In this exclusive interview with Hogs Haven, former Penn State star receiver Allen Robinson shares his thoughts on Bill O'Brien, pre-draft training, his favorite NFL receiver, and his future in the NFL.
HH - Describe your relationship with Bill O'Brien. How did you feel when he left?
Robinson - Me and coach O'Brien had a great relationship. When he decided to leave, I understood. Sometimes you just have to do what's best for you, and some people didn't quite realize that he has a family that he has to look out for, and he has other people he has to look out for, and not just himself.
HH - Were you surprised when you heard he was leaving after just two years for the NFL?
Robinson - No, not at all. I wasn't surprised. I knew as a player that was something he wanted. He wanted to coach in the NFL. He had a great opportunity to get that job, and you have to go out there and persue it, and he did that.
HH - Did O'Brien leaving have any bearing on your decision to turn pro?
Robinson - I would say a little bit. The main thing with me was that my mom wanted me to get my degree. So, that was a big thing for me. That was the big reason why I was contemplating staying in school.
HH - Will you get your Penn State degree, or is that something that is still in the works?
Robinson - Well, I left early and I was supposed to graduate in June. But no, I haven't received my degree yet.
HH - Do you plan on going back to get that degree?
Robinson - Yes.
HH - How did O'Brien's complex offense prepare you for the NFL?
Robinson - The offense was a pro-style offense, which means having different sight adjustments and things like that. I wouldn't say it was too complex, you just had to know a lot about coverage. You had to know a lot about what the opposing team was doing as far as disguising coverages and things like that.
HH - Were you running the full route tree, or was it more concept based versus certain defensive looks?
Robinson - It was a full route tree, but I'd say more so just game planning around concepts of different teams and what they were trying to take away from you.
HH - Can you talk to me about the differences between the offense under Joe Paterno and the one Bill O'Brien ran?
Robinson - Coach O'Brien's offense was a lot different. We had check-with-me's at the line of scrimmage, to check into certain plays, and make adjustments to plays, and we didn't have that ability in coach Paterno's offense.
HH - Had you known James Franklin would have been named the new head coach at PSU, would you have stayed for your senior season?
Robinson - No. I've heard a lot of good things about coach Franklin, but I believed that the time was perfect for me to come in to the draft and take the next step and go to the next level. I feel I was ready.
HH - What is your current weight now, and what weight would you be comfortable playing at in the NFL?
Robinson - I'm at 213. That's about what I played at in school. That's what I would want to play at, at the next level.
HH - Talk to me about the training you have been doing leading up to the combine.
Robinson - I trained at the performance compound in Tampa, Florida. I trained with Sammy Watkins, Bruce Ellington, Carlos Hyde, and Ricardo Allen.
HH - What did you learn from your time down there?
Robinson - What I learned most was just being accountable. You have to be accountable for yourself everyday, by just getting up and going out there and working out. It's not like college anymore, where if you don't work out it's a penalty or anything. It's all on you.
HH - Which area of your game would you like to improve the most?
Robinson - I've been trying to improve my speed this offseason. I think that's the biggest area of improvement for me.
HH - You ran a 4.60 at the combine, but at your Pro Day you were timed in the mid 4.4's. What was the biggest difference in those few weeks?
Robinson - The main thing was just going back and just fine-tuning some things. I'm just used to getting out there and running. The 40 is 90 percent technique. You have to go out there and change things to how you run. I think that was the biggest thing for me.
HH - Were you tagged at Penn State as an X receiver, or was it wherever you could go to create the biggest mis-match?
Robinson - I played a lot of X my sophomore year. Last year, my receiver coach and coach O'Brien moved me around. I played X, Y and Z. Everything.
HH - Where are you most comfortable?
Robinson - I like working outside the most. You get a lot of one-on-one match-ups out there.
HH - I hear you model your game after Reggie Wayne. What about Reggie Wayne stands out to you?
Robinson - Yeah, he's a guy I grew up watching, and as I got older, seeing the things he does on the field, I tried to take some of those things from his game, and add it to mine. It's just his movement within his route and how he makes everything look the same, while at the same time, it is different.
HH - Which past NFL wide receiver do you model your game after, and why?
Robinson - I would say Chris Carter. He had the ability to do a lot. He made a lot of big plays. He was a big-play guy, and I think that's what I think of myself as - a big play guy.
HH - Which teams have you had the most interaction with so far leading up to the draft?
Robinson - I've been talking with Indianapolis, Denver, and Detroit. A few teams came to visit me - Atlanta, Chicago, and Carolina.
HH - Any preference to any of those teams you mentioned?
Robinson - No, not really. I'd just like to go anywhere where I'm given an opportunity.
HH - What will you be doing this Thursday night - the first night of the draft?
Robinson - I'll be at my high school with my close family and friends.
HH - Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today, we really appreciate it, and wish you the best of luck in the draft.
Robinson - Thank you. I appreciate it.
Allen Robinson: 6'2" 213 Penn State University(Junior)
* 2012 and 2013 Big Ten Receiver of the Year
* First player since 1985 to lead the Big Ten in receptions and receiving yards in consecutive seasons
* 42" vertical at Pro Day
* Grew up a fan of Kobe Bryant and the LA Lakers
Here is a clip of Robinson showing off his hops!
Allen Robinson shows off dunking skills (via FBsnips)