May 13, 2014
A happy Greg Robinson meets the press in St. Louis on Tuesday
By Charles Goldberg
Greg Robinson, the big, tough football player, knew what to do and what not to do when the NFL Draft called his name last week.
"A few guys told me, 'don't cry.'"
Well, that plan went out the window when his family erupted inside Radio City Music Hall when the St. Louis Rams made him the second overall pick in the draft.
"When I got the call and just hearing my family behind me as I was on the phone, it just made me a little more emotional. I tried to stay strong," the former Auburn offensive line said in a St. Louis press conference Tuesday.
There were more tears before the night was done when his Auburn running back buddy, Tre Mason, called him to tell him the Rams drafted him in the third round, and they would be together again.
The Rams, the NFL and a Visa commercial helped tell Robinson's story, of how he overcame Hurricane Katrina and humble beginnings in Thibodaux, Louisiana.
"It was the things I overcame, like losing my dad, the Katrina situation, and just how I try to rebuild and write a story for myself," Robinson said. His video is below.
"There were times I sat in my room and just thought about my dad. He didn't see me play one college football game, and he's gone. "
Robinson said he wants to "to be a positive influence on my neighborhood and let those around me that I grew up know there's hope and that dreams can come true." Robinson said he's asked the athletic company he signed a contract with, Nike, to help his high school.
"We didn't have that much."
Robinson talked of Mason, and how they came to Auburn together, how they'd hope to be good enough to turn pro after their third year, of the happy development they were drafted by the same NFL team.
"Before they drafted him I had just texted him 'good luck.' He called me and said, 'I'm a Ram.' I just broke out because I could hear in his voice that he was getting emotional. I could hear him crying over the phone. I was like, 'Man, it's crazy.' I would have never thought that. But it was a great feeling to have someone as close as him with me that would be a positive, also.
"When we both committed to Auburn we went our separate ways for a little while. It's like I played in the line and he's a skill guy.
But they came together, visiting each other, at Mason's home in Florida, in Robinson's home in Louisiana.
"We bonded," Robinson said.
"It's that brotherhood. It's great to share those kind of things with your teammates."
Mason said the draft was "like a dream come true to be able to play with Greg again. We came in our freshman year talking about that we wanted to be three and out, and it's like a dream come true if we played together at the next level. God blessed us with the opportunity."
Mason said his connection with Rams coach Jeff Fisher didn't hurt, developed as Mason became "good friends" with Fisher's son, Trent, who played at Auburn.
"We were together a lot. Trent and I always talked about one day I'd maybe play for the Rams. He'd always joke around like that. Come today, I'm sitting here a St. Louis Ram," Mason said.
Mason finished his Auburn career with the most yards in an Auburn single season when he burst through 1,800 of them last season. He broke Bo Jackson's record.
"Bo is actually like an uncle to me," Mason said. "He's pretty much coached me through this process and the time I was at Auburn, and how to carry myself as what they say is an Auburn man."
Greg Robinson's Visa commercial...
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine