HARRISONBURG (WAVY) – Mike Houston recalls when he first met Simeyon Robinson. A graduate of First Colonial High School, Robinson was out of shape, only managed about a 2.0 grade point average in the class room, and was on the verge of being declared academically ineligible.
“I did not see him as a factor,” said Houston, JMU’s second-year head coach. “I remember my first meeting with him. I told him, he was getting ready to not be here. And I told him, if he didn’t change he wouldn’t be here.”
Robinson, who’s only Division I offer came from JMU, took everything to heart. The 6-foot-1 defensive lineman turned his academic standing around, and last year received the team’s academic achievement award. “He’s a model citizen, and a true leader in our locker room, and then I think he’s one of the best defensive lineman in FCS football in the country,” said Houston.
Robinson has indeed become an interior force for the top defense in the nation. “It’s been a roller coaster,” said Robinson, who has 4.5 quarterback sacks this season. “There’s been ups, there’s been downs, just it all comes down to experience and (learning) from mistakes you’ve made in the past and stuff like that.”
Learning from the past, Robinson has created a future for himself. “I know he’s got a bright future ahead of him because of the way he’s turned his life around,” said Houston.
But for Robinson, the future is now, and his storybook ending may only be two wins away.
FCS NATIONAL SEMIFINALS
South Dakota State (11-2) vs. James Madison (13-0)
Saturday at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg