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February 2, 2005
Throughout his storied career at Northwestern, Jamie Robinson was the master of the pick. With 27 career interceptions while patrolling the secondary for the Trojans, including 11 this past season, picks have come naturally to the All-State defensive back. But despite all of the daring and outstanding picks Robinson has made in his life, he just made the most difficult and important "pick" of his life, selecting to attend Florida State to further his academic and athletic career.
"I'm going to spend my next four years at Florida State," Robinson said. "After I made all of my visits, it was the place that I was most comfortable."
As a shut-down cornerback at Northwestern, Robinson essentially took away half of the field for opposing teams. Those rare, foolhardy quarterbacks that dared challenge Robinson paid dearly, as the speedy Robinson often added lengthy returns to his interceptions. Such a skill set left Robinson in high demand, with Virginia Tech considered a front-runner to land Robinson and Clemson as a dark horse candidate.
But rather than seizing the more secure guarantees of playing time provided by the Hokies and the Tigers, Robinson relied on his instincts in choosing the Seminoles, a sound decision given how well his instincts have served him on the field.
"Though the odds were stacked up for me at Virginia Tech, I felt like Florida State was the right place for me."
Robinson's head coach at Northwestern, Jimmy Wallace, is confident that his star corner's skills would get him on the field no matter where he chose to attend.
"I don't know their depth chart, who's coming back, or who they're recruiting," Wallace said of Florida State. "But obviously Jamie feels good about it, and I have no doubt he can play. He's an incredible athlete, a play-maker."
While Wallace feels that Robinson can contribute anywhere, the coach envisions Florida State as an ideal match for Robinson.
"(Florida State) coaches Kevin Steele, Mickey Andrews, and John Lilly, they're incredible people and they've worked extremely hard to recruit Jamie," Wallace noted. "This was Jamie's decision. With his mom and his dad, it was a family decision to go there. We're excited that we have one of our players playing in one of the best programs in the country."
Despite the impressive credentials Robinson possesses, however, he doesn't expect anything to be handed to him when he steps on campus. Robinson knows that he will have to battle for his position, both against incumbent corners and other highly-touted recruits with similar goals.
"I know the competition is going to be hard there," Robinson said. "They've signed a top-five corner and are going after another, and along with the guys that are already there, it's going to be a very high level of competition. But with my attributes, I think I have a good chance to play coming in."
During his time at Northwestern, Robinson also moonlighted as a game-breaking punt returner and a deep threat wide receiver. And though he remains open to the idea of donning different hats if the opportunity arises, Robinson plans on focusing solely on the secondary for the time being.
"They're recruiting him as a defensive back," Wallace said. "Everything that I was told was that wide receivers are getting bigger, and they wanted a 6' 3", 190-pound cover corner. And to me, a kid coming out of high school with 27 interceptions is as impressive as it gets."