From walk-on to Steelers draft pick, Mark Robinson glad coaches moved him to defense

USA Today

Not long ago, Mark Robinson was a walk-on running back at Ole Miss. Now he’s a linebacker in the NFL.

Robinson, a seventh-round draft pick of the Steelers, admits that he never wanted to be any thing other than a running back, in high school or in any of the stops in his long and winding college career, which took him from Presbyterian College to Southeastern Missouri to a walk-on role at Ole Miss. But the coaching staff at Ole Miss convinced him that if he was ever going to get on the field in the SEC (for a walk-on, the NFL was a pipe dream), he’d have to do it on defense.

They were asking me for about a month,” he said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I kept deferring. Every day they kept asking, and I got tired of hearing it. I wouldn’t say they wore me down, but they gave me something to think about.”

Once he started practicing at linebacker every day, he quickly became a starter and was given a scholarship, and he played well enough in his one season on the field for Ole Miss that the Steelers drafted him.

“It’s a blessing that I had some good coaches that saw something in me,” Robinson said. “I took a leap of faith, it worked out, and I’m here today.”

Robinson said Steelers fans are going to see a hard-working linebacker who now has a passion for playing the position.

“It’s about going out there and giving it my all. That’s all I know,” he said. “Everything else I feel can be coached up. I’m going to come in with a high intensity and try to get to the ball every play. That’s the way I play.”

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