Nate Robinson Following Dad At Washington

Aug 7, 2002

By JANIE McCAULEY

AP Sports Writer

SEATTLE (AP) - Nate Robinson ran his fingers across his chest, feeling thenumbers on his shiny new purple Washington jersey.

If he's got anything on his dad after the first day of his college footballcareer, Robinson knows his uniform has to be a lot cooler than the one hisfather wore for the Huskies in the early 1980s.

'This jersey is kind of sweet,' Robinson said.

His dad, Jacque Robinson, was a star tailback for Washington. He was MVP ofthe Rose Bowl as a freshman and later MVP of the Orange Bowl.

'My dad was a leader and I'm going to try to imitate that. He was one ofthe best and I'm going to try to imitate that also,' Nate Robinson said.

He has a chance to play this season as a freshman, though coach RickNeuheisel said he hopes his team will be deep enough that freshmen won't beused much.

Robinson, one of a handful of recruits from the Seattle area, could seeaction on special teams as a punt returner. He also will play basketball forthe Huskies and is considering track, too. He's a state record-holder in the110 high hurdles.

His football teammates have already nicknamed him 'Nate the Great,' orjust 'Great' for short. He played running back at Seattle's Rainier BeachHigh School, but the Huskies have him listed at receiver for now.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Robinson dropped two passes on his first day, andthat brought on his self-inflicted punishment - 10 push-ups for each ball hemissed.

His dad has taught him a thing or two about effort.

'He told me to go in there and be myself, act the same and don't changeanything, and just work harder than everyone on the team, 10 times harder,'Nate Robinson said.

He made a good first impression Wednesday, when freshmen and junior collegetransfers practiced for the first time. The returning players report Friday andthe entire team begins fall drills Saturday.

'He's obviously a much-heralded local player, who if day one is anyindication did not disappoint,' Neuheisel said. 'He's as natural a young manas you'll ever see, he just looks like he fell off the truck doing it. Hecaught punts at the end of the day and looked like he'd been doing it for ahundred years.'

Neuheisel said he and new basketball coach Lorenzo Romar have spoken abouthow Robinson will fit in with both programs, and the coaches believe it willwork out just fine.

'I'm just trying to fit everything into my schedule,' Robinson said.'It's all cramped in there in my mind.'

He may be interested in an art major. His dad always left blank paper aroundand he would draw pictures of his toys.

For now, Robinson is going to do his best to make sure his career starts offon a positive note just like his father's did.

'He accomplished a lot. It's going to be hard beating him,' he said. 'Iwant to do whatever they need me to do. If they want me to play center, I'llplay center.'

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