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Thursday, February 8

Kiper: Q&A with Koren Robinson

N.C. State sophomore wide receiver Koren Robinson has declared himself eligible for April's NFL draft. My question-and-answer session with him follows:

Mel Kiper Jr.: What are your accurate measureables going to be?
Koren Robinson: I'm 6-foot-3, 205 pounds. My best 40 time on an indoor track was 4.32. My vertical jump should be right around 41 inches.

Koren Robinson
North Carolina State's Koren Robinson hauls in a pass during the 2000 season. Robinson says his goal is to be the No. 1 pick in the 2001 NFL draft..

Kiper: Why did you chose to attend N.C. State and what other major programs had shown an interest?
Robinson: My family is a huge part of my life. I wanted to stay close by. My mom really wanted me to remain in the state of North Carolina. For that reason, I had also considered Clemson and North Carolina. As far as N.C. State was concerned, I really was impressed with the coaching staff and the way they stressed academics.

Kiper: What about making the switch from tailback to wide receiver?
Robinson: I was a tailback all of my life, up until I signed on at N.C. State. When I was approached at N.C. State to switch to wide receiver, I had no problem making the transition. I'm the type of person who will do whatever I'm asked to help the team. If they needed me more at wide receiver, I would do my best to help out to the best of my ability.

Kiper: Tell me about that first year at the new position.
Robinson: Well, Torry Holt was a senior and I was being redshirted. I used that time to adjust to the new position. I can't thank Torry Holt enough for his help along the way. He's been my mentor. I learned a lot from Torry. He has a tremendous work ethic and really stresses preparation and focus. He really showed me the way. If I would get down on myself after running a bad route or dropping a pass, Torry would be right there, telling me to maintain my confidence and just go get the next one. I really looked up to Torry.

Kiper: What was it like to play for coach Chuck Amato this past season?
Robinson: I really liked his tough, aggressive style of coaching. He'll push you to exceed any expectations or goals you had for yourself.

Kiper: Tell me about the transition from tailback to WR.
Robinson: It was tough early on. I caught a few balls in high school, but I was primarily a running threat. At wide receiver, I had to work on concentrating on every pass that came my way, and also try to become an accomplished route runner. Torry Holt really helped me in this area. I tried to pay attention to detail just like he did. His work ethic set a great example for me. In the long run, my experience at tailback has really been a plus. I feel I'm at my best in the open field after the catch. I can take a short pass, a hitch or a curl, and turn it into a long gain. I'm always looking to go the distance, to make something happen. I can also stretch the field and really enjoy coming across the middle.

Kiper: Were there any NFL players you tried to emulate during your early years on the football field?
Robinson: Definitely. Walter Payton and Earl Campbell. I really respected their physical styles. I had the change-of-direction ability, but always was striving to be the physical runner that they were. During my senior year in high school, I really started to become a more complete tailback. Over the years, I've also studied a lot of film of the NFL's top receivers.

Kiper: As a third-year sophomore, you decided to leave N.C. State early and enter the NFL draft. What led to your decision?
Robinson: My family always supported me so strongly, I just wanted to give something back to them. My mother and father told me to follow my heart. Either way, they would be behind me 1,000 percent.

Kiper: Have you thought about what NFL draft day in April will be like for you?
Robinson: Yes, I have. My goal is to be the No. 1 pick overall. Everything I do each day is with the idea of working to be the first selection.

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