Adam Robinson Continues Run of Solid Iowa Running Backs



Great tailbacks and the Iowa Hawkeyes football program have been like young Caucasian girls sporting giant, over-sized sunglasses. Another one pops up all the time, and the trend shows no sign of stopping.

Shonn Greene is now with the New York Jets in the NFL, after winning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2008. Ladell Betts is having a nice pro career with the Washington Redskins and Albert Young played a couple years with the Minnesota Vikings.  And don’t forget Sedrick Shaw, Tavian Banks (my personal favorite), Ronnie Harmon, Fred Russell, and Damian Sims.

The latest in line is sophomore Adam Robinson, who ranks third in the Big Ten and 16th in the nation in rushing
yards per game. He had his 8th career 100 yard rushing game Saturday at Northwestern.

By Paul M. Banks and Paul Schmidt

Earlier this season Robinson talked about getting into/being in game shape.

“It takes some time to get into shape. Just being in good condition isn’t the same thing as being in game shape. It takes some time to build up to being able to run the ball 25 times a game,” he said.

“The first 15 carries, you know, you’re pretty fresh, depending how many times you get hit. Where you have to get into better shape is for those next 10 carries, to be an every down back. You’re blocking, you’re in on every play, and it’s more intense out there than it is in practice.”

Robinson had five rushing touchdowns in 11 games as a freshman in 2009 and he has 10 this season. He has rushed for over 100 yards in six of nine games played in 2010 and has eight career games over the century mark. He has scored two or more touchdowns in five games this season.

He knows that a key component to his production is how well he syncs up with his OL.

“It’s different for every team, and I think that that is one adjustment you have to make is learning how to run behind each offensive line. Even though teams do a lot of the same things, the individual players are different and you have to learn how they are going to open up holes for you. It takes time to be comfortable behind guys for the first time, and vice versa.”

Robinson ranks third in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards (132.5) and fifth in scoring (8.2). He led Iowa’s rushing attack with 834 yards in 2009, despite missing two entire games and portions of others. The yardage is the most ever for an Iowa freshman.

“It’s really good for me to be able to be part of such a strong offense with all of the weapons we have. I don’t know if I’ve been eased into things or not, but I have been able to be a piece of a unit that can score on you in a lot of ways. It definitely takes some of the pressure off but at the same time you don’t want to be the guy not holding up your end of the bargain when everyone else is producing.”

In the 21-17 loss in Evanston, Robinson increased his career totals to 375 carries for 1,748 yards. He is now tied with Nick Bell for 13th in career rushing yards at Iowa.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter, Yardbarker Network, and Fox

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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