He came in as an offensive lineman out of high school with loads of athletic talent and size you just couldn't teach. Robinson redshirted his first season as an offensive lineman but soon made the switch to defense when it appeared things weren't coming together for Robinson at the time.
After sitting out the entire 2011 season with no game action, Robinson was moved back to the offensive line to help build some depth at tackle. Things started to improve as time went on for Robinson as he returned to his more familiar side of the football. He entered fall camp as the second team tackle and finally looked poised to contribute to the Gamecocks football team.
It wasn't until the week after the Vanderbilt game that Robinson started to put it together. This is when offensive line coach Shawn Elliott really started taking notice that Robinson's effort level started to increase and his backup offensive lineman was ready to step up to the challenge.
"It happened the week after the Vanderbilt game. Same old guy so to speak and then he showed up that day and he said I can certainly do this. I'll prove it to you. He's had the tools to be successful since he's gotten here. He just had to buy into it and take advantage of the opportunity and he did," said Coach Elliott.
With Robinson, it was never about talent. It was always about the mental aspect and wanting to put forth the effort level that is needed at this high level of college football. It appears it's paid off and the coaching staff has taken notice.
"It's mental for him. He's always had the tools to come out and be a good player and he never really bought into playing it. We struggled early on in the Vanderbilt game and he said I can do this, I'll show you. I said you show me and I'll put you in there. He's doing real well and we're pleased with him. As long as he keep his motivation and focus, he'll be a good player."
This week will mark the fourth start of Robinson's career, which is coincidentally his fourth straight start as well. It seems the light has come on for the redshirt sophomore from Havelock, North Carolina.
While Robinson continues his high level of play, the Gamecocks will need the entire unit to step up their game this weekend against a stout LSU defense. Right now, LSU is only allowing 98.5 yards per game rushing and South Carolina will need to produce a strong running game to be given a chance this weekend to win the game.
Coach Shawn Elliott knows it's a tough challenge ahead.
"We got to play a lot better. We're facing a totally different animal this week in LSU and their two defensive ends so hopefully it's not the roller coaster ride that we've been on. Hopefully we can find some consistency and put together back-to-back good games, or decent games, we'll certainly see. They're awfully good. I don't know what we're gonna do to slow them down. Tight ends and tackles...we're going to have to put running backs on all these guys."
Post-Practice Notes-Coach G.A. Mangus said that Connor Shaw and the players on the team are excited about this kind of game coming up this weekend. "He likes to play in games. He's one of those guys and we've got a lot of those guys on this team that rise to the occasion and look forward to playing in that environment whether its at home. That's fun. That's what it's all about."
-Coach Spurrier Jr. talked about how the difference the in-state players have made on this program is unbelievable." He mentioned a saying that goes, "If you recruit well, you'll win and if you win, you'll recruit well."
-Coach Spurrier Jr. mentioned that Damiere Byrd rotates at several different receiver postions. He said he's the first receiver that he can remember in a long time that has played all four receiver positions.
-Connor Shaw said he won't be able to outrun these LSU defenders this week. He mentioned how he'll need to have his eye down the field and get the passing game going.
-Shaw also mentioned three things that he wanted to do this weekend:"Limit turnovers, manage the game, be smart with the football."
-Shaw did make a comment about how his shoulder injury helped his pocket awareness to a degreee because he wasn't able to run as much as he was used to doing.
-Shaw said that the team is handling the hype just fine this week.