August 8, 2009

Robinson glad he found a home in Georgia

If Tommy Tuberville had not been paid to resign from Auburn University, Montez Robinson concedes he probably wouldn't be wrapping up his first week of practice with Georgia right now.

But when Tuberville left the school at the end of last year, the freshman defensive end decided to start looking around.

He found a home in Georgia.

"I had committed to Auburn but after Coach Tuberville left, then I started looking at Alabama and Georgia," Robinson said. "But I really liked Coach (Mark) Richt and what he stood for and his philosophy. I liked Coach (Rodney) Garner. This was where I felt more comfortable."

With the Bulldogs set to don the full pads Monday morning, 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive ends hope to use the opportunity to prove to position coach Jon Fabris that he's ready to make an impact this fall.

Contrary to popular belief, Robinson said he's been told that opportunity is indeed there.

"He's (Fabris) let me know that there's an opportunity for me to play. He likes effort," Robinson said. "He said he doesn't mind playing a freshman, just as long as he knows the playbook and gives 110 percent. He emphasizes playing at full speed and being mentally sound at all times."

Richt has taken notice of the graduate from Avon High, in Avon, Ind.

"He's like a lot of the freshmen in that he's still learning, but the effort is there and right now that's the main thing," Richt said. "But we like him. We think he's got a lot of potential, we'll just see how quickly he picks up the system."

Robinson admits that's his biggest struggle right now.

"I'm a freshman so I'm going to struggle a little bit," Robinson said. "It's a different speed, players are faster and stronger. But I'm hanging in there."

A native of Indiana, Robinson actually grew up in Alabama before some discipline trouble at home led to a move to Avon, Ind. where he was able to turn his life around.

Robinson did just that, but it was during his performance at an Under Armour Combine in Cincinnati when he posted a time of 4.43 in the 40-yard dash.

"That's when people really started paying attention," Robinson said. "I guess that's when people started figuring that I could play."

Statistically, Robinson was arguably the most dominant defensive player in the entire state of Indiana.

His senior year, Robinson recorded 82 tackles, 20 for loss, eight sacks following a junior year which saw him collect 24 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.

But Robinson knows high school numbers don't mean a thing once you get to college.

Especially when your position coach is a hard-driver and stickler for details like Fabris.

"My high school coach was similar to Coach Fabris and he used to tell me that when I got to college there would be coaches '10 times worse and more demanding than me,'" Robinson said. "But I like that. I know Coach Fabris wants the best for me. I've just got to suck it in, and execute what Coach Fabris wants me to do."

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