Photo by Derrick Mahone
Lovejoy defensive end/linebacker Veion Robinson became the latest Wildcat player to commit to a college when he announced he will attend Middle Tennessee State next fall.
JONESBORO — Lovejoy defensive end/linebacker Veion Robinson committed to Middle Tennessee State today and became the fifth Wildcat to accept a college football scholarship offer for the 2013 season.
Robinson, who also considered Tulane, Kansas State and Furman —and garnered late interest from Miami and defending SEC champion Louisiana State — said that his decision to join the Blue Raiders was based on what they saw in him as a player now, as opposed to the future.
“Other coaches were saying to gain 30 more pounds or were wanting to see more film of me moving in space,” Robinson said. “But Middle Tennessee was talking about taking me as I was and progressing with me and seeing me succeed. They really acted like they wanted me. And (head) coach (Rick) Stockstill told me that he would be a friend first and a coach second and that I could come to him about anything. I’ll always keep that in my mind.”
As a senior, Robinson has helped the Lovejoy defense become one of the stingiest units in the state. The 2011 state runner up Wildcats posted eight shutouts last year and held opponents to less than five points per game.
This year’s unit has also started strong, holding Mundy’s Mill to just six points in the opener and stifling Colquitt County’s offense in Moultrie last Friday, holding the Packers to just 212 total yards, albeit in a 14-7 loss.
Unofficially, Robinson had two tackles for loss, a sack and two forced fumbles against Colquitt. He said he may play some at mike linebacker against Alpharetta this Friday after fellow teammate Demarcus Gates went down with an injury.
Regardless of where he lines up, Robinson said he feels lighter after making his decision. He says he is now free to focus solely on helping Lovejoy make an encore performance in the playoffs this season.
“It’s just a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” Robinson said. The versatile defender can line up anywhere on the Wildcats’ defensive line. And if Robinson does see playing time at linebacker this week, it won’t be something that he hasn’t had to do before.
In fact, Robinson believes that it is his versatility as an athlete that made him such a target in the Blue Raiders recruiting strategy.
“They told me they wanted to design schemes and plays for me and just things that will give me the most comfortable fit in their defense,” he said. “They just really want to see me succeed.”
Robinson’s high school coach Al Hughes has no doubt in his senior linebacker’s ability to excel on the next level.
“He’ll do very well at Middle Tennessee,” Hughes said. “He’s got a great motor. If you watch him on film, you can pick him out in a hurry. He gets to the football.”
With 13 sacks on last season’s state-leading defense, Hughes called Robinson a catalyst in Lovejoy’s success over the years.
“I’m very proud of Veion,” Hughes said. “He’s been with us since he was in the ninth grade and he’s grown into a heck of a football player. We have great expectations for him in his senior year.”