"Those guys were battling as a team, and I wasn't out there," Robinson said. "I was watching. But, at the same time, I feel like I helped the young guys. Like, if [quarterback Christian Hackenberg] had a question or something about what the DBs were doing, I had to stay in the game."
Robinson ditched the towel and put on his gloves in the second half of Penn State's season-opening, 23-17 victory on Aug. 31, and it took him little time to get going. On his first two plays of the season, Robinson caught two passes for 76 yards, the second of which was a 51-yard touchdown strike from Hackenberg, a true freshman.
The 6-3 wideout ended the Syracuse game with seven grabs, 133 yards and a touchdown. He almost replicated his Week 1 performance last Saturday, as he hauled in seven more receptions for 129 yards and a score in the Nittany Lions' 45-7 demolition of Eastern Michigan.
It was Hackenberg's first collegiate action, but Penn State's offense mustered just six points in the half without Robinson. In the six quarters since, the Lions have posted 62 points. O'Brien said Robinson came back with a "better knowledge of the offense" this season, and having him in the game plan opens up a lot for the offense.
"He was stronger, faster, and he's shown that," O'Brien said. "As the games go on, it's going to be more and more difficult because people, starting with Eastern Michigan, are going to put a safety over the top. That helps other guys out, though. That helps other guys get one-on-one matchups."
Robinson, from Southfield, Mich., torched opponents last season for 1,013 yards, 11 touchdowns and 77 receptions - a single-season school record. Robinson averaged 84 yards per game in 2012 and cleared the century mark twice.
Even with extra attention, Robinson has had more than 100 yards in both of his first two contests, and with 262 receiving yards, he leads the Big Ten and ranks eighth in the nation.
"I know I had a few drops in games last year, so I've just tried to get stronger in the offseason and caught as many passes as I can, run as many routes as I can," Robinson said.
Robinson has caught just about everything thrown his way this season. He is making plays with his feet and vision on screen passes, and is always a deep threat (he caught a 45-yard touchdown pass against Eastern Michigan).
He may be a headache to opposing defensive backs, but Robinson has impressed his teammates. Running back Bill Belton said, "as a receiver, he can do everything," and it may be even more than that.
Robinson was also a standout basketball player at St. Mary's Prep, in Orchard Lake, Mich., and safety Malcolm Willis called Robinson the best basketball player on the Lions' roster. Willis put himself third in that category behind wideout Eugene Lewis, and also mentioned Robinson can "jump out the gym."
"His athleticism is second to none," Willis said. "His ability to read coverages and understand what we're throwing at him every day, it just helps him out just as much in the game as it does in practice."