Playing High School Sports, the ultimate goal is to receive a scholarship and if you're good enough, win a full-ride.
Fan-i Favorite and former DeMatha Stag, Robbie Robinson, achieved the latter. At DeMatha, he was one of seven seniors from their class of 2016 to receive a full-ride scholarship from a Power 5 conference school, choosing Arizona State over Clemson, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin.
He chose Arizona State because he wanted to be close to Athletic Director, Ray Anderson, who was the former NFL VP of Football Operations. Robinson already had a life after football in mind with hopes to have a career in sports law, following Anderson's footsteps.
Robinson saw the field plenty as a freshman, making an impact in 10 games. His most significant moment came when he sealed a win against UCLA with an interception off future NFL quarterback, Josh Rosen. What should have been a monumental moment for the freshman was an epiphany that changed his life path away from football.
Robinson, one of the most conscious and intelligent individuals I've ever interviewed, lost his love for the game after spending a season in Tempe. Once he got a taste of the corporate side of college football, it drained his passion and caused him to go into depression.
Like most things in life, college football has a set of politics that are involved, and Robinson saw it head-on. Every week, Robinson went on a roller coaster ride with the former head coach, Todd Graham, who would use the true freshman sporadically throughout the season. Many of his teammates believed Robinson should have been on the field more, but no one could answer why he was not. In practice, Robinson matched up with N'Keal Harry, another freshman during that time. The 6'4 220lb Harry was an All-American walking on to campus and has led the Sun Devils in receiving touchdowns the last two season. A future 1st-rounder. Robinson went toe-to-toe with him, but his 5'8 stature seemed to be an issue for the coaching staff.
For Robinson, it was becoming tiresome, and apparent corporate-like politics determined his playing time, not his skills. The offensive coaches used film of Robinson to scout and gameplan how to beat the opposing team's technical cornerbacks. Still, he found himself fighting for playing time and asking questions. He approached Coach Graham about what can he work on, and he never received a full answer.
Robinson says he was blessed to be in a program coached by Graham. He claimed Graham to be a true "asshole" and he didn't care about his players. Being in that environment allowed him to see actual imagery of college football. Graham was fired and replaced by former NFL coach, Herm Edwards.
Once the season was over, Robinson began to research other options where his talents would be appreciated, but he knew his love and passion was fading. He didn't want to take away an opportunity from a kid that actually love the game and still had a passion for it. Along with finding out how college football can be so draining, he had a conscious makeover. No longer did he want to be used as a property for a corporation. He also became weary of the future of football with the discovery of CTE and focused on his health. Robinson went from transferring to completely walking away from the game of football.
He says he still loves the sport of football and watches the game for the art, but he does not miss playing in the NCAA. Robinson is very vocal on his social media account about the hypocrisy of the NCAA.
This decision wasn't easy, and his peers and family didn't revere him. He's faced negativity and scrutiny to the point it made him feel alone. While he tried to explain what he was going through with the depression and not loving the game anymore, no one understood where he was in his life. For many, it was hard to concede why he would give up an opportunity to one day make millions of dollars. Many viewed it as quitting because he didn't get what he wanted; Robinson didn't want to be a part of the charade any longer.
His newfound consciousness has moved him towards learning about life and financial security. He has a thick notebook of ideas he wishes will add value to the world one day. As a 19-year old kid, Robinson spends his time now as a Day Trader, trading currencies in the Forex market. He wants to help college athletes become more aware of how to make money while playing college sports. His ultimate goal is to help those that are in impoverished areas and the dope boys.
His other ideas include an app to revolutionize college recruiting and a script.
I approached Robinson to do this interview before the start of the season, mainly as an update on one of the favorite players from high school. Once he told me he no longer played and gave me the reasons behind it, I felt that his story needed to be shared with the world. Robbie Robinson will go down in the Fan-i history books as a revolutionary figure that should be applauded. If more college athletes had his mindset and understood the power they hold, we would see an immediate change in the NCAA. Robinson walked away from his dream to become a better citizen of our world, to show the one's closet to him that he is more than a football player.