Merriman: Allen Robinson will shine in the NFL

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Merriman: Allen Robinson will shine in the NFL

He loves his teammates and he loves the game of football. If you’re an NFL team and that is important to you, then Allen Robinson is an ideal draft pick. He’s also 6-foot-3, has elite speed and can jump much higher than you, or anyone else reading this article. But it’s the other intangibles that are going to make Allen Robinson a successful NFL player.

Once in a while, you have to throw out all the data and go with that something special.

Robinson has it. He’s had it ever since he arrived at Penn State back in 2011.

[ MORE: Penn State’s Allen Robinson to enter NFL Draft ]

Here is a kid who was not highly recruited out of high school. He carried offers from the likes of Buffalo and Toledo, but chose to follow his prep teammate and former Penn State quarterback Robert Bolden to Penn State. Robinson played multiple positions in high school, but assured the Penn State coaching staff that wherever they wanted to use him, he will go.

After fighting to work his way into the playing rotation as a freshman, Robinson had a breakout season as a sophomore, hauling in 77 catches, which shattered the previous school reception record. His 1,013 receiving yards marked just the third 1,000-yard receiving season in Penn State history, joining former NFL star Bobby Engram, who did it twice. Robinson was honored as the Big Ten Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year during his sophomore campaign and was named a Biletnikoff Award finalist, an award given to the top wide receiver throughout college football.

When you thought it couldn’t get any better for Robinson, it did. He was even more impressive this past season, totaling 97 catches for 1,432 yards, the third-best receiving total in the country. Robinson became the first player in 28 years to lead the Big Ten in both receptions and receiving yards in consecutive seasons.

Make a list of what you want in an NFL player. Skill? He torched nearly every college defense he faced. Determination? Did you see that catch he made late in the game against Michigan to force overtime? Leadership? His teammates and coaches love this guy.

How couldn’t you? He defined what a coach wants in a student-athlete. Good grades. Great guy. Hard worker.

And now onto the NFL. Robinson leaves as the Nittany Lions’ record-holder for single-season receptions and yardage, ranking second in career receptions and third in yardage.

The fact that Robinson accomplished all of this in two seasons as a starter is beyond impressive and is all the more reason for NFL teams to take a chance on him. How can that not be attractive to an NFL team?

In a statement, Robinson said: “It was a great honor to play at Penn State. I am blessed to have played with, and for, the people in the Penn State football program. This is a decision that I believe is best for my family and I, and I wish all the best to the University and all my teammates.”

You can tell from reading that statement that this kid gets it. He means every word that he said.

It will be a smart team that makes the choice to draft Allen Robinson, be it in the first round or not. And in a few years from now, a lot of other teams that passed on him are going to feel pretty silly.

About Sean Merriman web editor Sean Merriman covers football and men’s basketball and provides original content for You can follow him on Twitter @BTNSean.