Newberry College Wolves
Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina
St. John's High School
OVERVIEWAs draft day approaches, one of the most popular figures back on Wadmalaw Island is an unassuming linebacker who might not be a marquee name, but is rapidly moving up team draft boards. It is very rare for a player at this level of competition to generate a “buzz” in the scouting community like Robinson has received this season.
While there is really nothing “special” about his on-field exploits, it is his athleticism that strikes up most conversation between talent evaluators. The right outside linebacker’s resume includes only 200 tackles through 41 games with the Wolves and most of the linebackers in this draft class have that amount of stops after just two seasons.
You will not find Robinson’s name etched anywhere in the school record books, but his importance to the team’s success can not be comprehended from the stats sheets. The NFL teams have noticed, as he was the first Division II player to receive an invitation to play in the 2015 East-West Shrine Game. He was also just one of two Division II players in attendance among the 330-plus athletes that the league invited to the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine.
That is where Robinson shined, as he had to be one of the busiest when it came to teams wanting to interview him. With his 34-inch arms and freakishly long wingspan that measured 82 5/8-inches, they all agree that he looks “lean” at 245 pounds, but still moved around like a defensive back. He was timed at 4.67 seconds in the 40-yard dash, but he really opened up eyes in the position drills with his ease of movement.
CAREER NOTESRobinson started 29 of 41 games at Newberry, finishing his career with 200 tackles (137 solos), 2.5 sacks for minus 23 yards, 23.5 stops for losses of 80 yards and three quarter-back pressures…Caused two fumbles and recovered three others, advancing two for a total of 16 yards…Lost four yards on an interception return and deflected 12 passes.
His athleticism was evident, as Robinson performed in the vertical jump (37 inches) and broad jump (10’-01”) tests. Scouts could see why his coaches wanted to utilize that speed and leaping ability in pass coverage, as he was often rotated back to safety, covering slot receivers into the deep part of the secondary.
Robinson’s 23.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage demonstrate his ability to locate the ball carriers, slip past blockers and make the big hit in the backfield. All six of his turnovers have eventually led to Newberry scoring drives and with his long arms and lanky frame, he looks like a condor when engulfing smaller opponents while showing excellent lateral agility to pursue long distances.
If Robinson is selected in the draft, he will be the first Newberry player to hear his name called since linebacker Greg Hartle was a 10th round selection by the old St. Louis Cardinals in 1974. The Wolves almost had their lone first round pick in 2008, but standout offensive tackle Heath Benedict died from natural causes before draft day commenced.
When Robinson arrives in an NFL training camp next year, he might find three other Newberry products with NFL experience there. Receiver Corey Washington is a member of the New York Giants, linebacker Brandon Bostick was just picked up by the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Ron Parker was a free agent this offseason.
Robinson has dreamed of being a pro football player since he was a young boy obsessed with watching the NFL Network, and at St. John’s High School, where he was a do-it-all player who also excelled in basketball for the Islanders. On the gridiron, he was a 184-pound senior who competed as a linebacker, rush end, free safety, fullback and slot receiver. But a couple of disappointments steeled his determination and helped him get this far.
Coming out of St. John’s, Robinson felt he had a scholarship offer to a Division I school. Just before signing date, the offer fell through. The Islanders’ coach at the time, James Waring, helped Robinson hook up with his alma mater, Newberry.
Robinson’s progression through the college ranks began slowly, as he was mostly a reserve until earning two late season starts in 2011, finishing the year with 22 tackles, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. He was in an out of the lineup dealing with more leg issues in 2012, finishing sixth on the team with 41 tackles through six starts.
Robinson’s first full season saw the right outside linebacker receive All-South Atlantic Conference honors, as he led the Wolves with 69 tackles, adding twelve stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also picked off a pass and deflected five others. He would repeat as a first-team All-SAC choice in 2014, again pacing the defense with 68 tackles, making 7.5 of those stops behind the line of scrimmage.