Robinson Shows His Versatility

Junior Mason Robinson went from struggling for playing time to one of the Rutgers football team's go-to guys at the drop of a hat.

But that's what happens when last season's two biggest run producers, in junior Kordell Young and sophomore Jourdan Brooks, are unable to play.

Factor in Robinson's transition to wide receiver after the Scarlet Knights' loss of 2,048 combined receiving yards and 14 combined touchdowns from Kenny Britt, Tiquan Underwood and Dennis Campbell, and Robinson is the new Mr. do it all for Rutgers.

In his first scrimmage alone, Robinson showed that he can still run the ball, breaking the longest play of the day on a 56-yard run and that he has made strides at learning wide receiver, starting on the first team alongside senior Tim Brown.

All that matters to Robinson, however, is helping the team.

"[Coach] asked me to do it and once he told me I just said [I'd do] anything I could to help the team," Robinson said. "I was just ready to go. You had a lot of running backs that can play really well and we just had two great receivers leave. [My move was really based on] any way I can help the team."

For the remaining three practices and two scrimmages, Robinson's goal is simply to continue to learn at his new starting position, but still get work in at running back just in case.

"It's going pretty well. I'm trying to keep learning and keep picking up everything that I can, try to be a sponge with everything and absorb everything," Robinson said."I look to coaches [for help], I look to [wide receivers] Julian Hayes, Pat Brown, Tim Brown even some of the young guys because they've been doing it here for a couple of months longer than I have and they have that experience in high school."

Some of that, however, comes naturally to Robinson. The Somerville High School stalwart served as an all-purpose player, lining up where he could make the biggest impact.

In his senior year, Robinson had 1,993 all-purpose yards to go along with 19 touchdowns and a 245-yard performance in a win over Hackettstown.

"When I was younger I just really focused on catching the ball and trying to work on everything in my overall game," he said. "It just comes from playing backyard football where you have a quarterback and everybody out there is a receiver. That's what it really comes down to … [My mindset] changes a little bit, with the rout running and stuff, but once you get the ball you're just a running back with a longer handoff."

The advantage to having Robinson at receiver is that he has two years of experience as a reserve running back, meaning that he's used to getting hit and moving between the tackles.

"I try to use my strength more than some of the other receivers," he said. "Once I get all the different moves and techniques down, I'll use those, but keep the strength going too."

Fullback Jack Corcoran has blocked for Robinson in the backfield since Robinson's initial arrival in 2007 and the senior said that he feels Robinson is transitioning even better than expected.

"I think he's doing a great job," Corcoran said. "He came back and got some carries — it was exciting, he popped two big runs, actually. I think he can be a utility guy that can be used at both positions."

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