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ISU Football Coach Brock Spack Excited For Former Redbird James Robinson's NFL Debut

James Robinson runs
Former ISU Redbird James Robinson will make his NFL debut Sunday after making the 53-man roster this week. Robinson was an undrafted free agent.

The NFL season has returned, and on Sunday a former Illinois State Redbird will be taking the field.

Running back James Robinson of the Jacksonville Jaguars made the 53-man roster this week after signing as an undrafted free agent in April.

Robinson started three seasons with the Redbirds. He scored 46 total touchdowns and over 4,000 yards rushing, second in school history.

ISU Football Head Coach Brock Spack said he’s excited for the former Redbird and that Robinson's speed, explosiveness, and strength along with many other skills will make him stand out in the league.

“What makes a difference-maker for a running back in the NFL is are you able to catch the ball in the backfield, and he can do that,” Spack said. “He's a very good passer and he has very good ball skills. Also, he's a very physical guy, and then he can protect the passer. So, he'll be a part of pass protection for the quarterback.”

Spack said Robinson’s football IQ along with his responsible character will make him a great teammate.

“He takes care of business and he's very mature. He's very quiet, doesn't talk a whole lot, but he'll smile. Never any issues here with him. Good, solid student and did what he was supposed to do. Locker room wise was never a problem, and I think it'd be a real good teammate. He was a really good teammate here. He’s very well maintenance for any football program.”

Spack said he spoke to Robinson last week about how excited he was for his career and how he’s excited to start. Spack shares what advice he gave Robinson before heading into the league back in April. 

“Be you, compete, pay attention and do what you did when you were here andyou’ll be fine,” Spack said. “The most important thing is to stay healthy and so far, knock on wood, he's done that.”

Robinson will be playing alongside another former Redbird, tight end James O'Shaughnessy. O’Shaughnessy played for the Redbirds from 2010-2014 and was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round in 2015. Spack said they’re both really good athletes that he’s proud to see play together.

The Jaguars will face the Indianapolis Colts in their season opener Sunday.

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Darnysha Mitchell is an Illinois State University student and reporting and social media intern at WGLT.
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