JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As the calendar nears August, summer is coming to a close for both local kids as well as Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson. On the eve of reporting to training camp, Robinson, through his Within Reach Foundation sponsored a back-to-school event for dozens of kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida on Tuesday night.
More than 40 kids received an autograph, picture and a gift certificate to Academy Sports from Robinson. He says that being able to give back is very important to him and his foundation.
"It is so much fun giving back and seeing both the kids and their parents smile," said Robinson in his fourth year of doing this event. "For me, I was blessed with an opportunity to be able to have football cleats and basketball shoes, things like that. So, being able to take these kids shopping and see the excitement on their faces, to let them do the activities they want to do, that's huge."
9-year old Tanajah Cotton was very happy to meet Allen Robinson and says that she is probably his biggest fan.
"It was amazing. I almost fainted, I truly almost fainted, I couldn't breathe. He was so tall, I was like, I just love every single thing about him because he is a great football player."
The fourth-year pro from Penn State hopes that an offseason with one of the all-time greats at his position will help him become a better player. Robinson got an invitation from Randy Moss to work out with him and other current wide receivers last month after the two met at ESPN during the Jaguars bye week last season.
"Being able to train with a guy of that caliber who was at the level you want to get to was unreal," said Robinson, who leads the NFL in touchdown receptions since 2015. "When you think about the level he got to, it's just crazy. So, for me to talk to him and work and have him put his hand out and help me out, I am very appreciative of that."
On the heels of Brandon Linder signing the richest contract in NFL history for a center, questions arise as to when and if Robinson will be the next to ink a long term deal. He says that his agent and the Jaguars have been in talks this offseason, but stopped short of mentioning any progress towards that. Robinson did mention that he is very happy for Linder, who was drafted in the same class as him.
"Coming in with some of the guys, it is really cool to see them really developing, not just in their careers but in their lives as well. So, going into my fourth year, seeing Linder get that and other guys across the league that you came into the NFL with, it is pretty special because not everyone gets that opportunity or chance to reap the benefits."
Robinson and the rest of the veterans will report for training camp tomorrow. The first practice session is Thursday, which is open to the public. That starts at 10am.