Chapel Hill – Gene Robinson has bounced between a few different positions during his time at UNC but he’s now settling into a brand new spot in the team’s 4-2-5 scheme.
“Last year I played the nickel, well, I pretty much played everywhere last year so I know football,” the senior said. “I’m still on a learning curve for the Ram spot. There are a lot of blitzes that we’re putting in and we continue to put in plays every day. I’m not moving as fast as I want to but I’m just having fun flying around and making plays.”
The Memphis, Tennessee native started out his career at cornerback but quickly moved to the nickel-back spot, which he explained is similar to the new ‘Ram’ position brought in by Larry Fedora’s staff.
“It’s similar in the nickel defense that we played last year but in the 4-2-5 base defense the nickel is out there every play. It brings athleticism to the field.
“I’m loving all the blitzes. We’re just having a chance to play free and make plays. It’s fun getting after the quarterback.”
And although the Ram is essentially a roving outside linebacker that is required to drop into the secondary, the 5-10, 195-pounder has to take on all comers.
“They call me ‘Big Gene’ (laughs) … I just have to be physical down there. I have to be finesse because I can’t run through big linemen like that. It’s being football savvy when you talk about that Ram spot.
“I haven’t talked to the coaches about putting on any more weight since we just made the Ram move but I would like to put on about 5 more pounds. I’m right around 200 right now. I’m taking on tight ends, slot receivers, running backs and I’ll get a tackle pulling around. I see pretty much everything.”
The senior knows that this is his last season to do something special at UNC and he’s making the most of it every day in practice.
“They never know when I’m blitzing so I’m just out here having fun. I’m running past Bryn (Renner) and tapping him on the hip…we’re just playing great football out here.
“It’s now or never. I’ve been watching a lot more film and I’m still learning the defense when we get there we’re going to be running fast to the ball.
And it’s the team competition, Robinson explains, that keeps everyone on their toes.
“We’re talking (junk) with each other as soon as we walk in the building at 7 o’clock every morning between the offense and defense. We’re competitive every day and we’re having fun.”