Football 2013 impact players: Franklin County’s Robinson set to lead Bulldogs to big thingsPublished 1:49pm Saturday, August 17, 2013
MEADVILLE — Franklin County High School head coach Jim Nowell has seen a lot of athletes in his time.
As an assistant coach at the high school and collegiate level for many years, Nowell is no stranger to being around gifted football players.
So when he says Bulldogs senior all-purpose back Chris Robinson stands out among all the players he’s coached, it’s high praise considering his background.
“I’ll be honest, he’s one of the best high school players I’ve ever coached,” Nowell said. “The kid has a lot of natural, God-given ability. He’s so versatile and can do so many different things.”
Primarily a running back, Robinson will also see time at quarterback, slot receiver and defensive back for Franklin County this season. Last year, he was a member of The Natchez Democrat’s first-team All-Metro squad after amassing 1,564 rushing yards and 32 touchdowns.
Robinson said he spent the summer in the weight room trying to increase his bench press and improve his speed. Now that the season is close to starting, Robinson said he’s excited about this year’s Bulldogs squad.
“I feel good,” Robinson said. “I feel like we can do something this year.”
And Robinson already has one goal in mind — scoring more than the 32 touchdowns he scored last season.
“I want to beat my own record,” Robinson said. “They have me playing quarterback and running back, and if they can get me the ball, I feel like I can take it to the house every time — every time.”
In order to break that record, Robinson said he would have to have tunnel vision the entire season.
“I have to stay focused and keep my mind off of other people’s business,” he said.
Having a player of Robinson’s caliber is extremely important, Nowell said, since his offensive philosophy is run-first.
“It takes a lot of pressure off the quarterback and offensive line when you have a kid like him playing,” Nowell said. “The offensive line doesn’t have to be the best blockers in the world, because a lot of it he’ll get on his own. In our spring game, he touched it eight times and ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns. He’s about as explosive as they come.”
Robinson said he knows opposing teams will be keying in on him, but that doesn’t bother him.
“That’s why we have new plays,” Robinson said. “To me, it’s nothing. It’s like that every year, and nobody’s stopped me yet.”
Nowell said not only is Robinson a good player, but he’s also someone to whom the other players look up.
“He’s a fun guy; he’s fun to be around,” Nowell said. “He’s just a typical high school kid. He has a lot of buddies, and they all like him. He’s definitely the leader of the team. The team kind of follows his lead. He has a great personality. He’s always smiling and laughing.”
Having the spotlight on him, Robinson said he realizes that the team goes as he goes.
“When I go out and show and perform, that means they’re going to do the same thing,” Robinson said.
Which is good, he added, because it’d be too difficult to be a vocal leader instead of a leader by example.
“They don’t listen,” Robinson joked.
Robinson said he enjoys playing multiple positions, especially when it allows him to be a ball carrier.
“It lets me help my team out,” he said. “My favorite position is running back. I feel like when I get the ball in my hands, can’t nobody touch me. I don’t go down on contact, and I make good cuts and reads.”
Whether it’s barreling over a defender at running back or tackling someone as a defensive back, Nowell said Robinson likes to hit. And Robinson said that enjoyment stems from emotion.
“It lets me let my anger out, especially when we lose,” Robinson said.