‘The next level,’ from NHS to Penn State

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Former Flomaton Hurricane Neiko Robinson transfered to Northview High School in January of 2012 and has now verbally commited to play football for the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Following the 2011 high school football season, junior cornerback and free safety Neiko Robinson transferred from Flomaton High School to Northview, where he could spend his senior season playing football with childhood friends. Over the weekend, Robinson made a commitment to the next school he plans to play football for – a school where he will wear the jersey of the Penn State Nittany Lions.

After receiving an offer from the university Friday, Robinson, 5-11, 170 lbs., made a verbal commitment Sunday night on the phone with Penn State coach Bill O’Brien.

Robinson, who has been recruited by programs like Minnesota, FSU and UAB, said Penn State felt like the best opportunity for him to utilize his talents.
“Penn State’s a good school,” Robinson said. “They recruited me kind of hard. All of the coaches were nice guys and it seemed like they have a good system.”

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Robinson said two big factors in his decision to commit to Penn State was the opportunity to play for defensive coordinator Ted Roof and the possibility of getting on the field early in his collegiate career.

“They’re some great coaches,” Robinson said. “I will be being coached by Ted Roof at the defensive back position. You know he won a championship at Auburn and they think I’m going to be good enough to play, and, obviously, everybody has to earn there spot, but they said I might be able to come in and play right away.”
With national signing day still eight months away, Robinson is not yet obligated to play for the Nittany Lions, but he said he feels he has made the right decision.

“If there is a better choice out there for me, not just the team, but the surroundings, I would make another choice, but right now I’m looking forward to the next level and I’m stuck on Penn State.”

Robinson’s dedication to Penn State comes despite the school’s child sexual abuse scandal that, just last year, led to the firing of legendary head coach Joe Paterno, who has since passed away.

“I really don’t care about that,” Robinson said. “The school really shouldn’t be put next to Sandusky in all of that, because the football didn’t have anything to do with it. That just made them look bad. It was one man’s poor decision. Joe Paterno took a lot of heat from that but he did what he was supposed to do, so that’s not an issue.”

Robinson said he has not yet had a chance to visit Penn State’s campus but hopes to have the opportunity soon. In the mean time, he said he his focused on reconnecting with his teammates at Northview.

“I feel like I fit right,” he said. “I played with all of those guys when I played Pee Wee football in Century, so I kind of feel like we were a little rusty in the spring but when we get back into it I feel like we’re going to get it going pretty good.”