Big Duke Has Become A Cornerstone Of OUâ€™s Offensive Line
By John Shinn
George â€śDukeâ€ť Robinson usually runs with a crowd.
First it was the friends from his Atlanta neighborhood. These days, itâ€™s with his current crew at Oklahoma.
Or maybe it just seems that way because heâ€™s so big. Robinson can look like an entourage even when heâ€™s all by himself.
Think back to the summer of 2005. Robinson was a highly-touted offensive line prospect from Atlantaâ€™s Booker T. Washington High School. Even his future teammates were a bit taken back at first glance.
â€śWhen I first saw him I didnâ€™t think he was in our class,â€ť center Jon Cooper said. â€śHe was a grown man.â€ť
Itâ€™s doubtful anyone has ever called Cooper â€śPee Weeâ€ť either. In room full of big men, Robinson has always attracted attention.
When he arrived at OU, Robinsonâ€™s 6-foot-5 frame stood above most of the locker room. The 360-plus pounds he lugged cast a mountainous shadow.
Cooperâ€™s opinion was certainly in the majority.
There was no doubt Robinson was one of keys to Oklahomaâ€™s 2005 recruiting class. The group included wide receiver Malcolm Kelly and defensive back Reggie Smith. But Robinson was the first one everyone noticed.
It was hard not to.
His long braided hair or the gold teeth he sports may turn a few heads, but the NFL scouts attending the Soonersâ€™ preseason practices have always marveled at his frame. Those long arms fit the prototype for an NFL offensive lineman and heâ€™s already proven his frame can hold a lot of weight.
Few doubted Robinsonâ€™s future was going to be bright.
It just took a while for him to be molded into what has turned out to be an all-conference â€”and more than likely before heâ€™s through â€” an All-American player.
Robinson might have had most of the tools when he arrived at OU. But no one said he didnâ€™t need some polishing â€” or chiseling.
â€śHe was a heavier dude,â€ť fellow junior offensive lineman Branndon Braxton remembered.
â€śHe was out of shape,â€ť Copper added.
Robinsonâ€™s first preseason camp was more like a boot camp. The demands of college football can feel like a 2 x 4 to the head for uninitiated. Thereâ€™s a level of conditioning required for the game that would cause most to drop from sheer exhaustion.
Just about every freshman â€” no matter what position â€” struggles with the rigors. Robinson was no exception.
Editor's Note: This is only a portion of the feature on Duke Robinson that appears in the August issue of Sooner Spectator. Don't miss out... subscribe today by calling toll free 1-888-335-4385 and get a 1-year subscription for $34.95... that's $10 off the regular price.