As part of the redesign of the Bucknuts.com web site, we have added an area where we can publish excerpts from Bucknuts The Magazine. Each week, we will put in a new excerpt from the latest edition of Bucknuts The Magazine.
BTM has evolved from humble beginnings as a 32-page magazine into its current format as an 80-page magazine. It is published 10 times a year (monthly from September through April, then once in the Spring and Summer).
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In each issue of Bucknuts The Magazine, we have in-depth features on Ohio State football players, coaches and prospects. We also have analysis pieces on the Buckeyes as well as their opponents, the Big Ten and college football world in general. Plus, we have features on OSU athletes in a variety of sports, including men's and women's basketball, hockey, wrestling, baseball and other sports.
The Spring edition (Ted Ginn Jr. on the cover) is on newsstands now. If you subscribe by May 15, your subscription will start with the Summer edition, which will stand as the Football Preview edition.
This week's excerpt is a story in its entirety on Brian Robiskie that was published in the April issue. The story was written by Charles Babb. Here is the story:
It was meant to be this way. Brian Robiskie, the all-time leading receiver in the history of Chagrin Falls High School, was meant to be an Ohio State Buckeye. That's simply the way he chooses to look at it now.
"I definitely didn't imagine this at all," said Robiskie, who was seriously considering a scholarship offer to attend Miami (Fla.) at the time when he received an unexpected phone call from then-Ohio State assistant coach Mel Tucker. "Ohio State gave me a call the day before I was going down to Miami. That following week I was actually planning on visiting the University of Florida.
"But I got a call from Coach Tucker and Coach Tressel that Thursday, and they told me that they had an offer for me and if I wanted to, all I had to do was come down and see the campus."
Robiskie took them up on their offer and after visiting Miami, he and his entire family visited Ohio State officially the following Jan. 29 weekend instead of Florida.
"Sitting there on Sunday night, talking with my parents and comparing the options a little bit, we just thought Ohio State was a great fit, from the football side of it to the academic side of it," commented Robiskie on national signing day, just two days after he verbally committed to Ohio State. "And hopefully the location part of it will work itself out with my dad obviously. Hopefully that will be a plus."
Terry Robiskie, Brian's father, was the interim head coach of the Cleveland Browns at the time Robiskie made his decision to attend Ohio State. Since that time, the elder Robiskie has remained on the coaching staff of the Browns as their wide receiver coach so things couldn't have worked itself out any better for Robiskie and his family, who all were in attendance at the signing day press conference.
In hindsight, Ohio State was obviously the more convenient choice, but Robiskie ultimately believed he couldn't go wrong with either option. Both schools had their own unique and special qualities as far as he was concerned.
"I could see where someone would say, ‘Wow this is Ohio State,' but I think I can get that same allure from Miami, kind of," Robiskie said. "So with Ohio State, it was more or less another opportunity, and with me sitting down and making my decision, it was the better opportunity."
But Robiskie had been hoping all along to get an offer from Ohio State at some point. And on signing day, it all came to fruition for him in a roundabout way.
"That was a goal of mine," he said. "Just from being instate and being around some of these people who live and breathe Ohio State, I thought it would have been really nice to see me here today after making this decision. I had always thought about it but I didn't know this decision would be as overwhelming as it's been."
And now Robiskie is looking forward to finding out how rewarding his decision will actually become.
"I feel real excited about it," he said. "I talk to (receivers coach Darrell) Hazell a lot. I've been talking to him a lot recently. I'm real excited about getting down there and getting started early and seeing what I can do."
Ohio has become the adopted home now for Robiskie and his family. Terry Robiskie first played in the National Football League for five seasons as a running back with the Raiders and the Dolphins before he began his now 24-year coaching career in the NFL that covered lengthy stints first in Oakland with the Raiders, then in Washington with the Redskins and finally in Cleveland over the past four seasons with the Browns.
"I moved here for my freshman year and I've played all four years of high school here," Robiskie said. "I've been in contact with Ohio State for a while now, they were one of the first schools to start recruiting me. So there's been a long interest in that school for me. And for them to come in as late as they did and show interest in me the way they did, it was just kind of funny how things ended up."
Robiskie had just about resigned himself to a future life that would not include Ohio State. At least that's how it was looking as signing day neared. For the longest time, Ohio State seemed content with Andre Amos and Brian Hartline as their only two choices at the wide receiver position in their 2005 recruiting class.
"Through the whole time, they were honest with me," Robiskie said. "Real early in the season I knew they had two guys commit. Coach Tucker immediately called me and told me what the deal was, and I respected that and I respected what they were doing."
However, at some point late in the recruiting season, Robiskie's fortunes changed or at least Ohio State's thinking did.
"With a lack of recruiting, I guess, in other positions, one of those guys possibly might be playing DB and they were looking at bringing in another receiver," Robiskie was informed by Tucker. "I was the first guy he told me that he picked up the phone and called. So I just knew right then and there that there was some interest there and any way that would get me down there, I was excited about it."
Miami had offered Robiskie early on, and that meant a lot to him, but Ohio State was more than worthy of his consideration and he realized he couldn't go wrong with either school. After all, the two teams played one another in the national championship game at the end of the 2002 season. Robiskie felt that he would have been just as comfortable if his decision was Miami.
"This was a big day for me and it makes it a little bit better because it is Ohio State," he said on signing day. "But sitting here today, I think these are two schools that I definitely could not have gone wrong with either one of them. So it was difficult based on just how close they really were in that regard. With Ohio State, like with Miami, they presented some things that I was real interested in that the other didn't. But, like I said, this just seemed like a better fit.
"I just felt real comfortable down (at OSU). I got a chance to see the business school, that's what I'm interested in, and we were just real excited as a whole."
Robiskie's dad, speaking from his own experiences in dealing with the OSU football program over the years, concurred that Ohio State was a good fit for his son when he was asked at Brian's press conference.
"I think it worked out good," Terry Robiskie said. "I've been going around the country to these schools now for about 25 years, going to different schools and working guys out. And like I told him, history tells me that Ohio State has been one of the best universities in the country over the years or the last 25 years that I've been doing it and I thought Ohio State was a better fit for him.
"I can go back to the days at Miami where there was a Michael Irvin who came out of Miami and was a great football player, and there was a guy named (Cris) Carter who came out of Ohio State and was a great football player. In the recent years, there's been the David Bostons and the Joey Galloways and I've just known all of those guys over all the years I've been going to Ohio State. Ohio State is a tremendous football program and I just thought it was a great fit for Brian and a great program to be a wide receiver at."
As a student of the game, the younger Robiskie has obviously been around his dad a great deal and has watched some of those types of successful players prepare and perform in the NFL. His understanding of many of the intangible aspects of the game, afforded to him from being an NFL coach's son, is likely to translate into a major advantage for Robiskie as his career evolves.
"It helps me tremendously because I get to be around the guys who have made it to the highest level, and it shows me the type of work ethic you need to make it there and the type of focus you need to have," Robiskie said. "And it's not only being around those guys on Sunday. I'm there over the summer and in the off-season, watching those guys work and watching what they do to be successful. It's really helped me out."
In his first-team All-Ohio senior season, the 6-4, 195-pound Robiskie had 47 catches for 754 yards and 14 touchdowns, raising his career numbers to 118 receptions for 1,905 yards and 34 TDs. He also played some on defense at cornerback and averaged 17 yards on punt returns this past year.
"I think I have a lot to offer and I think I'm well prepared for this opportunity," he said. "I'm just really excited about getting down there and seeing what I can do early."
And if a redshirt season is in his future, Robiskie has no problem with that "opportunity." Besides, he's relatively young for his class having turned only 17 on Dec. 3.
"I know that Coach Hazell is going to do everything that he can to get me as prepared as I can to come into camp and show everything that I'm capable of," he said. "If the occasion occurs where I do redshirt, then that's a year where I can get bigger. I can get faster and learn the system so it will be nothing but a bonus for me. And I'm young."
And he's obviously talented. The Browns' wide receivers coach, who attended Brian's games whenever possible and watched film of him, evaluated his son's ability to play that position.
"He's worked hard to skill his game to fit his body mold," Coach Robiskie said. "His hands are excellent, and I think he goes out and attacks the ball, which is a trait that we try to find in guys, even at my level. The guys that want the football, the ball's in the air and they want to go get it, and he's got the ability to do that. And the thing that I think that he's proven over the last couple of years is his ability to ward off defenders, to use his body and play physical to get guys off of him, and I think that will be an asset for him as he grows and becomes stronger."
Robiskie, who's been preparing for this moment for most of his young life, said that he's really proud of what he's been able to accomplish thus far.
"I just reached a goal that I set real early in my life," he said. "Attending college on a full scholarship is something that my parents don't have to worry about (financially) now. This is just a goal that I'm ecstatic about, and I hope that I can set a good enough for example for my two brothers, Andrew and Kyle. But even more importantly I feel really blessed about this decision."
Everything had happened so fast that Robiskie really hadn't had the time to sit back and appreciate what actually happened on signing day, but at the same time he couldn't have been any happier that he would soon be a Buckeye.
"You probably can't see it right now but inside I'm beaming. I'm real excited," he said at his press conference. "I'm excited about the challenge that lies ahead and I'm excited about the opportunity that I have to go down there and try to be successful."
It was meant to be this way.