BOISE, Idaho - Sometimes the best recruiter for the Boise State football program is not even on the football staff. It can be parent who was a Bronco, a teacher who values the education Boise State or even a longtime friend.
Boise State freshman safety Jason Robinson was being recruited by a number of Western Athletic Conference schools as well as Pacific-10 schools Washington and Washington State, but a call from Pop Warner teammate Orlando Scandrick convinced him to attend Boise State.
“I got the call from Orlando Scandrick and then Boise State started recruiting me,” Robinson said. “I took my recruiting trip to Boise State and I am here.”
The experience of having played with Scandrick should be an advantage for Robinson as he attempts to replaced Gerald Alexander who was selected in the second round of the NFL draft, 61st overall, by the Detroit Lions.
“It helps with the trust factor,” Robinson said. “I have known him since I was little so I know I can trust him.”
Robinson and the other young safeties not only need to trust one another but they need to learn to trust themselves according to the defensive secondary coach Marcel Yates.
“We need to be physical not just on the run but on the pass,” Yates said. “We want to give our corners that safety net to where they know that safety is coming and hit that wide receiver to let him know they are there. We want to be sideline-to-sideline type of guys that can fly around and make plays. Once I can get them to know the defense and just react it can get pretty scary.”
Both the young and returning safeties understand the responsibility of playing the position.
“Everything comes through us, we are like the quarterback of the defense,” Robinson said. “We try to fly around and be physical, basically the principles of being a defender, but mostly control the defense.”
Even controlling the defense for the safeties will not be enough for coach Yates who knows there is more that just stopping a team three and out.
“The whole reason you play defense is to get the ball back so we made an emphasis this fall on interceptions and turnovers,” Yates said. “A big hit is great, stopping them is great and we need all that but we want the ball. We need to force fumbles and interceptions, whether it is on pass breakups or deflected passes.”
The message of coach Yates and the rest of the coaching staff have worn off on the safety corps that return seniors Marty Tadman, who is tied for the most career interceptions (12) among active players, and two-year starter Austin Smith, the rest of the safeties will be comprised of newcomers and redshirts will continuously be preach about the importance of creating turnovers.
Marty Tadman, 5’11”, 185 lbs., senior,
“He is a very smart football player,” Yates said. “He has tremendous ball skills and his sense of awareness is incredible. His edge is that he is a little undersized and he is a student of the game.”
Austin Smith, 5’9”, 171 lbs., senior,
“We are going to need him this season to step up, whether it is as a starter or a back up, and make plays,” Yates said. “He is an undersized guy with a big heart and great work ethic. He wants to be good and comes out everyday and works hard.”
Garcia Day, 6’2”, 196 lbs., junior,
“He is still figuring things out but has a tremendous upside,” said Yates. “He is rangy, physical and not afraid to hit someone. He is getting better everyday as he figures out the system.”
Jason Robinson, 6’0”, 190 lbs., freshman,
“He is still learning the system,” Yates said. “He is a smart player and
Jeron Johnson, 5’11”, 190 lbs., freshman,
“He is getting better everyday,” Yates said. “He is physical and big at 5’11” or 6’. He is a big hitter and his footwork is coming along way since being a linebacker in high school.”
Shaun Jordan, 6’3”, 208 lbs., freshman,
“He is just learning the system right now,” Yates said. “He is getting better everyday. He wants to get better and he works hard.”
Cedric Febis, 6’3”, 190 lbs., freshman,
“He is a bigger kid,” Yates said. “He is just learning and has been thrown to the wolves a little bit, so as we go he is learning more and more. He has a tremendous upside with good feet and good hips.”
The story of Jason Robinson joining the Broncos, once again proves communication is the key to life, both on and off the football field.