May 11, 2011

Powerful Robinson keeps recruiting in perspective

MEMPHIS --- On the football field, Jovon Robinson's size is ideal; prototypical for the running back position at roughly 6 feet and 218 pounds.

At home, as the baby of the house, Robinson's size is a different matter. The standout from Memphis' hardscrabble Wooddale High School towers over his mom, as well as older sister and brother.

"I'm the baby, but I'm the biggest person in the house. It's awkward," said Robinson, who has emerged as one of Tennessee's top prospects and has been amassing offers from a bevy of BCS programs. "My brother and sister are on this recruitment ride with me. They just keep me motivated and striving for the best."

Robinson also is plenty self-motivated. He remembers each of his four fumbles last season, why he believes he fumbled and what he's done to improve.

"I had four. I had three in one game and one the game after and after that, I didn't fumble anymore," said the personable Robinson, his massive hands also strengthened as part of his training. "The only reason I had three fumbles in one game is because I had on these Under Armour half-sleeves and as I sweated, it made it difficult for me to hold the ball. But it haunted me. Every time I dropped the ball, it made me hungrier and made me want to work harder and made me want to score more."

So Robinson has worked. He has his own, self-developed workout that he conducts at home to improve his speed --- the ever-present barometer that sets apart good backs from elite ones.

"It's a workout I made up on my own. I do it at home. I separate some cones, about 20 yards apart, and I just run suicides," said Robinson, whose recent max bench press was 285 pounds with a 415-pound squat. "Just do it consistently. That works."

What also works for Robinson in his perspective on this recruiting ride. He both recognizes he's a fortunate, unique position and also benefits from having a mentor, former teammate Kevin Greene, as a key influence.

"Yeah, I do enjoy it, because it's truly a blessing to be going through what I'm going through right now," Robinson explained. "And I just want to take it day by day. Pray that I make the right decision.

"Kevin Greene, I looked up to him when I was in 10th grade. He showed me the process works and how recruitment goes and all that. He's really who I've looked up to. I really appreciate him guiding me through that."

Perhaps just as importantly, Robinson is grateful for the change years ago in his position on the field. The highly sought-after tailback, after all, started out on the offensive line.

"I actually started out in little league as a center," Robinson said. "Then I moved from center to quarterback to fullback to running back. As I grew up, they moved my positions. Yeah (it's worked out pretty good)."

Robinson, who has been hearing consistently from UT, said he would like to see the Vols in the coming months and expects to go through a thorough recruiting process before announcing his decision.

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