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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Tight end ready to shine

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Colin Darland
Colin Darland / Daily Wildcat UA v Oregon 9.24.11

Tight end Drew Robinson didn’t have an ideal start to his career at Arizona.

After transferring from Snow College in Utah, Robinson broke his foot just weeks after arriving on campus in time for the spring 2011 semester, putting him behind the eight ball when it came to learning the Wildcats’ complex offense.

“It was way tough,” Robinson said. “I never really learned anything in the spring, so I had to do it all in the fall. It took me a while to get going.”

But now that Robinson has spent longer than a month and a half getting reps and learning the offense, he’s earning more playing time — partly due to his ability to do a little bit of everything. That is something that offensive coordinator Seth Littrell said will make him a valuable asset in time.

“He hasn’t been able to showcase everything much,” Littrell said. “But the biggest thing is in the run game, blocking and being a physical force and presence there. He’s also shown some flashes where he can go out and catch the ball.”

But what Robinson has done best during his time at Arizona is improve on a near-daily basis. After being named second-team NJCAA All-America following the 2010 season, he’s gaining more confidence at the Division I level.

“I think I’ve improved a lot,” he said. “Now that I’ve gotten going, gotten some more confidence (from) playing more, I’m playing better.”

Littrell has seen the improvement too, and it may come as somewhat of a surprise after Robinson missed so much time during spring practice — the time when most of a player’s major learning and growth takes place.

“He’s getting better,” Littrell said. “It’s tough because a lot of work gets done (in the spring). That’s why you recruit them and try to get them here by that semester.”

But although Robinson made his name as a pass-catching tight end at the junior college level — he caught 28 balls for 326 yards and four touchdowns in 2010 — he’s most valuable to Arizona as a blocker right now.

“We’ve got a good tight end who we feel is improving,” head coach Mike Stoops said. “(He’s) got to give us a physical presence at the line of scrimmage.”

And even though Robinson doesn’t have a reception yet in 2011, he’s working to get a chance on Saturday at USC.

“We have a lot of stuff for me this week,” Robinson said. “I’m excited for this next game.”

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