This blurry screenshot (it’s artistic) was taken from this highlight video.
A few weeks ago, I posed a hypothetical question on Twitter.
We’ll ignore the fact that I lied about posting this article last week and get on to the rules of this fictional game.
- The player must be on the 2018 roster.
- You only get the player for the 2018 season.
- Picking a freshman for his future value won’t work in this hypothetical.
- Those are the only rules. You can pick any player on the roster as long as you have some justification.
My Pick: Rashad Robinson
I’m going with the CAA Preseason Defensive Player of the Year for a few reasons. I looked at position importance, consistency, playmaking ability and leadership/intangibles.
Position Importance: I don’t think cornerback is the most important position on the field, but having a lockdown corner is quite the commodity. Being able to shut down an elite receiver/one side of the field can change the outcome of games. I consider Robinson the best corner in the FCS. His ability to limit star receivers and contribute timely turnovers makes his role valuable.
Consistency: This is one of many areas where Robinson excels. He rarely gets beat by wide receivers, and he’s played in 38 games over the course of three seasons, showing that he’s not a big injury risk. If I’m picking a player to build my team around, I need to know they can deliver. Robinson delivers time and time again. In last year’s season-opening win over East Carolina, Robinson grabbed two timely interceptions. Fast forward to the FCS Semifinal against South Dakota State, and the rising senior tallied a career-high 12 tackles, including a sack. He improved as the year progressed. Few players across the country showed the consistent production that Robinson did in 2017.
Playmaking: One forced fumble, one touchdown, 1.5 sacks, seven interceptions, 16 passes defended and 51 tackles makes for one heck of a stat line. Robinson put together a monster 2017 campaign and made impact plays all season. He was barely ran down on an interception return against William & Mary that could’ve easily resulted in a touchdown, and redeemed himself with an interception return for a touchdown in the following week’s win over New Hampshire. When he makes an interception, he’s a threat to score.
His playmaking hasn’t been a one-year trend, either. During his freshman season, Robinson recorded an interception, a blocked kick, a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown and a CAA-leading three fumble recoveries. Building your team around a defensive player requires a special talent with the ability to create turnovers and make game-altering plays. Robinson does just that.
Leadership: He’s an experienced senior that leads by example. He’s relatively reserved in media obligations and is quick to credit his teammates. By all accounts, he’s the type of player you want on your team. He’s a good teammate, ridiculously good athlete and consistent performer. His ability and humility make him a player that younger athletes within the program look up to for guidance. If you’re a defensive player, especially in the secondary, you’re looking to emulate Robinson.
Choosing a player from JMU’s roster to build a team around isn’t easy. With players like Cardon Johnson, Marcus Marshall, Riley Stapleton and Darrious Carter, it’s almost impossible to go wrong. I think Robinson stands slightly above the rest because of his consistency.
Disagree? Send me (@BennettConlin) a tweet with your pick. If you’re lucky, I’ll retweet your suggestion to my massive following of 300+ people, many of whom are relatives.