Ole Miss breakout candidate? Lane Kiffin praises linebacker Mark Robinson
Any Ole Miss fans unfamiliar with the name Mark Robinson could be forgiven, after all, he started out as a walk-on running back in Oxford.
But now that he’s switched over to the other side of the ball and is playing linebacker for the Rebels, Robinson is someone that has made the most of his opportunities this spring and garnered a high volume of reps on the practice field.
During his most recent media availability, Lane Kiffin was asked about Robinson and the linebacker’s emergence on the practice field this spring.
“Yeah, Mark’s a great story,” Kiffin said of Robinson. “As a running back that walked on here… Really, he was ineligible (last season) because of transferring, which is another conversation – I don’t know why a walk-on should ever be ineligible – so he had to sit out.
“He was on our service team, and just thought wow, this guy could be a really good linebacker. Just by how he did in special teams drills. So, moved him over there, was a service team linebacker for us and did a great job.”
Robinson, a native of Lee County, Ga., didn’t receive much interest from colleges coming out of high school, aside from some interest by Alabama A&M.
Instead of giving up on playing big-time college football, Robinson continued to grind away on the scout (or service as Kiffin calls it) team and held his own alongside Navy transfer Jake Springer (who also sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules) and Otis Reese (who was held out for much of the season after transferring in from Georgia).
“He, Springer and Otis Reese were all over there, for the most part, last year, so he’s had a good transition,” Kiffin concluded on Robinson.
Now the three former scout team players could be instrumental in the defense’s turnaround this season on the field in Oxford.