JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After one of the best seasons for an undrafted rookie ever, James Robinson is looking for bigger and better things in his second year in the NFL.
But first, Robinson will wait to find out if he is the winner of the Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year award. Robinson is one of five finalists for the award, which will be announced as part of the NFL Honors show on Saturday.
Just like his simple but effective approach to his rookie season, Robinson is not getting too fired up about the possibility of winning the award.
“It would be a big thing,” Robinson said. “I mean, a lot of great guys, they’ve got that award. A lot of great guys are nominated for awards this year. And just to be in a conversation with those guys. All of them were top picks. So, I mean, it just goes to show that me being undrafted and really affect me a lot. So it means a lot.”
Robinson will be watching Super Bowl LV on Sunday. When he sees the Buccaneers’ offense on the field, he’ll see a former teammate, Leonard Fournette running the ball for the Buccaneers. Robinson and Fournette were on the practice field together for only a few weeks before the Jaguars waived him--not enough time to develop much of a bond.
“It wasn’t like a really strong relationship,” Robinson said. “He gave us a lot of advice. And I mean, he said if we need anything, just hit him up. And, you know, try to help us out the best way you can. So yeah, I mean, once he left, he just left a lot of advice for us.”
Robinson replaced Fournette in the lineup and promptly turned in one of the best seasons in Jaguars’ history. He finished the year with 1,070 rushing yards to become the fifth Jaguar to top the 1,000-yard mark. His 1,414 scrimmage yards are the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.
“I was just going out there and playing football, I wasn’t really trying to go out there and prove anyone wrong,” Robinson said. “Just kind of show them what I can do. And then just because I went to a small college, it doesn’t really matter.”
With a new coaching staff taking over, Robins said he is excited to get things going. So far, there has not been an announcement of who the running backs coach will be.
“I’m excited to work with him,” Robinson said. “And I know a lot of guys I found who played with him. I’m just excited overall. I’ve talked to him multiple times already. So he just he’s, he’s excited, too.”