Robinson Representing UCF in the Big Apple

April 25, 2012

UCF Athletics Social Media Directory

By John Denton, Knights Insider

ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - In New York on Wednesday for the NFL Players Association's ``Rookie Debut'' festivities, Josh Robinson finally started to feel all his dreams coming true. Surrounded by towering buildings and the best college football players in the country, Robinson knew that he belonged.

``It's really hitting me and now and I'm starting to realize that I am almost there to accomplishing my goals. I'm trying have as much fun as I can and take it all in,'' Robinson said from his high-rise hotel in Manhattan. ``Being here in New York, it's sinking in that everything I've worked for is almost here. I've always worked and had a patience that great things would come for me, and now they are happening.''

When the NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night in New York, Robinson could ultimately become one of the highest selected player in UCF football history. He was given a second-round grade by NFL scouts after an electrifying performance at the NFL Combine in which he ran the fastest 40-yard dash (4.33 seconds), delivered the second-fastest time in the three-cone drill (6.55 seconds), had the greatest broad jump (a 133 score) and a top-five vertical leap among defensive backs (38.5 inches). Robinson said he and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, have been hearing some late first-round buzz and teams such as the New England Patriots (picks 27 and 31), Houston (26), Green Bay (28), San Francisco (30) and the New York Giants (32) could be in line to snatch up the former UCF standout cornerback.

``The majority of the teams have me at a second-round grade and that's what my agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has been told by a lot of teams. That's what I'm getting from most teams, but there are some looking at me that have picks late in the first round,'' said Robinson, a 5-foot-10, 199-pound speedster. ``I can't pinpoint on one team. And I've been told to not focus on just one team because that will mess you up mentally. I'm hoping for the first round, but I'll be happy wherever I go. Some teams have expressed an interest about taking me in the first round and I'm just so appreciative of that.''

Robinson, a graduate of Plantation High School, will be back in South Florida on Thursday to watch the first round of the NFL Draft at his brother, Johnny's house. A deeply religious man, Robinson has a draft party scheduled at the Church of Christ in Hallendale on Friday.

The first round of the draft will be held in prime time on Thursday, while the second and third rounds will be conducted on Friday. Rounds 4-7 will be on Saturday and could include other UCF products such as Adam Nissley, Nick Pieschel, Josh Linam and Darius Nall.

Robinson expects to be the latest in a long string of UCF players to be selected in the NFL Draft. UCF has had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft each of the last six seasons. The Knights have had 15 players taken in the last 10 drafts with as many as four taken in 2003 (Asante Samuel, Elton Patterson, Doug Gabriel and Mike Mabry) and three selected in 2008 (Kevin Smith, Josh Sitton and Mike Merritt).

Quarterback Daunte Culpepper was the highest-drafted Knight in school history being picked with the 11th overall selection in 1999 by the Minnesota Vikings. Defensive tackle Torell Troup was the second-highest pick, going 41st overall to the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Jah Reid was a third-round selection last year, going 85th overall to the Baltimore Ravens. Bruce Miller, UCF's all-time leader in sacks, also went in the 2010 draft in the seventh round and ultimately became a starting fullback for the San Francisco 49ers.

One of the teams showing particular interest in Robinson was the Miami Dolphins, the team he grew up rooting for as a kid in South Florida. Robinson had a private workout with the Dolphins earlier in the month and said it would be ``a dream come true'' to play for the Dolphins.

``That would be awesome, playing in front of my home crowd,'' he said. ``That would allow me to have so many people there because it's my family's favorite team and it would be like a dream come true playing at home.''

Robinson, who led all freshmen in 2009 with six interceptions, was fourth on UCF's squad in tackles last season with 48 total stops. But it's what he did in the pass game that was once again the most impressive. He broke up 15 passes, grabbed two interceptions and forced a fumble.

That performance came on the heels of a sophomore season where Robinson proved to the rest of the football world that he was an elite cornerback. In UCF's Liberty Bowl defeat of Georgia, Robinson limited Georgia's A.J. Green to 77 yards receiving and kept him out of the end zone. Green proved himself to be one of the NFL's most promising wide outs this past season, earning first-team All-Rookie status in the NFL.

Robinson admittedly struggled with the decision as to whether to turn professional or return to UCF for his senior season. But he said his performance in the NFL Combine reaffirmed his decision to opt for the NFL. He said he wouldn't be in this position not without the coaching and drilling he got at UCF.

And now, after three stellar years at UCF and blowing away scouts at the NFL Combine, he has a chance to realize the dream of getting drafted by an NFL team on Thursday or Friday night.

``At the combine, I wanted to get on that big stage with all those great athletes and just perform my best. Thank God I was able to put up the numbers that I did,'' Robinson said. ``It was really like a dream come true for me, and now I just can't wait for the draft. ... I think there will be more of an anxious feeling for me wanting to know where I'm going to be and when I'm going to be drafted. I'm so excited.''

John Denton's Knights Insider appears on UCFAthletics.com several times a week. E-mail John at jdenton@athletics.ucf.edu.