Photo courtesy of James Madison athletics
James Madison’s Rashad Robinson hopes you already know his name. If you don’t, you may learn it at this year’s NFL Draft.
Robinson, a cornerback at Madison, is tied for third all-time in Dukes history with 13 interceptions. That’s for a program that is now a perennial FCS national championship contender. There was a time however, when Robinson used to throw passes rather than pick them off.
“I came out of Hermitage High School in Richmond (VA) and played quarterback the last two years,” Robison exclaimed. “Didn’t play corner until I got to JMU. I went in as a true freshman and played mostly on special teams. I started the last three games at nickel.”
A star as a quarterback in high school, Robinson chose JMU over Richmond. JMU wowed Robinson on his official visit.
“It (JMU) was everything I was looking for,” Robinson said “The alumni, the campus, the coaching staff. It felt like a home away from home and it was only two hours away, so my parents would be able to make every game.”
From there, it was history as Robinson ingrained himself into the national championship-winning Dukes’ secondary. As a sophomore, he started 11 games at corner and recorded two picks. As a junior, Robinson played 15 games and was voted first-team All-CAA as a corner after a season which saw Robinson pick off seven passes and score a touchdown as the Dukes went to the FCS national championship.
In 2018, his true senior season, it all stopped for Robinson.
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“That’s when I got hurt,” Robinson said. “I got hurt and missed the entire season with turf toe. I took that as a medical redshirt and then came back. The injury happened in the last week of camp in a scrimmage; they came and told me after the MRI that I could be out for six months.”
Returning to the Dukes and his rightful place in the secondary for his redshirt senior season, Robinson was on a mission. That mission was accomplished as he was named to the preseason All-CAA team.
In his final season, Robinson picked off three passes as JMU once again met North Dakota State in the FCS National Championship — just as they had in Robinson’s junior season.
Now getting ready for the NFL Draft, Robinson is yet another tale of draft prep derailed by COVID-19.
“I have a trainer up here in Northern Virginia that I’m training with as far as my positional work goes,” Robinson commented. “I trained down in McKinney, Tex. before the Coronavirus took place. Everything got shut down a couple of days before my Pro Day, but they had all my measurements from my junior Pro Day. I didn’t get a chance to get in front of any scouts or anything like that.”
Robinson is continuing to train and has some great tape out from his time at JMU. Last year, Jimmy Moreland, a teammate of Robinson, was taken in the seventh round by the Washington Redskins. Draftsite.com’s most recent mock has Robinson being taken in the fifth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars.