Like Father, Like Son

A little more than three decades ago Rick Robey took an official visit to the University of Florida. Little did he know that more than 34 years later he would return to Gainesville but this time the outcome would be different.

Rick Robey was the third pick in the NBA Draft; he played in the league for nine years with three different teams in Indy, Boston and Phoenix. He was an all-american center at the University of Kentucky and was from the state of Louisiana.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Sam Robey might be a better athlete than his father at this stage of the game. Robey, like his father will spurn the local teams and travel outside of his hometown state to attend college, deciding today to play for the University of Florida.

What you need to understand about the Robey family is that they make the best decision possible for them. Rick Robey knew that to become the best possible basketball player he could be, he must leave the state of Louisiana and go to Kentucky. For in his eyes he was either going succeed or die trying. Sam Robey knows that to be challenged and to become the best possible football player that he can be he needs to leave his hometown state and head to the University of Florida. The elder Robey knows it was the right decision.

"I am excited for Sam and I believe that Florida is the right place for him," Rick Robey said. "He is a very hard worker and he is a winner. He wants to be the best player that he can be. The Gators have a very young program and should be pre-season one or two next season and it's just the best fit for him. Sam is the kind of kid that will make it. I could have stayed home and went to LSU but I knew that for me to become the best possible player that I needed to go to Kentucky and be challenged and that's exactly what Sam is doing by going to the University of Florida."

"Kentucky was the place for me and Florida is the place for him," he continued. "The Florida staff couldn't have made us feel more welcome. I feel like I have known everyone on that staff for 10 years."

Sam Robey becomes the 15th player to publicly commit to the University of Florida. Robey, 6-5 and 255-pounds, played on both the defensive and offensive lines as well as the tight end position.

Robey, from Louisville (Kent.) Trinity High School picked the Gators over Louisville, Kentucky, Middle Tennessee State, Duke and Purdue.

"I picked the University of Florida in football for the same reason that my dad picked the University of Kentucky in basketball because we both wanted to go play with the best players in the nation," Sam Robey said.

Sam Robey has been playing football ever since the first grade, but not until his sophomore year in high school, a year in which he was starting on the varsity, did he realize that he could play at the next level.

"I have been playing football my entire life but when I was starting on varsity as a sophomore I thought to my self that one day I might be able to play major college football and now I get my chance," he said.

This was the second trip to the University of Florida for the Robey family with the first being homecoming weekend as the Gators hosted the Vanderbilt Commodores.

"We had a great time this past weekend," Sam Robey said. "Troy Starr picked us up from the Orlando airport and drove us to Gainesville. As soon as we arrived, I immediately went into the offensive line team meeting. After sitting in on the meetings it was time to apply it to the practice field. After practice we went out and ate, I was hanging with Duke Lemmens, Justin Trattou and Milton Knox. Saturday we got up and all of the recruits ate breakfast together. After breakfast it was time to tour the campus and academic support systems. That night we all went over to coach [Urban] Meyer's house to eat dinner. The Pouncey twins were at coach Meyer's house as well so that was pretty cool. Saturday night we watched the Boone and Miami Northwestern game. Sunday morning we ate together as a group and them everyone had their one on one meeting with position coaches and Urban Meyer. I sat down in Meyer's office and he asked me if I was ready to be a Gator and I told him definitely."

The big question now becomes which position Robey plays at the next level. If it were up to head coach Bob Beatty the decision would be an easy one.

"Sam is a big kid that is 6-5 and 255-pounds," Beatty said. "His dad is about 7-1 and Sam is still growing. I think it's safe to say that the day he steps on campus he will be carrying 275-pounds. He is an exceptionally gifted athlete for a guy of his size. Without question Sam could play tight end at the next level but the best part of his game is he has amazing exceptionally quick feet. I think that the position that he excels at in college is Center."

Rick Robey agrees.

"I don't think there is a football player in the country that has quicker feet than Sam," he said. "He is 258-pounds and will arrive to Florida around the 275-pound range. He has a larger frame that could easily carry 300-305-pounds. When Sam arrives on campus he will be ready."

Questions or comments? Contact's Jason Higdon

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