November 21, 2012

A memorable career

By his own admission, Christian Robinson's Georgia career has certainly had its share of ups and downs.

But he wouldn't change a thing.

"It's been interesting but it's all turned out positive," a reflective Robinson recalled earlier this week. "Everything that's happened here as a player, whether it's been the injuries - which I thought were horrible at the time - ended up teaching me a lot of stuff."

Robinson will be one of 21 Bulldog seniors playing his final game at Sanford Stadium Saturday against Georgia Tech (noon, ESPN) and while his career may not followed the path he once hoped, he'll leave Athens with absolutely no complaints.

"I talked to Cornelius (Washington) because we sit in the front row in defensive meetings and told him we just have one left. A lot of guys don't want to talk about it," Robinson said. "Some guys want to finish out the season and all the goals we've been focusing on. I love this place. It's been the best time of my life. I really don't want to leave but it's going to come to an end and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it."

It's been an interesting ride.

When he arrived in Athens five years ago, Robinson, who weighed a scant 202 pounds, was deemed too small to play linebacker in the SEC.

"I was 202 when I first showed up and the first game I got to play, Tennessee, I was 205. My dad was the one that calmed me down because we hear it. I didn't show up ready to play. Some people, they do," Robinson said. "A.J. (Green) was ready to play right out of the gate; for others it took more time. I needed five years to get the point where I was able to compete at this level.

"That's my story and he was right. I needed that time to grow up and get the time to play here."

From a statistical standpoint, Robinson admits he hasn't set the college football world on fire. He also admits he's not the most athletic linebacker, either, despite the fact he finished with nine tackles, including two for loss in last week's win over Georgia Southern.

You won't find head coach Mark Richt complaining.

"I think he's led all the way through. He's had a tremendously positive attitude. When he's getting his opportunities to play, he's played well. He's been playing more nickel stuff," Richt said. "He made a bunch of tackles but e's just very good at identifying things and trying to communicate it with his teammates. He's always there with a smile on his face and ready to go to work."

That's all Robinson said he's ever tried to do.

"Everybody has their gifts and everybody has their thing. My thing might not be top, physical ability but I think I'm able to help people get lined up and play to the best of their ability by having to think and question if I'm in the right place," Robinson said. "Jarvis makes our team better by what he does on the field and what he brings to us emotionally. I think I make us better by lining us up and being there to speak and be the voice that sometimes might get lost in the shuffle."

Robinson's senior season hasn't all been all fun and games.

Earlier this year, the house he shares with quarterback Aaron Murray and Arthur Lynch was egged following Georgia's 35-7 loss to South Carolina. Two weeks later teammate Shawn Williams suggested that sophomore Amarlo Herrera should never come out of the lineup at Mike linebacker - the position played by Robinson and Mike Gilliard.

Robinson said he never thought Williams' words become an issues and the two remain great friends.

"I think when you start to let stuff like that get in you and your personal view starts to become dictated by others, that's when you start worrying about outside stuff that affects your game play," said Robinson, who has predominantly been used on third down this year.

"It can be easy for me to think about if I miss a tackle like a lot of people do; everybody on defense has missed a tackle this year and some get more criticized than others," he continued. "I go in for one play, and a lot of times if I miss a tackle it's a little more obvious because the only time some people may see me is the one play I might miss because it's third down and a big play. I just can't let that define myself, and it won't. It will be the things we did as a team here and hopefully my name will be associated with that."

Marshall will play

Richt confirmed Wednesday that running back Keith Marshall will play Saturday despite not being able to practice full contact the past few days.

"We just didn't want him to get lit up on something that was sore but it's really not … I wouldn't call it an injury, I'd call it a guy being banged up and if you add more shots …," Richt said. "We didn't want him to get struck if we could help it, but he's fine. He'll play."

Richt also said there were no other significant injuries that would keep anyone form playing in Saturday's game against the Yellow Jackets.

"(Chris) Burnette's been practicing and we've had no issues that I know of. I just walked off the field with Ron (team trainer Ron Courson) and he would have mentioned it to me," Richt said. "That probably means we had nothing today."

Richt growing weary of BCS questions

Despite efforts to dictate otherwise, Richt continues to get questions regarding Georgia's position in the BCS standings.

During Sunday's weekly teleconference, Richt fended off all questions about the Bulldogs' position at No. 3 with responses solely about his focus on Georgia Tech.

The scenario repeated itself during Wednesday's SEC teleconference, when Richt was once against asked about the BCS and the fact his Bulldogs (10-1) don't have to depend on anyone to advance to the national title game.

"Well, I really respect that question but I'm not going to make a comment on it. I'm focused on trying to beat Georgia Tech right now," Richt said. "We're out here with our scout team going full speed trying to cut our guys to the ground, see if our guys can play the cut block then get up and try to make a play. If we don't, we're going to be in sad shape so that's how I feel right now."

Apparently, the same no-BCS talk rule applies to his family. Later, Richt joked that even his own family has been warned not to ask BCS questions over the Thanksgiving Day turkey Thursday.

But still might not stop his mother.

"I'll help them if they need it. I'll get my watch and I'll get my timer and I'll say 'OK, mom, you've got 10 minutes, ask me anything you want,'" Richt said. "We'll get that out of the way and then have a normal day."

This and that

The Bulldogs will practice again in full pads Thursday morning before breaking for Thanksgiving. The team will practice again on Friday. "I want them to focus until about 10 a.m. tomorrow morning and then I'll tell them 'Just enjoy Thanksgiving,'" Richt said. "If you're close enough to go see your family, go see them and if they're coming to see you enjoy the day - just try to make it as close to what you're used to growing up with on Thanksgiving. Of course, we have tried to have coaches and players open their home to anybody who does not have anywhere to go. I don't want one guy going back to his dorm room for the rest of the day."