As we move deeper into the countdown of the Top 60 players at The U we hit No. 11 on our list: Defensive end Marcus Robinson.
Of all the stories I've heard about Robinson, nothing demonstrates more about his toughness than the one I heard from his father Mitchell, a security guard/custodian at Homestead's Air Base Elementary last November. On his last day of school at Southridge, Robinson was greeted by a rush of thugs, who were swinging and punching at him. Robinson fought them off by himself and quickly changed his life around at Homestead High. So, will "He-Man" continue that torrid path toward greatness as a UM sophomore? Like his dad told me, "Bank on it."
> What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: Speed, strength and athleticism. Those are three words we heard most often about Robinson when he was at Homestead High. He certainly lived up to it last year. But before he put on the green and orange, Robinson put on a show in high school. The 6-1, 231-pound U.S. Army-All American had 98 tackles and 24 sacks as a senior. Rivals.com ranked him the fourth best outside linebacker in the country. Scout had him eighth and ESPN had him seventh. He chose UM over Florida State, Ohio State, USC and Michigan.
> What he's done as a Cane: Robinson's first season was definitely eye-opening. Next to linebacker Sean Spence, he made the biggest splash of any freshman on defense. His three sack, seven tackle performance against Virginia Tech showed the country the type of speed he has on the edge. He earned ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors for his performance and was selected by Collegefootballnews.com as a Freshman All-American. He started in five games and finished fifth on the team with 35 tackles and second with four sacks.
> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: Big things. Robinson (6-1, 237) could potentially have an All-ACC type of season if UM's defensive line performs up to expectations. With Allen Bailey and Marcus Forston causing havoc in the middle, Robinson could see lots of one-on-one matchups on the outside. With veteran Eric Moncur and fellow sophomore Adewale Ojomo providing depth, Robinson probably will be fresh enough to remain effective well into the fourth quarter. And we all remember those days when UM players would hold four fingers up in the fourth quarter. When Robinson does it, he might be telling us how many sacks he's already collected through the first three.