Robinson Looks to Learn from Freshman Year

No matter how many accolades you've received in high school, your freshman year in college can be a humbling experience. Gerell Robinson, who was arguably the most touted player in the 2008 recruiting class, is living proof of that notion. Even though the wide receiver's first season didn't go as expected, he knows that experience can serve him well for the rest of his ASU career.

In an interview last spring, Gerell Robinson indicated that if he could have gone "under the radar as a two-star recruit" he would. Nonetheless, he didn't want to be inconspicuous once he begun to see the field for Arizona State. The sophomore collected just 26 yards on three receptions in his first year as a Sun Devil.

"I feel like for me it was addition by subtraction," Robinson said of his 2008 campaign. "As a team we didn't do well and I personally didn't do as well as I wanted to. But I learned a lot from that season and took a lot more in mentally as opposed to physically. This year I feel that I'm both mentally and physically better prepared than I was in my first year."

The wide receiver added that he spends less time thinking and reacting, and is now it's more about knowing what needs to be done and executing his assignment.

A good portion of a wide receiver's success hinges on the play of the quarterback and his ability to accurately deliver the ball to his receiving targets. Whoever will win the starting signal caller duties for the Devils is bound to have limited experience at best.

This is something that could naturally affect the production of Robinson and his group, but the sophomore doesn't trouble himself thinking of that scenario.

"We have to go out and do our part," he stated. "We obviously don't have any say who the quarterback will be. I know they all have been progressing well since the off-season and doing their part.

"Rudy (Carpenter) was a good guy and did his part. He was a three-year starter and he has some big shows that someone needs to fill. Danny (Sullivan) does have that senior quality that a lot of other quarterbacks have, and all the other quarterbacks bring something different to the table. Whoever brings the most – that will be the deciding factor as far as who will start.

"You don't really have to adjust that much to each quarterback, and like I said they each have their own style. I can play with all of them."

Robinson indicated that despite all that he has learned and improved on from 2008, changes in schemes and position require him to continue and evolve as a better receiver.

"Half our offensive package has changed, so there's a lot to learn," Robinson noted. "I'm playing the X-spot, so there's a whole different terminology to learn there. Hopefully we'll just to continue and learn it bit by bit and get it down. I messed up on a few things the first practice, but I just need to correct that and get back at it."

Robinson lost nine pounds in the off-season and currently stands at 219 lbs. and six percent body fat. He stated that by the fall he looks to drop his body fat by one percent and be even leaner than he is now.

"I feel that I got a lot stronger and faster," he said, "so if I pressed up against man (to-man defense) I feel that I can easily move out of the way. So it feels nice to be out here running full speed.

"I'm consistently running a 4.5, but I'll get it down to a 4.4 before I leave here."

"He has already made a significant jump physically," Erickson said in a recent interview of Robinson. "He came in and never really played receiver. He lost weight and is in much better shape. He's just night and day (from last season). I look for him to have a heck of a spring."

The natural learning curve of a first-year can be a painful experience, but it is also an invaluable one. Is that notion that is guiding Robinson these days and giving him hope that better days are yet to come.

"I just need to go there and compete," Robinson said. "Everything else will just take care of itself."

Sun Devil Source Top Stories