Robinson makes a splash

The Sun Devils have been waiting patiently for junior Gerell Robinson to recover from a hamstring injury that has plagued the wide receiver since the first practice of summer camp. Today, Robinson reminded everyone what the maroon and gold had been missing.

Last week, Robinson returned to practice for Dennis Erickson. It was a rather inauspicious beginning for Robinson. He was held out of many of the drills and appeared rusty when he did participate. With preparations for NAU underway, Robinson came to play this afternoon.

"He was actually pretty good today, commented Erickson. "It was a test for him because he felt good about it but finally he didn't feel like there was any pull at all. A lot of that is healing but a lot of that is confidence, being able to explode and run routes. I know he's excited.

"I'd like to play him as soon as he's able to play regardless of who we're playing next. It'll give us a little more flexibility. We can move Michael Willie outside some and Gerell can play outside some. Now we have three guys that can play the wide position and the four wide. We just want to make sure he's healthy. At the beginning of camp he recoiled it and it kept him out for probably another two weeks."

Fresh off his first start and victory as a Sun Devil quarterback, Steven Threet also relished the thought of a healthy Robinson on the field.

"It's another weapon for us," Threet said. "He's a great receiver, very athletic. He can play on the inside, in the middle of the field or go outside and he's dangerous. He's a tough match up for defenses. He did a great job this offseason really working hard in the weight room, on his routes and watching film. We expect a lot from him and I know he expects a lot from himself."

Threet seem pleased with the offense's performance in game one but has maintained his sharp competitive edge.

"There were a couple plays I'd like to have back," Threet noted. "I think there is always room for improvement. There were some mistakes, some plays I'd like to have over. Overall I think we did a pretty good job for the first game.

"I think it's just making the plays that are there. Not trying to force things or do too much with it. We need to take what the defense gives us and just make plays from there."

The big concern for Sun Devil nation, other than the performance of Threet, was how the offensive line would hold up.

"I thought (the offensive line) performed pretty well," Erickson remarked. "They made some mistakes, no questions about that, with both assignments and technique. But I thought for the most part that they played pretty well."

One of the offensive line's mistakes, an illegal man downfield call, kept junior college receiver Mike Willie from scoring his first NCAA touchdown. The bulky receiver still drew praise from his quarterback.

"Mike's done a great job," said Threet. "He got here in the middle of the summer and got a chance to work out a little with us. In camp and through his first game he's done a great job of learning the ins and outs of his positions. Especially with (Robinson) being hurt, he had to step up. It was good to see."

As the Sun Devils set their collective sight on the Lumberjacks, coach Erickson is focused on stopping NAU quarterback, Michael Herrick.

"(Offensive Coordinator Noel) Mazzone knows him better than I do," Erickson stated, "but just watching him on tape, he's very athletic and he gets rid of the football very quickly. He has a good arm. I think he's one of the better quarterbacks in their league."

Threet is just keeping his nose to the grindstone and trying to build upon the momentum he helped his team create in week one.

"We definitely have confidence in our team." Threet implored. "Right now we're just focused on NAU and winning the game this week. You can only beat that the team you play this week. Looking ahead would only distract us so you have to focus on the opponent you have this week."

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