I had the privilege to sit down recently with former Longhorn standout Keenan Robinson. Keenan had just finished his Pro Day and is currently going through all the preparations for the upcoming NFL Draft, where he expects to be drafted.
Keenan, now that you have gone through both the NFL Combine and your Pro Day, how do you feel about your performance?
I felt pretty good coming out of Indy. I feel like I had some questions answered and I solidified things even more coming out of my Pro Day. I think the workouts really helped me and I think I definitely improved my draft position.
Do you feel like your Pro Day helped you coming out of the Combine?
I had a really good Combine and I think my workout at my Pro Day just reaffirmed a lot of things for the coaches.
What sort of feedback have you received?
The coaches like what they are seeing based off everything they were looking for as far linebacker. They like that I can play all 3 linebacker positions: Mike, Sam and Will. I am blessed that to have played all 3 positions at Texas and that makes me a more valuable linebacker and teammate.
If you had a preference, would you prefer to be drafted by a team with a 4-3 defensive philosophy or a 3-4 defensive philosophy?
I like them both. Last year we ran a 3-4/4-3 with Muschamp and this year we ran primarily a 4-3, but I like both. I feel like I can play in either one and donâ€™t really have a preference.
Do you feel more comfortable playing outside linebacker or inside linebacker in the NFL?
Most of the teams are telling me that they want me to play the Sam linebacker position in the 4-3 defense in an over (stacked) and under (on the line of scrimmage over the TE) look. Its something that I can bring to the game that I didnâ€™t really show that much of at Texas, but itâ€™s a chance to cover the TE off the line of scrimmage or change it up and bring me off the edge. In the 3-4, they see me as a Will linebacker, which is something I played for 3 years at Texas under Muschamp so they know that I can play that position, but me playing Sam really intrigues a lot of teams.
Going through both the Combine and your Pro Day, do you now feel like youâ€™re a professional football player?
Its funny you ask that, one of the coaches from the Carolina Panthers told me that I am now a pro player even though I havenâ€™t been drafted or signed a contract. He said that everything I do from my last game in college until I get drafted that I put myself in position to become a professional football player, by developing my professionalism to do everything that I can to play in the NFL.
This process, the Combine and Pro Day, is like a meat market; when you hear experts critique every little thing about you as a player and a person, how do you handle the criticisms as you prepare for the draft?
For me, I honestly think that if someone sees something on film, good or bad, I donâ€™t let it go to my head and I accept it. I remain level headed, but I canâ€™t change what I did in college, but as I move into the NFL, that whatever they say I didnâ€™t do in college that I do go back and fix it so I donâ€™t have those same questions when it comes to playing in the NFL.
What are your plans now leading up to the NFL Draft?
Visit with teams, doing workouts and getting ready for the draft. Now that the Combine and my Pro Day is over and before the draft, there is not any down time. It feels like a grind for another month and I am making sure I do all I can to stay out of the negative limelight and mind my Pâ€™s and Qâ€™s and not give any coaches a reason to take me off their draft board for character reasons that have nothing to do with football.
Are you going to stay in Austin to train and where will you be on draft night?
I just got back from a performance center, but I will stay in Austin and train with my coaches. I will be at my home in Plano on draft night.
Looking back on your playing career at Texas; what has the program and Coach Brown meant to you?
I was blessed with an opportunity to get my degree first and foremost and then have a chance to play in the NFL. I have played 4 years at Texas and I think I was blessed with a chance to capitalize on it and I look back at my college career with no regrets.
How tough were the last 2 seasons for you?
For us, it was tough because you want to win. I had to learn to deal with the tough times and learn from it and make the most out of it.
You hear all about how the Texas football program has such a strong family feel to it. Can you explain the environment that Coach Brown has created at Texas?
You can relate it to your own family.Â The coaches may not be your father, but they are more like your uncle. They are someone you can go to for advice and just knowing that they will be there for anything you need, whether its football related or not. Coach Brown is a great father figure and he does so much for his players. He is a players coach and a coaches coach and everyone in the program knows that and that is why Texas is a great program and has been for so long.
How will you remember your time at Texas?
One of the greatest 4-5 years of my life to be honest with you. Looking back at my time at Texas, I wouldnâ€™t change a thing.
Finally, where do you see this Texas program moving forward?
They will once again compete for a National Championship and they will do it the right way. You donâ€™t build programs over night, you build them over time with great recruits and great coaches who buy into it together. Texas will once again be a dominant program.
I appreciate Keenan for taking time out of his busy schedule to sit down with me. We wish Keenan all the best as he gets ready to embark on the next stage in his life, a stage that will see him playing in the NFL. I can say that I will be glued to my television waiting for Keenan Robinson, Linebacker from the University of Texas to be called on draft night.Â HOOKâ€™EM!!!