The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Aldrick ‘receives’ top nomination

Robinson named to Biletnikoff Award watch list
Head+coach+June+Jones+speaks+to+junior+Aldrick+Robinson+%2824%29+during+the+Mustangs+game+against+the+Stephen+F.+Austin+Lumberjacks+last+Saturday.+CASEY+LEE%2FThe+Daily+Campus
Head coach June Jones speaks to junior Aldrick Robinson (24) during the Mustangs’ game against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks last Saturday. CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus

Head coach June Jones speaks to junior Aldrick Robinson (24) during the Mustangs’ game against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks last Saturday. CASEY LEE/The Daily Campus

Although it was only 9 a.m., the sun was already beaming down on the SMU football practice field. After a rigorous practice, the SMU football players jogged to the locker room to get ready for class. Some players stayed behind to run and hone their skills. One player in particular kept a determined look as he caught balls flying his way from a machine that pumped them out. He aggressively caught and cradled each ball that came his way.

Many of his friends and teammates refer to him as “Al,” a football player known for having a quick first step and lightning-like speed. His speed may have come from an incident that happened when he was a child on his uncle’s farm, which involved a charging bovine and him running away as fast as he could. He is hard working, humble and someone who seems to enjoy life but on the football field he is assertive. Although coach June Jones did not recruit him, he fits perfectly in Jones’s spread offense system.

Due to his talent and dedication, junior Aldrick Robinson, No. 24, is on the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award.

“He deserves that award,” Jones said.

The Biletnikoff Award was founded and established by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation in 1994. It was designed to honor college football players who show determination, leadership and self-discipline. The TQC Foundation gives awards to college wide receivers and scholarships to high school students in Leon County who have overcome emotional, physical and environmental barriers, while showing academic achievement and leadership. During the last 14 years, more than 80 scholarships have been awarded. The foundation does not pay any salaries, so financial contributions are directed toward assistance in scholarships. All trustees’ work is contributed.

The award was named after Fred Biletnikoff, who was inducted in the Hall of Fame while playing for the Oakland Raiders. The award recognizes the top wide receiver in college football. A panel, which includes announcers, journalists and former football players, selects the winner.

One winner of the award, Larry Fitzgerald, who played football for the University of Pittsburgh, now plays for the Arizona Cardinals. Every winner – except Marcus Harris, who won the award in 1996 -has played for the NFL.

The 2009 winner will be announced on ESPN during the College Football Awards show on Dec. 10.  The award will be given to the winner at the annual Biletnikoff Award dinner, hosted by the TQC Foundation in Tallahassee, Fl. on Feb. 12. A party at Disney World is also hosted by the foundation to receive awards presented on ESPN.

Last season, Robinson, a philosophy major, originally from Waxahachie, Texas, earned honorable mention in the All-Conference-USA accolades after starting in the first 10 games, making 11 touchdowns and catching 59 balls for 1,047 yards. Robinson also had four 100-yard games last season, including a 210-yard effort against University of Central Florida, which was the second-highest total in SMU history. He also pulled down a 94-yard touchdown reception in the UCF game, which is the second-longest pass play in SMU history. During the game against Houston, he had a 186-yard game, which is the third-highest total in a game.  Robinson was also named in the College Football Top Ten and Pegasus News All-DFW College Football Team.

Due to his outstanding performance last year, he is now ranked sixth in the country for college football wide receivers. Robinson is the third player in SMU history to have a 1000-yard season. He hopes to have another record-breaking season this year.

“I plan on finishing with more yards,” Robinson said.

According to June Jones, Robinson is one of the fastest players he has ever coached.  “He’s got so much talent,” he said.

Although Robinson is on the watch list and has been noted as a future professional football player, he still feels like he has room for improvement.

“I need to learn how to practice harder to make myself a better player,” Robinson said.

His ultimate goal, like many college athletes, is to play in the NFL someday. Jones believes if Robinson continues to work hard, he will make it to the league. According to Jones, talent can only carry a player so far.

“The guys that make it are the hardest workers,” he said.

According to John Nwisienyi – a former football player – Robinson practices even when he is not required to. Last spring during the off-season, he continued to practice and workout by himself.  Off the field, he is said to be always smiling and having fun.

“I can respect someone who can work hard and also have fun,” Nwisienyi said.

With his humble attitude and work ethics, Robinson is believes he can accomplish his goals this season. Whether he wins the award or not, Nwisienyi said, “Al will be the same Al.”

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