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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 52 set up rules for his own success. He took all the extra courses he could, staying through Maymesters and sum- mer sessions, and he never skips a class. He's pushed to make sure he doesn't fail a class, and he never has — he'll resort to begging for a grade, if he has to — and has dropped out of only one. And now, he'll have his degree in only three-and-a-half years. "I was the kid who never got great grades growing up," he said. "... But I've come a long way. It's hard work, in a certain aspect, but at the same time, it's that I haven't taken much of a break. I've taken all the Mays and the summers — football really gives you that opportunity — which will put you ahead if you take them seriously. And I took them seriously." Then Shantelle Clay is a strong presence in the lives of her sons — Gelen and Glenn III, a forward for the Indiana Pacers who starred at Michigan — because she had to be. She raised the boys herself, after Glenn Robinson was drafted into the NBA shortly after Glenn III's birth, then the couple separated following Gelen's, about 15 months later. Over the years, Glenn Robinson has played a role in his sons' lives from afar, mostly by providing financial support. But Gelen wanted to follow dad's path to Purdue. And then he decided to wear his number: 13. He embraces the legacy. "Obviously with my dad being such a great athlete, it's sometimes hard to fill shoes," said Gelen Robinson, a na- tive of Schererville, Ind. "But I don't play basketball at all. If anybody would play me one-on-one on this team, they would most likely win. But I feel like I stepped out of that role (as my dad's son) and I developed early on. "Coming to college, I would hear it occasionally, 'Yeah, your dad was a great player. You need to get to his level of accomplishments.' But that's not something you can do. You can't compare basketball to football. I would still like to work towards it. My dad's work ethic was and still is great, and that's something that I pride myself on. When people call him 'the Big Dog,' it's with a reason, he's a dog who doesn't like to lose. I try to fill that aspect with not only football but life. He's a great influence and role model for me." But mom's been the biggest influence. Clay has been to every one of Gelen's home football games over the last three seasons and many of them on the road. But this year, she wants to be a "super fan," hitting as many as she can, maybe all of them. It's just the latest sacrifice in a long line of them over the last 20-plus years. Not that she'd call them that. "It's just motherhood. You really love your child and you're going to do whatever, whenever in any kind of sit- uation," she said. "I look at that as my No. 1 job, and I have another job. I'll do whatever for my kids. "That's God's gift to me, them. They've opened up a world I've never known. I've been very blessed, very com- fortable with everything, doing everything, taking on ev- erything. It's been fun. Hopefully, I have a lot of lifetime left to still enjoy them. They're really good boys." Now If there's a missing piece for Gelen Robinson, it's a defining season on the football field. He's had good ones, like last season when he recorded five sacks as a defensive end and was even better as an edge-setting run-stopper. He made 61 tackles, eight for loss. But now as a senior, having moved to the interior of the defensive line during the spring, he might be on the verge of turning in the type of season that was expected when he signed as a four-star prospect years ago. "That's what I need to do," Robinson said. "The process has already started. I've been working to make sure that this senior year is something that I'll be able to remem- ber for the rest of my life and, more importantly, that the Purdue family and program will be able to remember." Tackle might be the best spot for Robinson, even if he's just now arriving at the position. At 280 pounds now, he's incredibly strong and able to use leverage to push around interior offensive linemen, which he did fre- quently during the spring. In the spring game, Robinson recorded a couple sacks, showing he could still get to the quarterback from the inside, maybe even better than he could from the perimeter. It's been quite the move: Robinson came to Purdue as a linebacker, but spent only the first couple days of train- ing camp in 2014 there. He moved down to defensive end,

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