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Jaguars have high hopes for Denard Robinson as RB, returner

Michigan State v Michigan

ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 20: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines goes for a 44 yard run during the the fourth quarter of the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Michigan Stadium on October 20, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Spartans 12-10. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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At Michigan, Denard Robinson became the all-time leader in rushing yards by a quarterback in the history of major college football. As a fifth-round draft pick in Jacksonville, the Jaguars have big plans for the way to use Robinson’s talent for making plays with the ball in his hands.

Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said he was surprised Robinson was still available in Round 5, and he’s excited about what Robinson can do as both a running back and a kickoff returner.

I’ve been watching that guy for as long as he’s been playing,” Caldwell said. “Every time I go to Michigan it just amazes me about how passionate he is about football, how loved he is at that school amongst his teammates and how he just goes about his business. You watch that guy practice and he has fun. Not only does he have juice on the field in terms of his speed and play-making ability but just juice in the building. You’re going to love the kid. I’ve watched from afar for a long time.”

An elbow injury forced Robinson to move from quarterback to running back at the end of his senior season, and he finished his college career with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against Ohio State and South Carolina. Asked how he feels about being a tailback in the Jaguars’ offense, Robinson said he feels great about it.

I’m excited,” Robinson said. “They can put me in at receiver or running back or whatever. There’s a lot of different positions so I’m excited about doing that. . . . I’m ready to go to work and do whatever it takes to be on the field.”

Robinson never had an NFL arm, but if he can run in the NFL like he did at Michigan, the Jaguars just added a big-time playmaker.