Ideal student-athlete Christian Robinson not quite ready for graduation

Linebacker Christian Robinson is one of seven Georgia football players who will walk in graduation ceremonies Friday at Stegeman Coliseum. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Linebacker Christian Robinson is one of seven Georgia football players who will walk in graduation ceremonies Friday at Stegeman Coliseum. (AJC photo by Johnny Crawford)

Christian Robinson doesn’t want his time at Georgia to end.

“If I could stay in this situation forever I would,” the senior linebacker from Norcross said this week. “I love it here.”

Alas, he doesn’t have a choice. Robinson will be among seven football players – and 39 UGA student-athletes in all – who will walk in graduation ceremonies on Friday morning at Stegeman Coliseum. Like it or not, it’s time to move on.

And for Robinson, like many of his compatriots, he’s not entirely sure what he’ll be moving on to.

Robinson

Robinson

“I won’t be Jarvis Jones when the (NFL) draft comes,” cracked Robinson, referring to his teammate, who is projected as a possible No. 1 pick. “Maybe I’ll go after him. But I’ve enjoyed my time here. Hopefully what I’ve done to this point will give me an opportunity to keep playing. If not, hopefully I can go back to school and coach.”

While Robinson might not have the star power of Jones or some of the other Bulldogs, he’ll depart UGA as an idealistic – and realistic — example of what a student-athlete’s college experience should be.

Robinson has been successful on the field, but not wildly so. A 3-star recruiting prospect out of Greater Atlanta Christian, he was redshirted his first season and has been tremendously productive ever since. He played in 50 of a possible 53 games, missing three with injuries. He started 17 of those games, has collected 156 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, recovered four fumbles and forced one fumble.

Robinson also was named captain by the coaches for several games, was the recipient of the William P. Bruckner and David C. Cooper scholarships and is known as one of the team’s leading volunteers for community service projects. And while he’s not necessarily a star, he is an eloquent communicator. So for the past two seasons he has served as a de facto spokesman for the defense. Last year, beat writers covering the team presented him with the inaugural GATA Award, which stands for “Gracious Attitude Toward Answering.”

“He has definitely been a huge positive representation of what a college football player should be,” said junior guard Dallas Lee, one of Robinson’s close friends. “The media tends to focus on the superstars and the people who get in trouble because that’s all people really want to talk about. Nobody wants to hear about the positive impact of role players who do good jobs in their position every day. . . . Christian has done a great job of just being a solid guy doing his job, being a good student and not getting in trouble. I don’t think people celebrate that enough.”

Said head coach Mark Richt: “We’re proud of all our graduates. Christian has been nothing but a blessing.”

It hasn’t always been easy. Robinson has played on an injured foot most of the last two seasons. He went from being a starter and every-down player two years ago to being primarily a third-down middle linebacker his senior season.

He and roommates Arthur Lynch, Ty Frix, Aaron Murray and Dustin Royston came home to find the home they share vandalized by disgruntled fans after the 35-7 loss to South Carolina. And he was one of the players unintentionally thrown under the bus by safety Shawn Williams during his “defense-is-playing-too-soft” tirade in late October.

“It’s just a rollercoaster; it’s a lot of ups and down,” Robinson said of his career. “But at the end of it, to graduate, to have the friends I do, to hopefully play one more time and win again and be remembered as a part of that team that brought the belief back in Georgia, that would mean the world to me.”

Robinson will be joined in graduation ceremonies by five other current players: Luis Capella, Sanders Commings, Jonathan Owens, Bacarri Rambo and Cornelius Washington. Former star receiver Terrence Edwards (1999-2002) returned to complete degree requirements this semester.

They have been excused from Friday’s bowl practice, but they’ll be back to the grindstone for the fourth of 15 bowl practices on Saturday. Then there’s the Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl against Nebraska in Orlando.

“I got to play and that was my goal,” Robinson said. “It’s weird to think it’s about to be over. Coach Richt tells you that first day when he talks to all the freshmen, ‘you think it’s going to last forever,’ but it’s over before you know it.”

BULLDOGS GRADUATING

Baseball

Joey Delmonico, Knoxville, Tenn., Communication Studies; Will Harvil, Smyrna, Ga., Sport Management; Chase Hawkins, Snellville, Ga., Management Info Systems; Levi Hyams, Stafford, Va., Communication Studies; Tyler Maloof, Winder, Ga., Finance; Colby May, Guyton, Ga., Communication Studies; Michael Palazzone, Marietta, Ga., Finance; Peter Verdin, Alexandria, Va., Sport Management

Equestrian

Jessica Buchko, Sarasota, Fla., Health Promotion; Melanie Carraway, Evans, Ga., English

Football

Luis Capella, Augusta, Ga., Finance; Sanders Commings, Augusta, Ga., Communication Studies; Terrence Edwards, Sandersville, Ga., Housing; Jonathan Owens, Blountsville, Ala., Housing; Bacarri Rambo, Donalsonville, Ga., Consumer Economics; Christian Robinson, Norcross, Ga., Sport Management; Cornelius Washington, Hephzibah, Ga., Sport Management

Women’s Golf

Tess Fordham, Metter, Ga., Accounting; Kiara Hayashida, Lima, Peru, Communication Studies; Milena Savich, Carmel, Ind., Journalism

Gymnastics

Kat Ding, Sparks, Nev., Advertising

Soccer

Ashley Baker, Lilburn, Ga., Recreation and Leisure Studies; Bailey Powell, Fayetteville, Ga., Communication Studies


Softball

Erin Arevalo, Lathrop, Calif., Psychology; Ashley Pauly, Kennesaw, Ga., Newspapers; Kristyn Sandberg, Island Park, N.Y., Health and Physical Education

Swimming & Diving

Michael Arnold, Marietta, Ga., Marketing and Finance; Peter Benner, Savannah, Ga., Management; Abbie Fish, Louisville, Ky., Exercise and Sport Science; Shane Hall, Cumming, Ga., Management Info Systems; Erica Malagon, Athens, Ga., Spanish and Biology; Landon Watters, Rome, Ga., Exercise and Sport Science

Track & Field

Colleen Felix, St. Andrews, Grenada, Communication Studies; C.J. Holman, Huber Heights, Ohio, Communication Studies; Kristie Krueger, Argyle, Tex., Environmental Economics and Management; Eve Machovec, Augusta, Ga., Magazines

Volleyball

Briana Bahr, Pensacola, Fla., Housing; Ann Dylla, Littleton, Colo., Finance; Kathleen Gates, Wilmington, N.C., Exercise and Sport Science

NOTE: Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank is commencement speaker.

32 comments Add your comment

ReaderRick

December 13th, 2012
5:38 pm

Only 7 Seniors on the football team?

ReaderRick

December 13th, 2012
5:40 pm

Hopefully all these athletes will have bright futures.

dawginathens

December 13th, 2012
5:58 pm

This is only the first semester… readerrick
Still have another semester to finish

WDE

December 13th, 2012
6:10 pm

Congrats to Christian and all the Bull Dogs graduating !! DGD’s each and everyone !

James in Amelia Island , Florida

December 13th, 2012
6:27 pm

v
Very proud of these fine young men. Congrads to all who are taking the walk and may their lives be enriched by their work.
Go Dawgs

jsmooth

December 13th, 2012
6:44 pm

GT Bobbette:

For one UGA alum who has been very blessed in his life, I appreciate what these young men have done. If you graduated from Tech, great! However, did you graduate while pulling the rigors of football practice, games, workouts, etc… I bet not. Enjoy your Moon bowl.

sflanagan21

December 13th, 2012
7:46 pm

Congrats to all of the senior athletes graduating! And a big thanks to CR, you are a breath of fresh air kid! God Bless and GO DAWGS!

FaithfulDawg 87

December 13th, 2012
7:51 pm

Congrats to all. Really gonna miss Christian; he’s been a DGD and NFL career or not, will make a great coach one day!

TJ

December 13th, 2012
7:55 pm

Would like to think C. Robinson would read this, so if he does…here’s to you, Christian- you’ve done yourself and the University of Georgia proud. DGD!

TJ

December 13th, 2012
7:56 pm

Shut up, JackHole Bob.

kral

December 13th, 2012
8:20 pm

boobie judges every man by his major…not that a student athlete at a pro football factory actually graduated…he did not major in something that ole bob has any respect for ..says alot about you bob..denigrate them for there major..so it makes you a better person ..and a judge of people for it..

NC_Dawg

December 13th, 2012
8:28 pm

ReaderRick – Only 7 Seniors on the football team?

It’s FALL graduation, not SPRING graduation. There are more than 7 seniors on the team. Not everyone graduates in the Spring. Some students end up going an extra semester. Especially student-athletes that are red-shirted.

GTBob – Go #$%^ yourself. If had bothered to read the article before mouthing off, you would have noticed that everyones major was listed in the piece.

Lonnie

December 13th, 2012
8:38 pm

Awesome and I love the fact that Terrance came back to finish

NC Dawg

December 13th, 2012
8:56 pm

Great Kid and DGD need more like him congrats for a great 5 years!!

Poopdawg

December 13th, 2012
9:05 pm

Good job Dawgs!

bubba4dawgs

December 13th, 2012
9:23 pm

Congratulations, Christian, and to all the Graduates! We’re so very proud of all of you and have enjoyed your time at UGA almost as much as you! We’re going to miss you but wish you well wherever your feet land! God Bless you all!!

Dawg-Gawn

December 13th, 2012
9:34 pm

Tyler Maloof member of the UGA baseball team is the son of the head football coach at Norcross High School, Keith Maloof.

What a weekend it will be for Coach Maloof… Keith will watch his son Tyler graduate on Friday and hopefully the Norcross Blue Devil Football Team will win the GHSACG in class 6A Saturday night in the Georgia Dome!

I believe that Tyler has decided to follow in the footsteps of his Dad, Uncle Kevin and Grandfather in becoming a third generation football coach!!!

Congratulations to Tyler and all other UGA athletes who will be graduating on Friday!

“Go Blue Devils” “We Believe”

“BELIEVE” in the “G”

buddy harden

December 14th, 2012
6:52 am

A lot to be proud of , whether or not he plays another snap .

Carlyle

December 14th, 2012
8:09 am

Attaboy, Christian. Sic Vos Non Vobis

Hunting Dawg

December 14th, 2012
8:12 am

Congrats to all of these student athletes who took advantage of the tremendous opportunity presented to them to continue to participate in the sports they love and to get a college degree at the same time. In addition, congrats to the general student populace who are also graduating. Good luck moving forward and hopefully becoming productive members of society. Go Dawgs!

DIT

December 14th, 2012
8:26 am

Though long ago, I recall my time at UGA. Had a blast! Then all of the sudden graduation and it was over. My life has been blessed since college. College is one of the best times in your life when your young and full of beans. Enjoy it while you can.

Vince

December 14th, 2012
9:17 am

Christian–We’ve all seen what a fine person and darn good ball player you are. Thanks for coming to Athens and being a DGD!! My wife and I both tried to find a way of staying there after we graduated–you just can’t explain to someone what a great place Athens is unless you experience it yourself.

RedandBlackDAWG

December 14th, 2012
9:32 am

I think that this young man will have a bright future no matter where his life takes him in the future. He has contributed with his attitude to the football team, as much as with his athletic ability. I hope his attitude has rubbed off on other team members. as it isn’t often you hear about a good athlete like he is, contributing with more than just his athletic ability. Let someone screw up a little bit and they get a ton of press.
Thanks Chip for the article.

Dawg Tired

December 14th, 2012
9:41 am

Need more kids like this one.

bill arp

December 14th, 2012
9:48 am

If i were the coach, I’d be torn on what to do in the Bowl game..Let the seniors play as much as they want, or maybe let them start, then go ahead and turn the page and get some young guys in there to get ready for next season….hmmm

Remarkable

December 14th, 2012
10:05 am

CarlyleAttaboy, Christian. Sic Vos Non Vobis
Sic vos non vobis nidificatis aves;
Sic vos non vobis villera fertis oves;
Sic vos non vobis mellificatis apes;
Sic vos non vobis fertis aratra boves.
Not for yourselves warm nests ye song-birds build;
Not for yourselves ye sheep your fleeces bear;
Not for yourselves store hives ye bees have filled;
Not for yourselves ye oxen draw the share.
Virgil

909

December 14th, 2012
10:28 am

Recreation & Leisure Studies ?

Newspapers ?

Magazines ?

Health Promotion ?

And the ubiquitous…”Housing” major ?

R-O-T-F-L-M-A-O !!!!

robodawg

December 14th, 2012
10:44 am

Congrats Christian, we’ll miss you. DGD

Gman 84

December 14th, 2012
11:25 am

Christian, you are truly appreciated for all you do on and off the field. Thanks from a grateful Bulldog Nation.

gt4ever

December 14th, 2012
12:41 pm

Chris Mike

December 14th, 2012
3:54 pm

He would be a very good coach one day. I really hope one NFL team take a good look at him. Geat Dawg!

Ed

December 17th, 2012
1:30 pm

Robinson has coach written all over him. Hopefully he can get an NFL job and a nice paycheck for 2-3 years and transition into coaching with some money in the bank and his health intact, if that’s what he wants to do.