By Matt Sugam
PISCATAWAY – As a sixth year senior, Mason Robinson is one of two players – the other being Khaseem Greene, who wasn’t being heavily recruited at the time – that was a senior in high school when Rutgers defeated No. 3 Louisville to improve to 9-0 on Thursday night in Piscataway.
Robinson was at that game. As a four-star, recruit Rutgers wasn’t really on his radar. Until that magical autumn night, where no one in the stands sat down for three hours, waving white towels as Rutgers won their biggest game in school history.
”That day was the first day I bought a Rutgers shirt and that was the first Rutgers shirt that I ever had and from there it just kept going,” Robinson said. “During the recruiting process, when they say what’s your top five schools, I put Rutgers on there just to be generous.
“But then as it began to grow on me with the winning and everything…That game just put it over the top for me.”
No, Robinson’s career didn’t go as he planned. The highly touted recruit was switched from running back to wide receiver before finding a home at defensive back.
The Somerville, NJ native battled through two ACL injuries. He sees the field primarily as the punt returner, also coming in as an extra defensive back on passing downs.
But this season – and this game in particular – means everything to Robinson
“It definitely special for me and the rest of the guys. Just putting it all on the line and to just keep going. I think god just really had a plan for this team and me. Just how everything shaped out.”
Currently, Rutgers will have a share of the Big East title with a loss to Louisville. But that’s not what this team has been aiming for since the season ended last year.
“It’s unacceptable,” Robinson said of sharing the title. “It’s absolutely unacceptable. For how hard we trained since the end of last season to now it’s unacceptable to share it so I don’t even think of it that way.”
And just like his career didn’t play out the way he expected, neither did this season. Robinson felt this team could have been a little better.
“I think this team was good enough to go undefeated, but how it was it’s in the past the game that we had,” Robinson said. “How it is now, the Big East title is how I thought of it, but the national championship was in my mindset to.”
Now, Robinson gets to relive that Thursday night in Piscataway six years ago. But this time, the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder gets do it as a member of the team.
“It’s crazy,” Robison said. “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”