Former Irish WR Robinson at peace with decision to retire
Corey Robinson has no regrets about retiring from college football. But if there is one disappointment for the former Notre Dame wide receiver, it would be not having one last chance to play against Navy, his father’s alma mater.
“This is always a really fun game because Navy plays so hard, so physical and so disciplined. What I love the most about the Navy game is the mutual respect that we have for each other,” Robinson said Thursday.
“Those guys are future leaders of our country and will be fighting for our freedom. So I have nothing but the utmost respect for them.”
Robinson’s football career was cut short because of health concerns. The 6-foot-5, 214-pound receiver suffered his third career concussion during spring practice last March and was forced to contemplate his future well-being.
Team doctors cleared Robinson to resume playing in the 2016 season, but the senior felt the risk of further brain damage was too great. It was a difficult choice for Robinson, whom Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly had gauged as a second- or third-round pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
“It was by far the hardest decision of my life. It took seven weeks of going back and forth,” Robinson said. “I had to judge what I wanted to get out of this game and weigh what the long-term and short-term effects were going to be. I just felt the best decision Jacksonville, Fla. Saturday, 11:30 a.m. TV: Chs. 13, 9 Radio: 1090 AM, 1430 AM Line: Notre Dame by 61⁄ was to step away from the game, but I couldn’t leave my guys. I love this team and this university too much to not be a part of Notre Dame football. It was just unthinkable.”
Which is why Robinson is serving as a student assistant coach for the Fighting Irish, working with the wide receivers. Last season, the former U.S. Army All-American played alongside the likes of Torii Hunter Jr. and Equanimeous St. Brown. Now he is tutoring them.
“When Coach Kelly told me I had an opportunity to be a student assistant, I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? I would love to be able to do that.’ It was a chance for me to still be around the guys and be a contributing member of the team,” Robinson said. “When I was coming up as a freshman and sophomore, I had older players that helped mentor me. I wanted to be able to pass that forward.”
Robinson enjoyed a productive three seasons for the Irish, totaling 65 receptions for 896 yards. His father, NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, became a die-hard Notre Dame football fan — attending home games in South Bend all decked out in gold and blue.
“There is a little bit of disappointment because football was something Corey was David Robinson speaks with his son, Corey Robinson, during Notre Dame’s Oct. 31, 2015, game against Temple. Corey Robinson quit football after suffering his third concussion. very talented at doing. He had an opportunity to potentially move forward in the sport,” said David Robinson, the greatest basketball player in Naval Academy history.
Corey Robinson initially had planned to graduate early last May with a liberal studies degree, but chose to extend his education by picking up a minor. The San Antonio native did so to run for student body president. He won.
Robinson might be the busiest student on the Notre Dame campus. He is a Rhodes Scholar candidate and plays guitar in a band named Rolf’s Aquatic, which is managed by Jesse Bongiovi, the son of rocker Jon Bon Jovi.
“I’m happy for Corey because he seems very content,” David Robinson, who played center for the San Antonio Spurs from 1989 to 2003 and was a10-time NBA All-Star, said. “It doesn’t seem to bother him very much that he isn’t playing football anymore. He’s moved on.”
NOTE: Navy announced that the 2020 edition of its football series with Notre Dame will be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The schools play this weekend in Jacksonville, Fla., the 16th site to host a game in the series, and it was previously announced that San Diego would host the 2018 game. Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said he is reviewing proposals to host the 2022 Navy-Notre Dame game and mentioned Baltimore, Washington, Houston, Seattle and San Francisco as among the interested cities.