James Madison cornerback Rashad Robinson (Hermitage) reflects on a year out of football with injury, new head coach Curt Cignetti, and what if there were a “Hard Knocks” show featuring the Dukes.
Question: How would you describe a Curt Cignetti training camp?
Answer: Fast-paced and time-efficient. Those are the two things I’ve most picked up on. Everything has a purpose. They want to get in and get out and we are going to get our work done.
Question: Coach has said recently that in his observations and evaluation coming in, that maybe some things started to slide at the end of last year. You were around this team. Did you sense that?
Answer: I just felt like we got caught sleeping. We took for granted how good our league is and basically just got caught sleeping like Coach Cignetti said when he got here. We were fat and happy. We just came off two blowout wins weeks before, so we just thought that we had it all, when we really [weren’t] ready to go in. We just took for granted how good this league can be and any Saturday you can get caught sleeping.
Question: It was about a year ago during camp when you were told you were going to miss the season with torn tendons in your foot/toe. How does that hit you being told you’re out for an entire year before it even starts?
Answer: It was kind of devastating. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I had just left lunch and I couldn’t even eat lunch because I was waiting from them to read the MRI’s. It was like a gut feeling I had because if everything was good, they would have just told me straight up the night before.
They had told me I’d torn ligaments in my foot and there was almost no way I would be able to play. But I also had my redshirt and definitely tears started to run down my face, but my teammates and my little brother, they kept me up because they told me it was just a blessing that I had my redshirt and would get the chance to come back next year, because it could’ve been career ending for me. I just tried to look at the positive, but it was definitely tough for me.
Question: You stayed around the team and coaches. Did you learn anything about coaching?
Answer: I really learned about how the coaches see what we see on film. It’s different when you’re out there playing, and it’s hard to imagine what the coaches are seeing. But I stayed around the coaches a lot while I was hurt just to help the young guys, so they taught me a few things.
Question: Do you watch “Hard Knocks” on HBO?
Answer: Oh yeah, every year. I’ve been watching for, I don’t know how many years straight. Recently, I haven’t been able to watch until after camp because we are in camp when it comes out. I take time around September and October to watch it.
Question: If HBO did “Hard Knocks: JMU”, which one of your teammates would America fall in love with on television?
Answer: That’s easy — Ron’Dell Carter. He’s the man. I know he would love it and the cameras would love him. Ron’Dell is just a great guy overall so I think it would be him.
Question: Jimmy Moreland is now with the Redskins. That means there are some interceptions up for grabs this year. Is there an internal competition within the secondary to see who gets the most picks?
Answer: [Laughing] We do have a little bit of a competition, but at the end of the day, we just have as our No. 1 goal that we want to lead the nation interceptions as a group, and however we get them, that’s how we get them.
There’s always going to be a little competition about who has the most, but at the end of the day, we want to be the best group in the nation. We’re just trying to work at that and whoever gets them, get them.