Robinson overcoming slow season start

It was a wild Saturday in Pullman, Washington for the Sun Devils, but no player may have had a crazier day than Gerell Robinson. The sophomore caught three passes for 35 yards but dealt with a fumble trying to tack on yards after a catch and knocked over his head coach on the sidelines on another.

The fumble came after Robinson made a great catch and survived an onslaught of Cougar defenders before fumbling as he went down to the ground.

"It was a good play," Robinson stated. "I fumbled, but addition by subtraction. I made a play, and I feel bad because I hurt one of their corners, I broke his leg. But I can learn from it and I can watch film and just make one move and go or just get down. I'm not used to that, last time that happened I was in high school, and I would've scored, but I'm learning from it slowly but surely.

"That's the toughest part for me (ball protection), just fighting for extra yards and getting everything I can out of it, but at this level you have to realize that the front-seven, once the ball is thrown they are running to the ball, and I wasn't used to them being that fast. If I'm able to shake one person then make a move and just keep going then fine, if not then I just have to sustain the drive.

Robinson thought that overall he had a good showing last weekend, despite his miscue. "I tried to make a play and I fumbled," Robinson commented, "but the coaches understood, and they told me what I should and shouldn't do and they said it comes with youth, learning and experience."

On another play, Robinson was going at it with a defender when he was thrown into Head Coach Dennis Erickson, knocking him down, and keeping him from calling plays for most of the fourth quarter.

"At first I didn't realize I had hit him at all, and then by the time the drive was over I had realized I hit him and I felt bad," Robinson admitted. "I wasn't so much worried about him being mad at me, I was more so worried about him being OK because I fell pretty hard and I know he must've fell even harder than I did, but he ended up calling a two-point drive my way and I ended up getting the two points and I gave him a hug at the end so I don't think he is too mad. He took it like a soldier.

"I came over to give him a hug and that's when he said ‘you knocked the mess out of me,' and I said I was sorry, then he said ‘I know we've had our times but I didn't think we had to go to physical contact,' kind of joking about it, but for the most part he's a good dude, I like him."

On a personal note, Robinson had high expectations coming out of fall camp and hasn't lived up to them quite to this point, but he insists that everyone stay patient.

"It was tough," Robinson said. "I had a lot going on off the field the first few weeks with family issues and my mom moving and other stuff like that I had to deal with as well. I just stuck with it, and I had people in my corner. The coaches stayed with me, they never really wavered and my family didn't either, so I had people in my corner believing in me, and the man upstairs, God, I kept praying in church and everything else and things started to turn out for me.

"I always considered myself a late bloomer. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, but I finally came around and I'm trying to help my team string some wins together back-to-back. Our coaches know it, and my teammates know they can count on me. Danny can count on me, Brock (Osweiler), Samson (Szakacsy), any of them. Hopefully when my number is called in the game-time situation in front of our fans or on TV, I can be able to make a play and hopefully the fans can see it as well, and we can all agree."

The Sun Devils turned the ball over six times against Washington State, but still came out of Pullman with a win. However, the team knows they can't play like that again and expect to come away with a victory in the Pac-10.

"That was the first game where we really turned the ball over," Robinson pointed out. "We've played five games and that was the first one, so it was different. It's good to have some type of adversity, but luckily we came out with the victory. I guess it's rare you turn the ball over six times and still come out with the victory. I learned from my mistakes, hopefully Danny (Sullivan) did as well, and the running backs, and hopefully we can move forward these next few games."

The wideouts as a whole have taken on a lot of criticism this season for dropping a plethora of passes, with plenty of them coming in crucial moments of the game. Once again, Robinson noted that this is just part of the natural learning curve.

"It's tough because as a quarterback if you miss an open throw you can always bounce back and throw another one," Robinson explained. "But as a receiver if you drop an open pass it's obvious and it's tough to bounce back from, but our coaches stuck with us for the most part, we've dealt with criticism before, it comes with the position.

"I know I've learned from it and I know a few guys in the receiving corps have learned from dropping the ball so hopefully we'll see it next Saturday."

Among the wideouts, ASU has gotten plenty of production out of the slot with both Kyle Williams and Chris McGaha setting career highs in receptions while playing in that role. Conversely, the outside receivers haven't faired as well, but have tried to capitalize on the chances that come their way.

"It's not so much us not getting many looks," Robinson stated, "the past few games if our number is called we try to make the best of the opportunity, but I'm not opposed to anybody getting the ball as many times as they did. Chris had a phenomenal game and so did Kyle. As long as we can do anything to help the team win, we came up short against Oregon State, but anything that happens, happens. It's not like coaches are playing favorites or the defense is double covering, it just so happens someone is open and we're all working together to get each other open and ourselves open as well."

On a lighter note for Robinson he turned 20-years old today, but admits it hasn't been the most exciting day.

"This has not been a normal birthday," Robinson asserted. "I woke up at 6:15 this morning and I had weights, class, and studying, so I haven't had much off time other than 30 minutes to eat."


Sun Devil Source Top Stories