April 5, 2013
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - College has been a period of adjustment for Matt Robinson. The senior has seen three defensive coordinators and two head coaches in his time at Maryland. Robinson has gone through two season-ending injuries and is now changing positions.
Robinson is making the move from safety to outside linebacker.
"Matt, when you look at him physically, he's more suited to be an outside linebacker," said head coach Randy Edsall. "In our opinion, when you watch him move and do the things that he does on the field, he's more suited. There's no doubt in my mind that it'll be a good move for us."
Robinson came out of Atholton High School in Columbia, Md., as a talented two-way performer, playing both wide receiver and linebacker. Robinson converted to defensive back as a freshman at Maryland and began to make contributions on the secondary. He played in all 13 games, including a start at safety, and recorded 29 tackles.
As a sophomore in 2011, Robinson found himself starting at safety, and in the first three games of the season, he recorded more tackles than he had the entire season before (36). Robinson ranked second in the ACC and seventh nationally in tackles per game before being sidelined by a shoulder injury.
Robinson returned to action last season, but only played in four games due to injuries. In a start against Clemson, the safety recorded 10 tackles, one tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
After surgery in the offseason, Robinson returned for practice this year in a yellow jersey for the second straight spring. As Robinson tried to prep for recovery, he began to hear of a potential position move.
"I went to Coach and he said it might be a possibility when I came back," said Robinson. "At first I was uneasy about it, but then I realized it's something new and I have to adapt to it."
Robinson has adapted well to the move, even though he's in a noncontact jersey. He is adjusting to the speed of plays on the line rather than back in the play, but under his second season with defensive coordinator Brian Stewart, Robinson already has a good read on the defense.
"The first day, I was like, `Whoa, that [play] happened kind of fast,'" he said. "It was a lot quicker than I expected. It's an ongoing process, but I'm getting the hang of it."
As Robinson continues adjusting, he has only one goal: to stay healthy.
"My whole goal is nothing more than to play 12 games, or at least 12 games. I have minimum expectations right now. I haven't played a full season in the last two, so that's the most important thing."