Robinson travels from Pro Bowl in Hawaii for Paterno memorial

Michael Robinson, former Penn State quarterback and now a Pro Bowl fullback, traveled from Hawaii for the memorial.
Michael Robinson, former Penn State quarterback and now a Pro Bowl fullback, traveled from Hawaii for the memorial. (ALEX BRANDON / Associated Press)
Posted: January 27, 2012

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Joe Paterno once told Michael Robinson, who quarterbacked Penn State to a Big Ten championship in 2005, that he would be a Pro Bowl running back or fullback some day.

"And as God is my witness," said Robinson, one of the speakers at Thursday's public memorial for Joe Paterno, "three hours ago I got off a plane from Hawaii - because I've been voted to my first Pro Bowl."

Now a fullback for the Seattle Seahawks, Robinson finished a Pro Bowl practice in Hawaii on Wednesday and traveled all the way to State College to speak at the memorial for his former coach, 85, who died Sunday.

Robinson said that other than God and his mother, Paterno is the main reason he's in the Pro Bowl, and for that matter, in the NFL.

Representing the decade of the 2000s, Robinson drew applause by simply introducing himself. He then spoke of Paterno's honesty in his recruitment, his vow for a "second-to-none" education at Penn State, and his promise to Robinson that he would compete for the starting quarterback job and play before "the best fans in college football."

"Again, Joe Paterno did not lie to me," Robinson said.

A highly sought recruit from Richmond, Va., Robinson came to Penn State with boatloads of potential. After a few adverse years in which he played multiple positions and the Nittany Lions struggled, he left in 2005 as the starting quarterback, the Big Ten's offensive player of the year, and with the memory of holding the Orange Bowl trophy, his coach at his side.

"Some of the game's biggest stars, when I was down in Hawaii, were asking me, 'Why are you going on the trip? Why are you going so far? It's, like. 11 hours in the air,' " Robinson said. "My answer? 'I wouldn't be any other place in the world right now.' "

Robinson closed an emotional and powerful speech honoring Paterno with a message.

"Just because he's not with us, don't let the dream, don't let the experiment, don't let the values go away," Robinson said. "He's in all of us."

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|