hard for so long. The main goal of everyone's is to not get injured in a game that ultimately doesn't count for anything. Still, this was different and appears to have been a success.

*While everyone was focusing on the reunion of LeBron and Kyrie Irving the best beef was Joel Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook. Those two have traded waves to taunt each other at the end of wins in head-to-head matchups and it was clear on Sunday they still don't like each other. Westbrook tried to dunk all over Embiid in the first half, only to get blocked at the rim.

Westbrook's determination to dunk on Embiid was out of the ordinary for an All-Star Game. It was obvious what was on his mind:

*Irving's handles are simply ridiculous. Check out this fake behind-the-back move he pulled with Giannis Antetkounmpo guarding him. Yes, it didn't fool the defender but it was impressive nonetheless:

*LeBron is 33 years old, yet he was still running up and down the court faster than anyone and leaping above the rim to thrown down alley-oop after alley-oop. It is truly amazing and everyone should enjoy watching him while they can, regardless of whether they like the guy or not.

This was one of his dunks:

LeBron took home MVP with a game-high 29 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and a steal.

*The pregame show was quite bad. It was anchored by comedians Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle and, though they had some funny jokes, it lasted nearly 30 minutes. The whole thing was pretty much universally panned on social media. Fergie's national anthem was also roasted by the masses.

*The halftime show was much better. It began with N.E.R.D taking it back to their older days with 'Lapdance,' went to Migos performing 'Stir Fry' and swung back to N.E.R.D. who did their latest hit 'Lemon.' 

RELATED: LATEST 2018 NBA MOCK DRAFT

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The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

The NBA All-Star pregame introductions were, uh, something

Whoever put together the NBA All-Star Game player introductions has some 'splainin to do. 

The NBA introduced a kinda-full Staples Center to their 2018 All-Stars about an hour ago, and boy was it weird. There were a lot of dancers in different themed costumes. Kevin Hart was screaming. Rob Riggle was screaming. Ludacris showed up? Hey! Did you know that the Barenaked Ladies are still a band? The NBA would like you to know they're still around.  The whole thing was like when you're at an art museum and you're told that abstract piece in the corner is actually really meaningful but you gotta be honest, you don't get it. 

Anyways, the internet hated it. Here are some highlights from the internet hating it:

The lesson here is that you never need Kevin Hart and Rob Riggle. One will do.