At 6-foot-4 1/2 and 310 pounds, Irvington, N.J. standout defensive tackle Nate Robinson was excited to begin practice on Monday.
"I've waited a long time for this," Robinson said. "My senior year is finally here and I want to help this team make it to the state title game. Ever since July 1, I've been lifting and running every day. We also had a bike riding session every day. My 40-time is down to a 4.8 because I worked a lot on my starts this summer. I wanted to become quicker off the ball so I can really dominate people."
Robinson, who started playing football in 8th grade when he was 6-feet and 260 pounds, has always enjoyed playing in the middle. "We run a 3-4 defense so I'm the middle man. I love beating double teams and hitting the quarterbacks or the running backs. I actually weighed about 325 last year and now I'm down around 310. I had 15 sacks last year and I want to get at least 28 this year. I feel as if I'm a completely different player this year."
Robinson also competes in basketball and track. He threw the shot put 54 feet and the discus 128 as a junior. However, it's basketball that Robinson said has really helped him out.
"I play basketball to help me with my conditiong," he said. "It helps me on my quickness and agility too."
The talented defensive tackle prospect, who carries a 2.8 core GPA and is awaiting his ACT scores, said he's now gotten close to 60 written scholarship offers.
"I have it down to about eight schools," he said. "Miami, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Michigan State, North Carolina, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and either Tennessee or Kansas State. They have all offered me. They call came to visit the school in May and then they all called me at home."
Robinson, whose brother used to play basketball at the University of Georgia, said he does have one that stands out above the rest.
"I'm loving Miami right now," he said. "They're definitely on top. I'm trying to get there in December for a visit. That's going to be my first official visit since they're the No. 1 team on my list. I like how they're coming off a national championship. I like how many players they send to the NFL at my position. And I like how they always have one of the top ranked defenses in the whole nation. They always seem to get the most out of their players. Coach Hargreaves is great. I really liked talking to him. He's real cool and laid back. Coach Coker also told me that he enjoyed watching my tape and that I'm one of the guys they really want. He said he would like for me to be part of their program. That's pretty good stuff coming from Miami's head coach."
So what are the chances that Robinson ends up a Hurricane?
"I don't know for sure but Miami's definitely the team to beat," he said. "That's my goal. I also like Rutgers too because my sister went there and my parents would like to see me there but they said it's totally my decision and will be up to me. Right now, I'm feelin Miami a lot. The only thing I was worried about at first was dealing with the heat. But it has been 100 degrees here all week and I'm dealing with it. Everything about Miami is positive. There are no downs, it's all ups with them."
The standout defensive tackle said he's hoping his Miami visit will get pushed back to late December. "I really want to make it to the state championship," he said. "If that happens, I met my goals."
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