Robiskie Takes on Leadership Role

Ohio State wide receiver Brian Robiskie had a breakout year in 2006. Robiskie, who saw limited time as a true freshman, earned a starting spot in his sophomore year. On Saturday Robiskie joined several of his teammates in North Canton at a charity autograph signing. We caught up with Robiskie who talked about the 2006 season.

Brian Robiskie established himself as a solid receiver for Ohio State in 2006. Robiskie finished third on the team in receiving with 27 catches for 350 yards and 5 touchdowns. Included in this effort was a 7-catch effort against Michigan in the regular season finale. With the departure of Ted Ginn and Anthony Gonzalez to the NFL, Robiskie knows he'll be counted on to carry a heavier load in 2007.

"I know the coaches are expecting me to become more of a leader next year," Robiskie explained. "This will be my third year in the program and I know they're counting on me to be more vocal. I'm trying to be in a position where the younger guys look to me for leadership. To do this you have to be a leader off the field, in the classroom and in the weight room."

Robiskie also revealed he's also looking to improve on his play from a year ago.

"I'm really working on improving my speed," he said. "I'd also like to get bigger to be able to take to take more of the pounding. Like most college players I'm looking to get faster and stronger. The receivers are asked to do a lot of blocking at Ohio State and the extra bulk will help me be a better blocker."

Robiskie talked about his performance in the win over Michigan that secured the outright Big-10 championship for Ohio State. He caught a touchdown pass and had 89 yards receiving in the victory.

"That was my favorite moment in our season," Robiskie noted. "Winning the game was awesome enough but being able to play a big role made it that much sweeter. I think they were concentrating so much on Teddy and Gonzo that I just seemed to be open a lot. I give Troy Smith a lot of credit for throwing the ball right on the money all day long. All I had to do was concentrate on the ball and make the catch."

He also took a moment and tried to explain the Buckeye's poor performance against Florida in the national championship game.

"I've thought about that game so much and it's hard to pit your finger on just what went wrong that day," he continued. "It's probably too simple of an answer but I believe Florida played great that day and we played the worst we could possibly play. Things started going wrong early and we just couldn't get any momentum offensively or defensively. Hopefully we've learned from that game and if we're fortunate to get back to the championship game we'll play a lot better."

Robiskie feels the Buckeyes will field a strong team once again in 2007 and believes a return to the national title game is possible.

"We have some younger guys who have been waiting for their chance to contribute and this is their time," he said. "The only thing I'll tell the younger guys is that we expect them to step up and do what they're taught to do. We had a lot of first time starters play really well for us last year. I see the same thing happening next year. We have a lot of talent on this team."

The recent history at Ohio State has seen many juniors leave school early and enter the NFL draft. Might Robiskie consider testing the waters if he has another stellar season?

"Not a chance," he said emphatically. "I was only 17 when I started at Ohio State. I need the time to get stronger, both physically and mentally. The only think I'll be concentrating on this season is winning football games. I have 2 years left at Ohio State and I want to enjoy the time as much as possible. I really like being at Ohio State. I'm in no hurry to leave."

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