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Tulsa's Robinson a Role Model On and Off the Field

240-pound defensive tackle, Robinson's speed and strength are enough to put fear into any opposing quarterback.
240-pound defensive tackle, Robinson's speed and strength are enough to put fear into any opposing quarterback.
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Oct. 23, 2000

240-pound defensive tackle, Robinson's speed and strength are enough to put fear into any opposing quarterback.

Off the field, however, lies another story. Robinson, born in the Bronx, moved to Arizona with his family when he was 10-years-old. It was around this time that Robinson began playing football. In junior high, Robinson took a break from football, instead opting to play basketball and run track. But, it was football that Robinson succeeded most at, and returned to the game in high school.

After graduating, Robinson was unsure whether he should take his football skills to the next level or not, so he enrolled at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona to continue his education. After a year of classes, however, Robinson decided it was time to return to the turf. "I knew I still wanted to play football," said Robinson. "I knew how much I loved the game, and how I still had it in me to go out and play."

Knowing that he had the skills and potential to play at the collegiate level, Robinson moved to Phoenix to attend Mesa Community College where he playead one season. After that season, Robinson was recruited by several universities, including Tulsa, Tennessee State and Idaho State.

Initially, the opportunity to play for Tulsa was a dream come true for Robinson. But, limited playing time and injuries clouded that dream. "After I got here, I wasn't sure how things would go. I'm a very outspoken person and I believe in doing things the right way and speaking up when things are done right. That may have held me back as far as getting along with the other personalities involved with the team during my first year. But, I was going to stick with it and give it 100% and make the best out of the opportunity," added Robinson.

As a fifth-year senior, graduated and working on his masters degree, Robinson's position as a role model and his outspoken ways have received positive praise from his teammates and coaches.

"I'm really impressed with Da'mond's work ethic," said head coach Keith Burns. "He has an outstanding attitude, and always has a smile on his face. He brings a leadership role to the team in being someone the younger players can look up to. He has been a steady force across the defensive line for us," said Burns.

This same leadership has opened doors for Robinson off the field as well. Wanting somehow to make a difference and an impact on people, Robinson has spent every summer since his freshman year of college as a teacher and role model for young children. He began his teaching and mentoring at Whitmire Elementary in Tucson, then spent a year helping children at the Boys and Girls Club in Phoenix. Some of his duties included reading to first graders, forming lesson plans and making arts and crafts. Robinson enjoyed his time so much with the children in Arizona he has applied and been excepted to the Big Brother's Program of Tulsa, and is currently waiting to be assigned a child to mentor.

"I look at children and their innocence and being worry free. The kids just want to have fun. The smiles on their faces after accomplishing a project is worth everything to me, and I enjoy spending time with them and helping them learn and have fun," said Robinson.

While Robinson hopes to make an impact on the children's lives, he now is making an impact on the Tulsa football team with his leadership and ability. He has been credited with 30 tackles, six stops for -20 yards, and two sacks for -11 yards.

Robinson, slated to graduate in December, has taken a laid-back approach to his upcoming venture as a college graduate.

"I have a lot of goals and a lot of dreams for the future. Football is one of my major dreams, but besides that, I have a lot of others. I look at it as whatever God has in the cards for me that's what will happen," Robinson said. "Everything depends on circumstances. If I feel I have a burning desire to play at the next level, and a team wants to pick me up, then I might consider football after graduation. But, for right now, I just want to go out and worry about helping my team."