Penn State WR Allen Robinson continues to be on the rise
MAY 07, 2014 3:00p ET
After rewriting the Penn State record books, wide receiver Allen Robinson jumped at the opportunity to cash in at the next level.
Robinson, who announced in January he would leave college a year early, is hours away from finally reaching his goal of playing at the NFL. It’s not something that has caught the 20-year-old receiver off guard.
He’s savoring every moment until he hears his name called.
“I feel like this is a very exciting period in my life,” Robinson told FOXSports.com in a telephone interview. “I’m trying to stay focused. I’m not nervous or anything. I know when it comes to draft day, that’s not something I can control. I’m trying to stay busy and focus at the task at hand. That’s to be ready for next week when we go into rookie minicamp.”
Several team executives have noted how deep the crop of players are at wide receiver. Robinson, who is among the grouping who can find themselves in the first round, has been overlooked during this process.
The irony in Robinson’s draft experience is that his college coach Bill O’Brien was hired as the Texans head coach in January. While Robinson admits that he’s had discussions with O’Brien, he understands that his hands are full as the rookie head coach holds the coveted No. 1 overall pick.
“It was amazing playing for Coach O’Brien,” Robinson said. “He really challenged me as a player on and off the field. He’d challenge me to know every detail of the playbook. It was a great opportunity. He’s going to bring a winning atmosphere to the Texans. I believe that. He always said his main priorities are family and winning. He creates a family atmosphere. He was always there for us as a coach. He created a great culture.”
While O’Brien has been taking the trips to different campuses along with general manager Rick Smith to scout out the best talent, Robinson has kept in close touch with his former wide receivers coach Stan Hixon.
Hixon, who has eight seasons of experience coaching NFL wide receivers, spent the last two seasons in Happy Valley. He was instrumental in Robinson’s growth and the two keep a strong bond.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound wide receiver set school records, hauling in 97 receptions for 1,432 yards in 2013. During his three-year career, he finished second in receptions (177) and third in receiving yardage (2,474).
“I’m just a versatile receiver,” Robinson said. “I flourish in the quick passing game, but I also was first in the nation of plays over 40 yards and second in yards after catch.”
Recently, Robinson had been compared to Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson by former NFL scout and Big Ten Nework analyst Russ Lande.
“Scouts, when they watched the film of Robinson, they loved what they saw,” Lande said. “They saw a kid who had natural hands, could win the jump balls, was dynamic in terms of getting up the field after the catch, breaking tackles and making big plays. But they even question, does he have elite speed or is he just an average guy?”
Robinson noted that while it’s an “honor” to be compared to an NFL great, he’s not making too much of it.
During last month’s pro day, Robinson improved on all his numbers from the NFL Combine including running a 4.45 and recording a 42-inch vertical jump.
“I put in the work to be successful,” Robinson said. “Even before the combine I had to go back and tweak a few things. I worked my butt off. It was minor things, but it paid off.”