The Carolina Panthers drafted former XFL safety Kenny Robinson in the fifth round of the NFL draft Saturday, capping his unique path to the NFL.
Robinson earned all-Big 12 honors at West Virginia in 2018, but he was dismissed from school because of an academic violation. Instead of sitting out the 2019 season as part of a transfer, Robinson decided to sign with the XFL.
He was the only player in the new league who had college eligibility remaining. In five games for the St. Louis Battlehawks, Robinson intercepted two passes.cheap nfl jerseys nike
Robinson said he felt it was important to be honest and shared in The Players’ Tribune a letter to NFL general managers addressing the mistakes he made that took him from West Virginia to the XFL.
“I felt me owning up to my mistakes was a major part of it,” he said. “A lot of people have problems. I felt like I needed to … own up to my mistakes. … I learned from it and became a better person.”
Robinson said it was a long process deciding what was next after being dismissed from West Virginia. His first thought was to transfer to another college, but he ultimately had to make what he felt was the best decision for him and his family.
Asked what he learned in the XFL that will help him in the NFL, Robinson said: “Just preparing me for being a professional. I was a professional football player the last few months.”
He also said it made him “mature as a man.”nfl jerseys nike cheap
In an interview earlier this month, Robinson said his decision to play in the XFL accelerated his NFL timetable by two years. He had hoped to become a trailblazer for other college players in tough spots, but XFL owner Vince McMahon’s decision to shutter the league means Robinson will be the only player to capitalize.
“Even though it was only five games, I’ve played on a high level that the other college guys haven’t,” Robinson said at the time. “I played with people who were in the NFL. I was coached by [former] NFL coaches. There’s nothing you can replace that with. A lot of guys can’t get that. And I’ve been around veterans and learned from those people.”
On Saturday, Robinson was also happy to say his mother no longer has colon cancer.
“She’s actually doing fine,” he said. “About two weeks into the quarantine she was released from the hospital for the last time and they said she was completely cancer free.”
Robinson will join another prominent XFL player in Carolina, as quarterback P.J. Walker signed with the Panthers last month.