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Meet the Freshmen: DE Kevin Robbins

The first week of our "Meet the Freshmen" series concludes with a high school teammate of yesterday's subject.

That Kevin Robbins ended up at Tech is a pretty amazing feat. His father played college football at Michigan State, and Robbins had offers from a slew of ACC and Big XII schools. How is it that the Maryland native ended up at Georgia Tech? Two reasons: first and most obvious is that his high school teammate and long-time friend Darius Commissiong was headed down here. The lesser-known (and likely more prevalent) reason is that Robbins had a very good relationship with departed Defensive Coordinator Al Groh, as did his high school coach. In fact, Robbins was being recruited as an outside linebacker as opposed to a defensive end, and the theory was that he'd play the same Jack role that Jeremiah Attaochu has played for the past 3 seasons. Of course, Groh was fired mid-season last year and that outside linebacker business is all out the window, but just know that we do still have something to thank Al Groh for.

Robbins stands at 6'4", and weighs in around 240lbs -- pretty great for a weakside defensive end. The first thing that his film shows is outstanding athleticism and speed -- he played both ways in high school, playing TE on offense. (His route running is far from impressive, but that's not really what we're here to discuss.) Robbins has a great ability to use both power and speed whenever he wants to -- on any given play, he may go for a speed rush or a bull rush. He also does a great job of tackling, squaring his shoulders up to the ballcarrier and wrapping them up. He's generally a very athletic, fundamentally sound defensive end that gives me a lot of hope.

If there's a downside to Robbins, it's similar to that of Commissiong in that I think he may be a bit small to continue doing in college what he was doing so successfully in high school. I can't really say that at 240lbs, he'll be able to bull-rush a D-I offensive lineman, meaning he would be reduced to simple speed rushing. (Of course, all of this is me trying to nit-pick in Robbins' game based on his 6-minute junior year highlight tape -- he may be larger by now, and may perform differently in plays that aren't on his specific highlight tape.) At the end of the day, I see an awful lot of potential in Robbins. Combine that with some of the things that I've heard about Tyler Stargel, and the loss of Jeremiah Attaochu after this year may not be as bad as we think it will be. (To be clear, I don't mean that as a knock on Jerry -- it's a complement to Stargel and Robbins.)

Do you like what you see from Robbins? Do you think his style and skills will translate well to Ted Roof's defense?