Penn State Football: Allen Robinson Focused On Nittany Lions as Transfer Window Remains Open
One of the Supa Six's biggest names isn't looking to make it the Supa Five.
While All-Big Ten wide receiver Allen Robinson has never stated his intention to look elsewhere, it's a situation fans have dreaded since the end of the season.
As Penn State remains vulnerable to NCAA sanctions allowing players to transfer without penalty up until summer practices in August and with the Nittany Lions' quarterback position wide open and a bowl ban still in place, a call from a high-profile program might be too much to pass up.
Not so says Robinson, who has shot down transfer speculation before.
So it's safe to say that the Nittany Lions' top target in 2012 will be back?
"Yeah, yeah, it definitely is," Robinson said Saturday. "I'm definitely here. I'm here to play with Coach (Bill) O'Brien and be a part of this organization."
Earlier in the year, Robinson hadn't been so sure. While the sophomore wideout had never stated his interest in leaving, his comments on returning for 2013 with the transfer window wide open left room for speculation that he was at least going to consider his options.
But for Robinson, what is keeping him at Penn State is what has brought many before him to Penn State.
"Just being here with the coaching staff that's so dedicated to us," Robinson said. "The coaches are just so dedicated to us. You don't find coaches like Coach Fitz that put in the work that they do for us, and Coach O'Brien and the rest of the coaching staff.
"There have been times I've texted coach Fitz about getting in a workout at five in the morning. And he's opened it up for me and actually worked out with me. These guys are definitely father figures to us. Some of us live so far away from our families but we're able to go and talk to those guys, so it isn't always just about football."
Robinson is looking to improve on a record-breaking season. His 77 receptions mark a Penn State single-season record and his 1,011 yards with 11 touchdowns made him one of the most consistent threats in the Big Ten. Robinson isn't ready to set any goals just yet, but he's making sure his body is ready to go for another physical campaign.
"We have a higher standard than last year’s team in our workouts," Robinson said. He said he has gone from 198 pounds to 209 this offseason. "Coach O'Brien wanted to push us. We didn't have a gauge of the team this early last year."
"I think it's done a lot for me just taking hits across the middle," he said about the added muscle. "Things in the run game. It has done a lot for me. I found myself a little tired going throughout days. I wasn't having the calorie intake I should have. So I really have tried to increase my calories and trying to bust my butt in the weight room.
"They steer us toward good foods. They limit some guys. It all depends on your body fat. I'm able to eat what I want to. I'm just trying to eat the right stuff."
Most importantly for Robinson, the person passing him the ball will have the greatest effect on how he feels by the end of the season, be it Steven Bench, Tyler Ferguson or somebody else.
"One thing I can say about the quarterbacks is they’re working their butts off," Robinson said. "They’re getting their noses in the playbook and they're out there getting their reps. We'll get our chemistry during the spring and the fall just getting out there and throwing the ball a lot. We've got a lot of good quarterbacks so I don't think it'll be that difficult to build a rapport with them. It'll just take a lot of reps."
- John Urschel stated that Donovan Smith is the best offensive lineman from a physical standpoint that he's been around, including Stefen Wisniewski. Urschel didn't back down from that statement and believes that Smith has an unlimited upside.
- Robinson said that both Ferguson and Bench have taken leadership roles in the early going.
- Kyle Carter didn't talk football, but his broken wrist still has a soft cast/brace on it.
- Running backs coach Charles London and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden will oversee special teams, Penn State announced on its Twitter page Friday night. Defensive coordinator John Butler oversaw the entire until last season while myriad coaches contributed as well.