OK, be honest with The Turkey now. Looking back to the beginning of this season, how many of you thought that the Nittany Lions would be handicapped when JoePa gave Michael Robinson the nod as starting quarterback? I have to admit that I count myself as a “yes” responder. Time had passed Joe by and loyalty meant more to him than selecting the right player for the pivotal position on offense. The Turkey joined a lot of you in calling for Joe to start Anthony Morelli, a sophomore with a rifle arm and a maturity problem. Michael Robinson? Can’t win with him!
You know how this season turned out. And you know that Michael Robinson was a big reason for it. Furthermore, you know that Paterno sent Galen Hall and JayPa to Texas to get some pointers about how to effectively employ Robinson’s talent. They came back and shocked us all with a spread offense at the Blue-White game. And by the time the Big Ten schedule rolled around, Robinson was skillfully playing his role in the re-engineered offense. The Nittany Lions finished 10–1, exceeding everone’s expectations, and Robinson was a major force behind Penn State’s resurgence. Deftly offsetting his limited passing skills with his athletic ability, Robinson was consistently one of the top rushers in every game. And admit it, your opinion of him really started turning around when in the Minnesota game, while heading out of bounds at the end of a run for a first down, Robinson collided helmet-to-helmet at full speed with Minnesota safety Brandon Owens—and flattened him. Robinson trotted away while the Gopher lay on the ground for several minutes wishing he had never left his burrow. Yeah, that one did it for me!
In spite of Paterno thinking that Michael Robinson is a well kept secret, a premier player that the press has deliberately ignored, Robinson has received a great deal of post-season media attention. (How can Joe talk out of both sides of his mouth, anyway? He chastises the press for ignoring Robinson while denying them access to players. Hmm.) Robinson finished in fifth place for the Heisman Trophy, no small feat in a year when the top four (Reggie Bush, USC, Vince Young, Texas, Matt Leinart, USC, and Brady Quinn, Notre Dame) were almost pre-annointed. Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN gave Robinson the “Herbie” award for MVP in the Big Ten, and the Big Ten followed suit, awarding him the Silver Football Award.
So, now, let me ask you all what you think of Michael Robinson?