Log in

Jays wide receiver Robinson not one to shy away from contact on slant routes

CLEVER'S XAVIER ROBINSON concentrates on making a catch in 7-on-7 action.
CLEVER'S XAVIER ROBINSON concentrates on making a catch in 7-on-7 action.

Even at a modest 5-foot-10 and 145 pounds, Clever’s Xavier Robinson enters his senior season proud of the reputation he has earned as a strong, physical wide receiver.

For most football pundits, YAC is a statistical measure referring to yards after a catch. Not entirely so with Robinson.

“I averaged six-plus yards after contact last season,” Robinson said during the Jays’ 7-on-7 session at Rogersville last week. “After I catch the ball, I like to see how I take contact. It gives me confidence when I can take on contact and still run, even when I'm a smaller guy.”

Robinson averaged 12.7 yards a reception overall, while making 55 catches for 696 yards and four touchdowns during his breakout junior year last season.

He is looking forward to again being Clever’s go-to guy in the Jays’ efforts toward moving the chains. When Robinson’s number is called for routes across the middle of the field against opposing defenders, he won’t back away from the challenge.

“We run a lot of slant routes and linebackers are the scariest people to run up against when you're running a slant route,” he said. “I'm not insanely big. I've got to protect myself and catch the ball at the same time. But my main focus is to catch the ball and get those yards for my team rather than protecting myself. It makes me feel good when I can get the ball and get us the first down or more.”

In regard to this month’s 7-on-7 sessions opposite the likes of Rogersville, Marshfield, Strafford and Lighthouse Christian, Clever coach Willie Howard is counting on Robinson and the rest of the Jays’ receiving corps to get in rhythm with quarterback Gage Evans.

Howard wants his receivers catching the ball on the run to help make them become more elusive.

“We ran good routes (last week) and we threw the ball on time,” Howard said. “We’re giving ourselves the chance to move the ball up and down the field. We’ve talked about leading (a receiver) into the pass and not waiting for him to get open. That's critical. You don't wait for them to stop their route. You throw it to them before they get into the route so they can catch it and be moving and go with it.”