Denard Robinson finished his Michigan career watching and helping Devin Gardner play quarterback.

And even though he wasn't around last season during Gardner's first full year as a starter, Robinson -- a current Jacksonville Jaguar -- offered as much help as he could to his old teammate from afar.

Whether it was giving him football advice, or just offering a shoulder to lean on as another person who understands what it means to be a starting quarterback at Michigan.

The latter, in Robinson's eyes, was very important. And will continue to be important, he says, moving forward.

"If you go through a full season (as a starter), you know the game now," Robinson said Saturday before serving as a celebrity judge for the Polar Plunge at the Big House, an event that raised roughly $130,000 for the Special Olympics of Michigan. "You know what it takes. (The toll) it takes on your body, the hits, how other teams are going to play you.

"You grow from that."

Robinson -- who is spending time this offseason training in Ann Arbor with Michigan strength and conditioning coach Aaron Wellman, along with former teammates Jordan Kovacs and Will Campbell -- said he's kept steady communication with Gardner, and has done so since he left Ann Arbor last season.

He also saw Gardner's first full season as a starter from afar, watching him look like an All-American one minute before struggling to get anything going the next.

Moving forward, Robinson says he has no doubt that Gardner has the potential to be one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the country.

He just has to put it all together at once.

"He's a freak athlete, I think he's one of these guys that can change the game," Robinson said. "You saw him at the Notre Dame, you saw those highlights.

"He just needs to do it consistently."

As for the rest of the team, Robinson said the main focus for the 2014 group should be sticking together as a unit.

He was quick to point out the struggles Michigan faced during his freshman and sophomore campaigns in 2009 and 2010. It was the start of a journey that ultimately led to an 11-2 season and a Sugar Bowl win in 2012.

"(Last season) was rough," he said. "But my freshman year was rough, my second year was rough. You've got to keep going.

"You've got to stay true to the team and know that you can always get better."

As far as Robinson's own game is concerned, he says he learned a great deal from his rookie season in the NFL a year ago.

He struggled to produce statistically at his new running back position for the Jaguars, rushing just 20 times for 66 yards.