There’s something to be said for longevity.
Back in February 2008 then head coach Gregg Brandon announced an 18-player recruiting class for the Bowling Green football team.
Chip Robinson is the only scholarship player from that group remaining on the Falcons’ 2012 roster. Robinson is one of three seniors on the current team, who have been with the Falcons for five years. The others are Bart Tanski and Stephen Stein, both of whom were walk-ons.
When asked how it feels to be an elder statesman on the team Robinson replied: “I feel like I should have the first parking spot” in the Sebo Center lot. “Maybe they’ll name something after me.
“It’s a good experience. I’ve been here longer and I’ve seen everything all the ups and downs in the program,” Robinson said in a more serious tone. “I guess if there’s a situation or experience, I’m the guy to come to.”
He added that he wanted to be remembered as “a leader, someone who never gave up. There have been opportunities to leave, coaching changes and everything negative ... I feel like I’m kind of a brick in the Sebo.”
In addition to his experience with the ins and outs of the program, Robinson is the most versatile of BG’s offensive linemen.
The 6-foot-5, 325 pound Robinson, has played every spot on the line, expect left tackle, in his career. He has made 21 starts in the last two years.
“Chip is very bright. So not only has Chip played a lot of football, but he can play every position on the O-line,” BG head coach Dave Clawson said.
Robinson is pleased that the coaching staff trusts him to play multiple positions.
“It’s kind of a pat on my back. That’s what I pride myself on, is knowing what everyone does on each and every play,” Robinson said. “Going from the right to the left side is the most difficult.
“Playing center helped me out so much because I would go right or left on each play,” he continued. “Playing center makes the transitions easier.”
Robinson also likes playing center because he is in control of the line at that spot.
Currently Robinson is locked in a battle with David Kekuewa for the starting center job. Kekuewa is a junior-college transfer.
“It makes us both better,” Robinson said about the competition. “We sit and watch film together. We kind of understand each other’s mentality.
“There is a little tension between us, but it’s not really personal or anything ... We know we want to be the person who plays on Saturday.”
Bill Durkin, BG’s offensive line coach says Robinson is ‘‘very football smart.
“He knows the offense inside and out. He’ll see things the other guys don’t see which is very beneficial to us,” Durkin said. “He gets us in the right calls and has us all on the right page, which is important.”
After two straight losing seasons, Robinson is looking for better things from the Falcons in 2012.
“The attitude of the program has really changed,” Robinson said. “Everyone is excited to come to practice each day, come to work. I think that’s the mentality that has really changed in the program.”
What Robinson really wants is a Mid-American Conference championship ring. His fiancee, Kelly Zuercher, won four MAC championship rings as a member of the Falcons’ women’s basketball team from 2008-11.
Robinson said Zuercher occasionally reminds him of that fact. The wedding is planned for February.
Robinson graduates in December with a degree in sport management and a minor in entrepreneurship.
Robinson would like to be a high school coach with a long-term goal of being a high school athletics director.
(more information on the BG-Florida game can be found on the Falcon Football Spotlight Friday afternoon at sent-trib.com)