Remembering Adrian Robinson

Adrian Robinson had bright eyes and a big smile that lit up a room. He also had a first step that helped him light up on a quarterback on more than one occasion. Robinson passed away Saturday. The former Temple University defensive end and former Mid-American Conference Player of the Year was just 25.

Adrian Robinson had bright eyes and a big smile that lit up a room.

He also had a first step that helped him light up a quarterback on more than one occasion.

Robinson passed away Saturday. The former Temple University defensive end and former Mid-American Conference Player of the Year was just 25.

As much as Bernard Pierce was the offensive catalyst for Temple's resurgence as an FBS program, it was Robinson that played the same role on the defensive side.

Robinson earned MAC Defensive Player of the Year honors as a sophomore in 2009 when he totaled 12 sacks. That was also the year the Owls snapped a 30-year bowl drought.

While he never achieved the same type of statistical success he did as a sophomore in his last two years, he remained the leader of a defense that sparked the Owls to the only bowl win in the last three decades in 2011.

Overall in his career, he posted 22 1/2 sacks and was one of the best pass rushers in school history.

Perhaps the most memorable play of Robinson's career came with the Owls trailing in the fourth quarter against Connecticut in 2010. Robinson pulled the ball from the arms of Huskie running back Jordan Todman and ran 24 yards for a go-ahead touchdown, sparking a 30-16 win against a Connecticut team that won the Big East title and played in the Fiesta Bowl that year.

It was the type of big play he became known for during an era that will go down as one of the most important in school history, one that eventually helped the Owls move from the MAC to the Big East Conference.

Robinson also shined off the field as the well-spoken defensive end's affable demeanor made him an easy face for the program during its rise in the NCAA ranks. His brother, Averee, followed in his footsteps and is a junior defensive lineman for the Owls.

Robinson played for four NFL teams and was hoping to continue his career in the Canadian Football League. But he left a legacy at Temple that will never be forgotten - as the shining star of a defense that led one of the most successful eras in school history.

Statement from head coach Matt Rhule -

"The Temple football program lost a friend, a brother, and a wonderful young man today. Adrian Robinson was one of the greatest competitors I ever had the pleasure of coaching and I know he was an even better teammate. I first met Adrian as an 18 year old high school senior. I was so proud to see him back at Temple this spring finishing his degree and being a loving father to his new daughter. He will always be a part of me and will always be a part of this program. Our hearts and thoughts go out to the Robinson family - his parents Terry and Adrian Sr., brother Averee and sister Ajia, and his daughter Avery Marie."

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