It’s been quite the journey for Carolina Panthers safety Kenny Robinson. In just two years at West Virginia, he became one of the top defensive backs in the Big 12 Conference and was on pace to be one of the better DBs in college football had he stuck around Morgantown a little longer. Unfortunately, he was expelled from the University after getting caught cheating in a class.
Robinson was back home in the Pittsburgh area attending a funeral, thus was excused from football activities. However, he asked a friend of his to turn in an assignment for him but she turned it in during the time of a team meeting and it was red flagged. He went to court with student conduct and it resulted in the end of his time at WVU.
On top of that, Robinson’s mother had suffered two strokes and had just been diagnosed with colon cancer. After leaving WVU, Robinson looked at all options and received interest from several schools about potentially transferring, but instead, he entered the XFL Draft and was selected by the St. Louis BattleHawks. Given the circumstances with his mother, it made the most sense to forgo the remainder of his college career and go make money. In just five games in the XFL, he increased his draft stock and wound up being drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the 5th round of the 2020 NFL Draft, making him the first player to ever be drafted from the XFL into the NFL.
For the first two years of his NFL career, Robinson has spent much of his time bouncing back and forth between the practice squad, the active roster, and has even been cut a couple of times. With the Panthers now out of the mix for the playoffs and other complications that have effected the Carolina secondary, such as injuries and COVID-19 cases, Robinson is receiving more playing time and is taking full advantage of it.
“Kenny has turned himself into a legitimate safety – a legitimate pro football player,” Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said. “I’m really pleased with his play. You know, you go back and look at his history – he didn’t play a ton in college, went to the XFL, came to the NFL and it was in the middle of COVID. He had a COVID offseason, was on the practice squad and got elevated. He came to camp this year and I think started off on practice squad and has been up and down. His physical development, his knowledge of the position, his physicality in the game, I mean, they’re all really starting to show up. He played really well this past week. That position you’ve got Jeremy Chinn, it’s his first …….