Posted on: July 13, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 10:53 am
Oklahoma City Thunder guard Nate Robinson is making alternative plans should the NBA go into an extended lockout as many fear.
Rather than sit and take it easy or sign with an international basketball team, he told Tzvi Twersky of SLAM that he "might go play football."
Now, before you simply laugh off the idea of the 27 year-old attempting to make this career change, know this. Long before Robinson starred as a point guard for the University of Washington, was selected in the first round of the 2005 NBA Draft by the Phoenix Suns and won three Slam Dunk championships, he was a standout cornerback for then-head coach Rick Neuheisel's Husky football team.
Robinson, following the footsteps of his father, Jacque Robinson, signed with the Huskies on a football scholarship. He only played one season for the football team, but saw action in all 13 games as a true freshman, starting the final five contests and recording 34 tackles and two interceptions.
Statistics rarely tell the whole story and that is certainly the case here.
The 5-09, 180 pound Robinson is an extraordinary athlete whose quickness, vertical jump and surprising physicality always made him a better candidate for the NFL than the NBA, at least that was the opinion of one young NFL Draft analyst back in 2003. He certainly has been blessed with athletic genes. Father Jacque is the only player in college football history to have been named the MVP of the Rose Bowl (1982) and the Orange Bowl (1985). A running back, he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the eighth round in 1985 and later played with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com agrees that Robinson could play in the NFL and emphatically states, "If I were a team that needed a cornerback, I'd sure as hell give Robinson a call."Brandt, of course, prior to working with the NFL as an analyst, spent nearly 30 years as the Dallas Cowboys' Vice President of Player Personnel.
It has been nearly ten years since Robinson played competitive football with helmets and pads. That said, there were many who doubted whether he could make the leap from the Pac-10 to the NBA strictly because of his lack of prototype height. His height wouldn't be quite the detriment as a nickel or dime cornerback, however, precisely why Robinson could surprise if given an opportunity.
Posted on: March 31, 2009 8:51 pm
Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson and Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman were among the scouts on hand to watch several UCLA Bruins perform in their Pro Day on the eve of the USC workout -- the last of the big Pro Days -- tomorrow.
The workout began with the disappointing news that oft-injured quarterback Ben Olson had once again hurt his right foot and would be unable to participate. Olson was rated as the top prep quarterback in the country in 2002, but has struggled with durability throughout his career and has broken bones in his right foot three times in the past year.
Another Bruin quarterback Patrick Cowan, who was not invited to the Combine, elected not to run and wasn't impressive in throwing drills, according to scouts in attendance, despite working with head coach Rick Neuheisel in preparation for the event.
The Bruins' one Combine-invite -- running back Kahlil Bell was unable to dramatically improve upon the disappointing 4.74 time he registered at the Combine in the 40-yard dash by clocking in the 4.7s again.
Scouts said the most impressive workouts were actually posted by punter Aaron Perez and by defensive linemen Tom Blake and Brigham Harwell.
Perez looked good in positional workouts, showing the strong leg that has led to his #7 ranking among all punters according to NFLDraftScout.com.
Blake, a little used defensive end who missed much of his senior campaign due to a sports hernia, showed better speed than expected, running in the 4.6s at 6-3, 265 pounds.
Harwell, who flashed enough in the first game of the season (Tennessee) to warrant my writing him up in Draft Slant, NFLDraftScout.com's weekly PDF available throughout the collegiate season, helped his cause by lifting the bench 36 times. Harwell, 6-1, 292 pounds, lacks the size and athleticism teams are looking for and has struggled with durability throughout his career, but still earned second team Pac-10 honors last year.