I spoke to former Penn State star receiver Allen Robinson (and his star agent, Eugene Parker) on Thursday. Robinson is in Tampa training and preparing for the NFL Scouting Combine next week in Indianapolis.
This was done for the story that ran in Saturday’s Trib. But, as so often happens, there’s not space for everything in the paper. So here is more of what Robinson had to say via phone.
Among the more interesting nuggets: Some unsolicited for former Penn State wide receivers coach Mike McQueary, the almost-daily inclusion of yoga into his workout routine and that he intends on ultimately earning his college degree (impressive he’s so close in only 2 1/2 years).
For the innumerable faithful readers of The Blog out there who are looking for the breakdown of the odds of each of the Nittany Lions’ incoming defensive players recruits of making an immediate impact in 2014, I promise it’s coming in the next 48 hours. (It’s written; this was just more timely to post as a companion to the story in the print editions).
Have a lovely weekend…
On what his typical day is like:
Allen Robinson: “I’m just waking up getting a good meal… usually go about two times a day some speed training and on the field work, typically in the mornings and then we do our lifting in the afternoon. And then some days instead of lifting we will do yoga some days as well.”
On how this regimen differs from his time as a player at Penn State:
“It’s not any different; Coach Fitz (former PSU strength coach Craig Fitzgerald) had a really good program for us, so it hasn’t been too much of a difference transferring. Just maybe a few different exercises and things but really nothing was really too far form what Coach Fitz had us doing…. Other than yoga, not a lot is different than what I was doing at Penn State. I would just say maybe just some things in the weight room, some different weights, squats, things like that would be a little different, but not so much different than the Coach Fitz workout program.”
On if it helps holding common experiences and goals with the other guys he’s training with:
“I’m working out with a good group of guys. A few guys from around the Big Ten like (Michigan State receiver) Bennie Fowler and (Purdue cornerback) Ricardo Allen and wide receivers like (South Carolina’s) Bruce Ellington, (Clemson’s) Sammy Watkins. (Ohio State running back) Carlos Hyde is here, so honestly, we’re all pretty much in the same boat. But we all played in a big conference and stuff, so we try not to let the Combine get the best of us. It’s just like approaching a game – you kind of have not be nervous and try to go in there relaxed and go in there and do what your practice.”
On what he’s focusing on the most as the combine approaches:
“Of course, I want to run the best 40 time as possible I can run. Same thing for the vertical and the other things at the combine; I just want to do those at the best of my ability because at the end of the day I’m a competitor and that’s what I came down here to do is to work on being the best player I can be going into the NFL combine.”
On if he’s getting any sort of scouting report from any NFL types or is being told what he needs to work on to improve his stick:
“Scouts and things don’t really get too personal. But obviously, for any skill position the biggest thing at the combine is the 40-yard-dash. Any guy who plays a skill position, they look at the 40-yard dash, so I would say that that’s something I really want to do well … But I would say that for any skill guys, that’s really a good focus going into the combine.”
On if playing for an NFL coach in Bill O’Brien helped prepare him for the NFL:
“He really pushed me and challenged me as a player. I would say that’s the best thing. I really think him and Coach Fitz made sure just to create discipline in me to be get to workouts and things like that on time and how to go into a work day, how to prepare for a work week, how to prepare for such a big event – like the Combine. I would say Coach O’Brien and Coach Fitz, (former Penn State wide receivers coach Stan Hixon), all those guys did a great job of instilling that in me while I was in school for moments like that. I don’t have any uncertainty right now. It’s something that I’m used to and something that I’m prepared to do, that’s something that I know how to approach a big-time event like this.”
On if he looks back fondly at his time at Penn State:
“Two-and-a-half years. I definitely miss my buddies up there and stuff, but they understand the situation. I’m really thankful to have their support. They understand the process and all that… continue contact with all the guys I’m close with at school.”
On if he looks back with wonder at his transformation from a little-used spare college receiver into a sure-fire NFL receiver in the matter of less than two years:
“I would just say that I was always taught to prepare myself for the opportunity and for the moment. So with me not playing as much my freshman year, I really couldn’t let that get to me. But at the same time (former wide receivers coach Mike McQueary), he kind of really kept me abreast of the situation and where I stood with the program (as a freshman in 2011). He prepared me for my sophomore year a lot so it wasn’t too much of the transition, so I’m thankful for me having him as a coach. (In 2011), I played at Ohio State, I played at Wisconsin, I played in a lot of those big games and that helped me prepare for my sophomore year when it was my time. So I would say it… just kind of just the process of waiting for my moment.”
On if he intends on going back to earn his degree (in telecommunications):
“Definitely. That’s something that my mom and my family would love to see me get, and that’s something that I really want to get. I’m not too far away – I’m about 20 or so credits away, so that’s not too much and I definitely, at some point, I want to go and get that.”
On when in the draft he’s been told to expect to be taken:
“It’s kind of hard to say right now, you know, it’s pretty early. A lot of things that you hear and people tell you aren’t really too accurate, but of course I’m going to be happy to go in the first round – that’s my goal, and that’s been my goal ever since I made the decision to declare for the NFL Draft so that’s what I’m working to right now.”
On if he’s met or spoken to new Penn State coach James Franklin:
“I haven’t got a chance to meet Coach Franklin yet, and I heard he was a great coach and I really hope that and I think he’s going to take the program in the right direction. But at the same time Penn State ended up picking their coach by the time I kind of had to decide by and start working out, so my decision was already made, but I’ve heard all great things about Coach Franklin.”
On if he’ll be following Penn State this season and beyond:
“Definitely. I have a lot of guys on that team that I’m basically like family with. I’m always going to follow Penn State.”