May 3, 2012
UCF Athletics Social Media Directory
By John Denton, Knights Insider
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - As a standout cornerback at UCF the past three seasons, Josh Robinson had a knack for playing coy and giving quarterbacks the belief that a receiver was open when he actually had the play covered all along.
Video of Robinson's Draft Party
During last weekend's NFL Draft, Robinson actually pulled off one of his best bait-and-switch acts to keep the suspense alive among the 150 family and friends attending his draft party at a South Florida church.
About 20 minutes before he was ultimately selected with the 66th overall pick, Robinson got a call from the Minnesota Vikings alerting him that he would be their choice in the third round of the draft. But Robinson didn't want to ruin the excitement of the moment and kept a straight face as the suspense built toward his selection.
``Everyone there at the party was wondering, `Who is it calling? Who are you on the phone with? Who is the team?' A couple of picks kept coming, but I was still acting like I was talking on the phone,'' Robinson recalled with a laugh. ``I went through three or four picks of just holding the phone up as if I was talking on it, but then people like my agent started texting me.
``(When his name was called on TV) it was an awesome moment,'' Robinson continued. ``I had my family and everybody from the church there with me. It was awesome to have that atmosphere and get that call and know that it was time to go to work.''
Robinson impressed the Vikings by registering the fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine (4.33 seconds) and recording the second-best vertical leap (38 inches) among defensive backs. Robinson also did plenty throughout his UCF career, amassing 176 tackles, 36 pass break-ups and 10 interceptions.
``Josh Robinson is an extremely talented athlete. He was the fastest guy at the combine, he had a 38-inch vertical leap and when you watch the tapes on him he has the quickest feet of maybe any of these corners coming out,'' Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman said on minnesotavikings.com. ``He's a junior, so he'll have some technical flaws to work on and he's also done some punt returning. But he's just a tremendous athlete who has a lot of upside that our coaches are looking forward to developing.''
Robinson's selection meant UCF had the first player drafted from a Florida school for the first time in the history of the NFL Draft. UCF has now had at least one player taken in seven consecutive NFL drafts dating back to 2006. Since 1987, 29 UCF players have been selected in the NFL Draft. UCF leads Conference USA with 10 NFL Draft picks since 2006.
Robinson left his home near Fort Lauderdale for suburban Minneapolis on Thursday where he will take part in the Vikings' rookie mini-camp over the next four days. He has already been in contact with Vikings' defensive backs coach Joe Woods and he got some encouraging news about his position for the Vikings, a team that has only 13-year veteran Antoine Winfield as an established starter at cornerback.
``They told me that they like my speed and they think I can be a good attribute on the defense and special teams. They want me as a corner, so I'm going to go there and work and get me a job,'' Robinson said. ``I talked to the defensive backs coach and just wanted to know what position they were looking at me for. I was wondering if it was nickel back or cornerback, and they said they want me at corner. Once I've been in the system a couple of years then I can work at nickel as well.''
Robinson was given a second-round grade by NFL scouts after his impressive showing at the NFL Combine and there was some buzz about him being a late-first round selection last Thursday. He dropped to the third round, but he said there were few anxious moments because he was surrounded by so many friends and family at the party being held at his church.
``I had such a great atmosphere around me that I wasn't even focusing on it. I wasn't even really looking at the draft (on TV) because I was talking to people. There were so many people there that I hadn't seen in a while, so that kept my focus off it,'' he said. ``I enjoyed the whole process. I never really doubted and never really got nervous. I just stayed excited the whole time.''
Robinson said going from the heat and humidity of Florida to the cold and snow of Minnesota will be an adjustment, but it's a small price to pay for the opportunity to play in the NFL.
Robinson said he didn't get to sleep until 4 a.m. on the night he was drafted, and before he drifted off he took advantage of the peaceful moment to reflect on the long road he's travelled to get to this point. Realizing his dreams of becoming a NFL player gave him great satisfaction.
``I'm going from the hottest state to the coldest one. It'll be a big change, but I'm looking forward to it,'' Robinson said. ``There's no bigger blessing than to have to move to go play in the NFL and play for the Minnesota Vikings. I'm going to enjoy it every step of the way.
``I thought that (draft) night that all of my dreams are coming true,'' Robinson added. ``It's crazy how blessed I am and it's awesome how this process went. I just keep wondering how much better it's going to keep getting for me. It really is a dream come true and I'm thanking God for it all.''
John Denton's Knights Insider appears on UCFAthletics.com several times a week. E-mail John at firstname.lastname@example.org.