January 16, 2013

All business for Robinson

For Christian Robinson, All-Star Classic (3 p.m., CBS) in Montgomery, Ala. is all about business, to prove to scouts, coaches and GMs that he's got what it takes to play in the NFL.

Held at the Crampton Bowl, the former home of the old Blue-Gray Game, the former Bulldog has plenty of company.

Unlike the more prestigious Senior Bowl, the All-Star Classic features players - while very good in college - weren't always considered the top prospects on their team, along with athletes from FCS schools like Georgia Southern, Valdosta State and Jacksonville State.

"I don't think we've got a Jarvis Jones or an A.J. Green here but we've got guys who are going to be on rosters that are here," Robinson said in a telephone interview with UGASports.com. "So this is a chance to show what you can do, to show your skills. We're playing very simple schemes so it's a lot about athletic ability and being able to execute the plays that they gave us."

Although Robinson knows it's not a gimme that he'll even get drafted in April, he's going to give it the best shot he can.

Dad Kenneth Robinson, who played for South Carolina before a brief career in the NFL with Washington is helping his son navigate through the process.

That includes helping Christian to settle on an agent (New York-based Adam Sattler) before hooking up with Ignition Training in Cincinnati, where he will continue to work out before returning to Athens for Georgia's Pro Day in March.

"It's a little bit different than when my dad came out because he went back to South Carolina to train once he got done," Robinson said. "Now, you want that personal attention. It's not like it used to be, the drills matter and you train specifically for those drills."

Practice for the Stars and Stripes hasn't been a picnic, either.

"We weighed in (Monday), started taking a bunch of NFL tests, took the Wunderlich, everything you hear about - it's a meat market," Robinson said. "They line you up, they strip you down, get your weight, your wing-span and they talk about what you've done and what you can do. They're trying to find out a perfect match for every team. They look at everything; they look at how you interact with the coaches, the way you talk to coaches and the way you work."

So far, Robinson said he's gotten some good early reviews.

"The things that stand out is my knowledge and how I'm used that to make plays," he said. "I'm not known for being extremely fast or extremely strong but what I can make up for on the field is mental speed and things that I've been taught."

Robinson isn't the only player in Montgomery that Georgia fans will recognize.

His teammate Mike Gilliard is also a linebacker on the "Stripes" team, coached by former Denver, New York and Atlanta head coach Dan Reeves.

Mars Hill quarterback Jon Richt, the son of Bulldog head coach Mark Richt, is one of the quarterbacks on the squad while former Bulldog running back Washaun Ealey (Jacksonville State) is a member of the "Stars" team.

"Mike's doing great, we play right next to each other, the few plays that we have we know how to pass it off pretty well because of what we did in Athens," Robinson said. "It's been fun."

There's also been another little bit of irony for Robinson this week in Montgomery. His position coach is long-time NFL assistant Tom Olivadotti, the father of Kirk Olivadotti, Robinson's position coach with the Bulldogs.

"Every time I do something well he tells me "You must have had a good coach,'" Robinson said. "And I did. I really attribute the success that I've had to Coach (Warren) Belin and Coach O, and the things that they taught me. That's why I think I've got a chance to keep going."