Nate Robinson - 'don't blink'

You hear the stories. Local player shuns the local school for so-called 'greener pastures'. They don't feel wanted. They feel betrayed. Such seemed to be the case of one of Seattle's premier high school football prospects. But was it really that way?

"I just didn't know if they really wanted me to go there, so I just played it out, weighed my options," Robinson told Dawgman.com. "USC was at the top because they were sending letters and calling every week. U-Dub, they were calling every blue moon. I never met Coach Neuheisel personally, but he's really cool, a really down- to-earth guy. I would be loved to be coached by him. That would be nice."

And while players deliberate, research and consult with various players, coaches, friends and family members before coming to their decision, the process for Nate consisted of just one question. "I just asked myself if I wanted to go there and I was like, 'Yeah!' I knew it," he said. "Then my Mom woke me up at 12:01 on Wednesday and I signed the papers and I was happy. We had cake and ice cream at a get-together after our game that night."

While his decision seemed relatively pain-free, Robinson admitted the process wan't quite as much fun as you might have thought. "It was nerve-wracking," he said. "But I was real comfortable with U-Dub. I made sure that when I made my decision I was close to home and I'm happy with my decision. I felt that I knew what I was doing and I took my time. I didn't tell anybody I was going to sign with U-Dub. I just waited, just to see how people would react. They were like, 'Why U-Dub'? I just told them that I want to go there because that's where my Dad (Jacque) went and my Mom's close to here and I want to break my Dad's records, basically."

And just how does Nate expect to break his Dad's marks? "Hopefully I'll be doing a lot of good stuff and not a lot of bad stuff," he said. "Hopefully I'll just be playing within my team and try to be one of the first all-purpose Heisman Trophy candidates. Hopefully I'll be playing receiver and corner, punt return and kickoff return. A lot of highlights, really."

He'll be doing it with one of his Rainier Beach teammates, receiver/linebacker prospect DeMar Baisy. Nate helped DeMar see the benefits of going to the same school together. Their friendship was the bond that sealed the deal. "Me and him are really close," Robinson said of his tie with DeMar. "We can talk to each other about our problems. I can talk to him about anything, really. I was talking to him and I told him, 'Instead of going to Washington State, why don't you just come to school with me,' and he said, 'Yeah, I should think about that.' We are so close, we are like family. Since he's grayshirting, we've talked about being roommates and we can work on our schoolwork together, try to do everything together to get through college together. It's pretty cool. We just sat down and talked about it."

Just like Charles Frederick last year, expect Robinson to give both football and hoops a go, even though he'll be going to school on a football scholarship. "It's fun," Nate said when talking about his Rainier Beach team, the team that just clinched the Metro League title last Friday. "It's a lot of highlights, really. We show a lot of emotion on the court. I know people might think it's showboating but that's how we play."

Despite having two legitimate D1 budding stars in twins Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart, Nate insists that they still play a team concept. "Everybody gets a piece of the ball," he said. "We just play within each other and we have fun. We trust each other. Since I'm a leader, I've got to carry them on my back sometimes. But it's fun playing with them. It's no trouble at all."

And why not trust Nate? With a 41.5-inch vertical and 4.4 speed, his athleticism shines through regardless of whether or not he's taking a pitch on the gridiron or taking the roundball to the hole for a deuce. It's what he does. And he does it quickly. "Tell Husky fans to don't blink," he said. "Tell 'em not to blink."

Husky fans, you've been warned.

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