Dominic Robinson just fine, thank you. "I think it's going to be exciting first of all. But it's really going to weed out the cowards. The guys who don't want to be hit won't be back there anymore," Robinson said. Click here to read about another significant rule change. "> Dominic Robinson just fine, thank you. "I think it's going to be exciting first of all. But it's really going to weed out the cowards. The guys who don't want to be hit won't be back there anymore," Robinson said. Click here to read about another significant rule change. ">

Fear Factor

College football will eliminate the "halo rule" this season, forcing punt returners to call a fair catch if they don't want to be hit. The move suits Florida State's <b>Dominic Robinson </b>just fine, thank you. "I think it's going to be exciting first of all. But it's really going to weed out the cowards. The guys who don't want to be hit won't be back there anymore," Robinson said. Click here to read about another significant rule change.

Dominic Robinson doesn't consider himself a dare devil, per say. However, returning punts just might be the next best thing, especially since college football will eliminate the "halo rule" this season, forcing punt returners to call a fair catch if they don't want to be hit.

"Most people may be concerned about it but I think it's going to be a good rule," Robinson said.

"I think it's going to be exciting first of all. But it's really going to weed out the cowards. The guys who don't want to be hit won't be back there anymore."

Under the halo rule, the kicking team was penalized if a player came within 2 yards of a returner before he caught the ball. The rule led to many borderline penalties and gave the returner a cushion as he tried to get away from the initial tackle.

Good-bye cushion.

This year, a returner must be given only an "unimpeded opportunity" to catch the ball, which is more in line with the NFL rule.

The penalty for failing to do that or for contacting a player who has signaled for a fair catch will be 15 yards. Also, if a receiver muffs a ball on a fair catch he can't be hit until it touches the ground or is out of his reach.

Robinson believes the new rule gives returners an advantage or head-charging defenders. At the moment, Robinson is working on punt returns along with Leon Washington, Craphonso Thorpe, Chris Davis and incoming freshman Antonio Cromartie.

Washington led Florida State in punt returns last season with a 11.5 average (34 returns for 392 yards). Robinson returned six punts for 35 yards.

"I think it puts more in their mind, they are going to be flying even harder and that's maybe even easier to make guys miss when they are coming down like that," Robinson said.

"I actually like the rule."

Of course, a smiling Robinson also says there will be times when the returner just might end up like, well, a bug on a windshield.

"Most people get scared by it… okay, sure they are going to get you. Once in a while you are going to be got -- but that can happen at any time," Robinson said and laughed.

"But I think most guys are thinking, ‘I am going to take advantage of it (new rule). I am going to take advantage of it. I am going to kill him. I am going to kill him.' Well, go ahead and try to kill me and you will be back on the bench getting cussed out by the coaches."

The other significant rule change allows teams to enforce an unsportsmanlike penalty after a touchdown on a kickoff instead of the extra point.

The new rule will force a team to kick off from the 20 or allow them to kick off from midfield, making a significant difference in field position, especially late in a game.


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