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November 30, 2012
Around this same time last year, Corey Robinson prepared to take a shot in the dark.
Robinson arrived at the U.S. Army National Combine known more for his famous father, former San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson, than football skills. The ensuing performance shined a spotlight on the talent tucked away at San Antonio Christian School.
"I was just having fun out there competing," Robinson said. "I had nothing to lose because nobody expected anything of me. I was just out there having fun -- taking it step by step, route by route. At the end of everything, I was kind of like, 'What just happened?'"
Now, Robinson is preparing to come full circle.
Less than a month from now, Robinson will report to downtown San Antonio as a Notre Dame commitment and U.S. Army All-American. After a week of practice, the wide receiver prospect will set foot back on the Alamodome turf, a far different player than the one that showed up last winter.
Since then, Robinson has participated in various high level camps. Competing in Army Bowl practices will be his last great test before enrolling at Notre Dame for the second semester.
"I'd have to say my confidence level is a lot higher than last year," Robinson said. "I have more confidence that I can make the play regardless of what the situation is. Whether it's to win the game in overtime, or first-and-10, or trying to convert a third down.
"Whether it's the biggest play of the game or something a lot smaller, I have a lot more confidence in my ability to make the play."
Three months after introducing himself to the recruiting world, Robinson ended what could have been a highly publicized process.
Notre Dame extended the first scholarship offer in February. Iowa, Kansas, Navy, North Carolina and Wake Forest followed suit. But once the 6-foot-5, 195-pound prospect visited South Bend, the Irish were in line for a commitment.
Robinson is on schedule to finish his high school coursework in the next couple weeks, play in the Army Bowl, and then begin classes at Notre Dame for the second semester. He will room with Rivals100 offensive tackle Steve Elmer, also a U.S. Army All-American.
That reality is just starting to sink in as it all draws a little closer to happening.
"I've been trying not to think about it too much or I'm gonna start to get restless," Robinson said. "I still have a couple weeks of school left. I know (Notre Dame commitment) James Onwualu is already done. He's already graduated. I think he's playing video games and hanging out with his family. I'm so jealous."
All this comes on the heels of an exceedingly productive senior season. Robinson had 67 catches for 1,414 yards and 20 touchdowns in 11 games. He helped lead San Antonio Christian to an 8-4 record after a 1-3 start.
Robinson looks forward to capping off his prep career by playing in front of the hometown crowd.
"You can't really beat that," Robinson said. "Growing up watching this game and being around all the hype around the game; All the kids that grow up around here and play football dream about just having an opportunity to go watch the game, nonetheless play in it.
"It's just a great honor to play in such a great game that's been sponsored by the Army, especially with my dad being in the Navy. I really respect the military services and academies and everything they do for us."