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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 6

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 6 53 where Purdue thought he'd have the right combination of speed and power to be able to beat offensive tackles. But 2014 wasn't what he thought it would be, as he finished with two sacks and 20 tackles, far less than what he thought he'd be able to do. "The aspect of work (was foreign). I didn't have to work for a lot of things in high school because I was so athlet- ic and so much more advanced than your average high school kid," said the Lake Central High School graduate. "I won a wrestling state championship. I won track state championships (in discus) on just pure athleticism. And that was great. But coming to college, it's a reality check right away, and you see it every year to freshmen coming to camp. "A lineman thinks, 'Oh yeah, I'm going to be great. I'm going to have 15 sacks my freshman year.' It doesn't work out like that. These kids in college are just as athletic as you, so if you don't work and exceed the limit, do what is asked of you from your coaches and the strength staff, you're not going to be the great player you were in high school." Robinson learned that lesson then, and has steadily been applying it over the years. He's had coaches — and there have been four D-line assistants in his four years at Purdue — tell him repeat- edly to increase his game-day motor, thinking that if he ratcheted that up, he could become dominant. Even Nick Holt, Purdue's first-year co-defensive coordinator, is pushing the message. "He needs to take it off cruise con- trol and start going, and that's our job as coaches, to make sure his motor is always running," Holt said. "That's the way he is. … He's one of the guys we really need to get through to, because he can play at a different level. He has the ability. If he didn't have the ability, I would be, 'OK, he's as good as he's going to get. Great job.' But he could dominate. He doesn't because it's not his nature, but we need to get that out of him. It's not good or bad, it's the way he is. "We've got to get him to love, love it and love success and get him to go. He's an interesting kid, because he's a good kid, a smart kid and a nice kid, and he means well. He just doesn't know (how great he can be)." But Robinson is closer than he's ever been. He looks like he's in the greatest shape of his life, stronger than ever and ready to battle other big men in the Big Ten. And personally, he's as confident and self-assured as ever. He's open with teammates, allowing them in to his world, and he's developed into a leader, as well. That's the man Blough sees now. "That's his persona now," Blough said. "And if he sees you in the locker room, he'll come up behind you and give you a giant bear hug and you'll be like, 'OK, this is fun but don't hurt me.' He's bigger and stronger than a lot of people, but it's playful now. Back then it was, you thought you were going to die. He might actually hurt somebody. "He's different than what he was when he got here." j 765.447.4165 | My Community. My Choice. Robert J. Hagen, MD Peter J. Torok, MD Daniel J. Daluga, MD Michael E. Highhouse, MD John T. Bauman, MD Mark C. Page, MD Michael D. Krauss, MD Joel A. Virkler, DO THE AREA'S PREMIER ORTHOPAEDIC AND SPORTSMEDICINE CENTER

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