With the No. 180 overall pick in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers have selected Michigan State safety
In four seasons, the 5-foot-10, 195 pound safety totaled 229 tackles, nine interceptions and 12 pass break-ups in 46 career games, including 32 starts for the Spartans.
The two-time All-Big Ten honoree’s nine interceptions rank tied for 12th in Michigan State history. Robinson also totaled 27 tackles in four bowl game appearances, including 12 tackles in the 2012 Outback Bowl.
Robinson spoke to the Bay Area media on a conference call Saturday, shortly after being drafted by the 49ers.
What do you think about being drafted by the 49ers?
“I’m very excited that they took a chance on me, and I’m just really ready to get out there and work. My dream is here. I just don’t even know how to feel except that I’m super excited to get out here and work and show them what I can do.”
What kind of involvement did they have with you in the days before the draft?
“I had actually talked to them a couple of days before the draft. They said they liked me, they asked me some questions and everything. They said they liked me and they were definitely going to be drafting a safety. I was just excited then, and right now I just don’t even really know how to feel. My dream is here and all I have to do to get where I want to be is work hard and I know I’ll have a spot there.”
So you must have had a pretty strong suspicion that the 49ers might be the team, right?
“Yeah, I did. I was thinking that they would be the team just from the conversation that we had a couple days ago. They are and I’m very happy to get out here. They’ve got a great defense already and it’s just going to get me better to be able to compete with the players on that defense.”
Do you recall who you spoke with a couple days ago from the 49ers?
“I don’t recall who it was. It was a scout.”
You played free safety with the Spartans?
“Yes, I played free safety.”
Do you have any experience at cornerback at all?
“Yes, I came in originally as a cornerback when I first got to Michigan State.”
So you’d say coverage skills are your strength in the defensive backfield?
“Not one of my weaknesses, I’d definitely say that’s a strength.”
Why did you get moved over to safety?
“Just because in my freshman year, we had a lot of corners. Otis Wiley was our safety and he was going to be leaving, so coach said he needed a safety. I’m aggressive, I like to hit, so he moved me back there and felt like I’d be successful.”
You were one of the Michigan State captains last year, correct?
What did that role mean to you?
“It meant everything to me. It’s not anything with the coaches; it’s with the guys who you’re around every day, whether you’re off the field or on the field. To have them elect me as captain, that was one of the greatest moments of my life leading up to this. All that faith and belief in me, so that I could lead them. It was great for me. It felt good.”
How many captains did you have on the team?
“It was me, [former Michigan State QB] Kirk Cousins and [former Michigan State G] Joel Foreman.”
What do you think about playing for a Michigan man like Harbaugh?
“College is over right now, so I’m very excited, just upbeat. Just a fellow Big Ten player to be able to play with and get coached by, and he does a great job what he’s done with that team in the last year is just unreal. So, I’m excited to get out there and have a great coach, coach me.”
Do you think your size caused you to fall a bit lower than maybe you should have?
“I don’t know what it was. I’m not even going to think about all that. All I know is whatever it was, if I fell or, I’m supposed to go where I’m supposed to go. I was put in this place for a reason and I can’t worry about what happened. All I know is I’m ready to get out here and work for the 49ers and try to get a world championship. That’s what the goal is and the plan is to make the team and just work hard.”
Did you get a sense though that being 5’10” was an issue for teams during the interview process, the run up to the draft?
“A little bit, but I really wasn’t sure. No one just came out and was like, you’re 5’10”, we’re not thinking about drafting you. No one said that because if you watch my film and watch how I play and watch the way I move around to the ball, you can see that my size really doesn’t affect the way that I play the game. I’m happy that Coach and the coaching staff in San Francisco saw that and are willing to take this chance on me.”
Were you at the Combine?
“Yes, I was at the Combine.”
Do you have a preference to call you Trenton or Trent?