Considering the amount of time that he actually had to prepare, it might come as a bit of a surprise to some people that Brian Robiskie of Chagrin Falls High School took second place in the 400 meters in Division II at the state track tournament last weekend.
"Nobody really expected this about four weeks ago when I started running it," Robiskie said. "My first run (in the 400) was a week before conference and I had a decent time."
So the week before his district meet Robiskie decided to see just how far he could go in the event.
"My coaches got me mentally prepared week-in and week-out trying to get me to this point. And they got me here," he said. "I knew from here on out it was on me once we got down here. It was just mental preparation from here on out."
To say he was excited about claiming second place overall after starting in lane eight in his preliminary heat just might be an understatement.
"I'm definitely excited. It kind of summarizes all of the hard work that you put in," Robiskie said. "To be getting a medal like this in a year that I wasn't even sure that I was going to run track? I'm just grateful I had this opportunity. The coaches put me in the opportunity to be here and I'm just so grateful that I could get this."
Robiskie was running the 200 meters during the track season. And he just happened to have recorded one of the fastest times in the entire Cleveland area in that race. But the 200 meters is an extremely competitive meet if you're fortunate enough to even make it to state.
"I was running good times throughout and I got to conference (tournament) and ran a real good time. I set a school record there," he said. "I had asked them to run in the 400 and it's a couple of races before the 200. So it wasn't really getting to a choice (between the two) but I knew if I was going to go for it I was going to go all out (in just one race). So it ended up being in the 400."
His success in the 400 is sort of a testament to Robiskie's unassuming yet prolific football career at Chagrin. Despite a very successful prep career on the gridiron, he's kind of regarded as a throw-in member of the 2005 recruiting class at Ohio State.
"I can see that being that I came in so late and I was kind of considered a late pickup," Robiskie said. "But I love talking to Coach Hazell and Coach Tressel, every time I talk to them they just give me a great feeling. They're excited. They want me to get down here and start working. And that's all I'm ready to do, get working.
"So going to a program like this, as successful as they are, it's just a great chance for anybody. If you get a chance to come here it's a great opportunity."
And with track season behind him now, it's all football for Robiskie now.
"It was all football at the start of the track season. I ran track for football, that was the point," he said. "But midway through it, I kind of saw my times and I thought that we could have some fun with track. But definitely from here on out it's all football. It's all about focusing now and trying to get ready to come down here for camp."
Robiskie will be young for his class when he reports to camp. He won't turn 18 until December when his first Michigan game will already be behind him. But he'll still prepare himself to play from outset regardless.
"Anybody that comes down here in their freshman year and is successful enough to have the opportunity to play here should want to play right away," Robiskie said. "When you get down here it's not your decision. The coaches will evaluate you and they'll let you know how you're playing. All that you can do is perform to the best of your ability every day.
"If they decide it's for the best (that you play), they're the coaches, that's their job. If not, you don't lose a year of eligibility but you get the opportunity to sit back and learn how it works and come back the next year and go even harder."
The fact the Ohio State seems to be loaded at wide receiver only makes Robiskie's desire to work and perform even greater.
"That's just pure motivation for me knowing that I got all of these talented guys around me," he said. "I'm going to see what I can learn from all of these guys. They learned from somebody ahead of them and it's a process that keeps going. They're all a great bunch of guys and good group of leaders so it's a learning process for me when I come in. If I work hard enough to play, that's a bonus. But it's still a learning process."
If his performance in the 400 meters at the state track meet is any indication, Robiskie is a quick learner.
"I didn't know if I could prepare myself enough to get through it this weekend. But I think that once I ran that first race and came in second (in his heat), it gave me the confidence," he said. "Running that race gave me the confidence that I needed today, to know that I could do it. So I needed that."
Robiskie thinks that how he ran in the state meet is a pretty good gauge of his overall speed for football.
"I hope it is. My coach tells me that a lot of people have questioned that," he said. "But the 400 is a strong race. It's a good gauge for speed and endurance."
Even his dad, Terry Robiskie of the Cleveland Browns, endorses the 400 in particular and running track in general.
"My dad pushes track. When I was thinking of just concentrating on football this spring he was the first guy that said ‘You're running track,' " Robiskie said. "He was talking about mainly running the 400 but I kind of pushed him away from it. I was a little nervous about the 200. So I ran the 200 and ran it well. He just wanted me out there. So when I ran the 400 he was like, ‘I told you this is where you should be. This was the race for you.' "
And with track season behind him now Robiskie will prepare to play in the Big 33 game in July before he officially becomes a member of the Buckeyes.
"I'm not playing in the North-South game but I'll be down here for (OSU's) camp," he said. "I'll definitely be down here over the summer working out. That's a definite. Then I'll be going to the camp when my brother (Andrew) is down here. So I'll be down here."