Deljuan Robinson: "What's My Name?"

While most of today's youth has idols such as pro basketball's Michael Jordan or pro football's Michael Vick, MSU senior defensive tackle Deljuan Robinson's idol is a true legend who is known world-wide even today - boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

"I can talk about Muhammad Ali all day. I just love Muhammad Ali. He's my favorite sports icon. I idolize him," said Deljuan, who first learned of Ali from his grandfather when he was about 14 or 15 years old. "He would tell you what he's going to do and he could do it. But most of all, he had great self-confidence in himself. He was able to do things and be a champion."

Although obviously not as talkative as Ali, Deljuan's not afraid to use an Ali quote on occasion, even in a football game.

"Sometimes I like to say, 'What's my name?' if I make a big play," said Deljuan, referring to a quote Ali liked to use on opponents that refused to acknowledge his name change from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali. "I also like to sometimes say, 'I'm a bad man.' I like to say that a lot (laugh)." As of now, though, he's not quite ready to use that quote in a football game. He's reserving it for games such as play-station.

But Deljuan's ultimate goal is more than quoting his idol. He wants his football team to be what his idol was - a champion! And while he's not quite ready to say the Mississippi State football team will be Southeastern Conference champions at the conclusion of the football season, he does see a lot of potential in this year's Bulldog team.

"I'm very excited about the upcoming year and the talent that we have," said Deljuan Robinson. "I think we are better because we have a lot of experience. And we have been putting in the work. It's time for us."

And as one of the seniors on the team, he'll do his part as a leader to help his teammates reach their full potential.

"This year is different because I'm the oldest one of the older guys on the team," said the 5th-year senior. "I have to lead the way for the young guys because I know what to expect. I'll just tell the young guys to play football because that's all it is, just football. If they'll do that and not get caught up in all the other stuff, then they'll be fine.

"I'll lead mostly by example, but if someone needs an encouraging word, I'll say an encouraging word."

Just like his idol, Muhammad Ali, would do if he was also wearing the Mississippi State maroon and white.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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