Allen Robinson accomplished about as much as a player can in two collegiate seasons at Penn State.
Now, the Nittany Lion superstar is giving up his final one to take a shot at the NFL.
Robinson, who put together back-to-back record-breaking seasons as a sophomore and junior, declared himself eligible for May’s NFL Draft on Thursday. After catching 77 and 97 passes, respectively, the past two years, Robinson issued a statement through Penn State thanking his former coaches and teammates.
“It was a great honor to play at Penn State,” Robinson said. “I am blessed to have played with and for the people in the Penn State football program. This is a decision that I believe is best for my family and I wish all the best to the university and all my teammates.”
Robinson played sparingly as a freshman in 2011 before catching fire in 2012 and 2013.
A back-to-back Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year award-winner, Robinson started his junior campaign from the sideline at MetLife Stadium where he was suspended for an unspecified violation for the first half against Syracuse. When he entered in the second half, Robinson was a difference-maker immediately. Robinson took a short Christian Hackenberg pass 25 yards for a touchdown on his team’s first play of the half.
It was a recurring theme for the rest of the season.
Robinson, who garnered seven All-America honors after the season, posted three games where he caught 11 or more passes and eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark eight times. He shattered his own record for receptions in a season by 20 and set another single-season record with 1,432 receiving yards.
Penn State’s 98th first-team All-American, Robinson had two game-saving catches in Penn State’s four-overtime win against Michigan. Robinson made a twisting grab along the sideline where he tiptoed to stay in bounds and picked up 14 yards. He then went up over a Wolverine defender to haul in a 36-yard pass at the goal line to set up the tying touchdown.
As Robinson continued to torch defenders, his NFL stock kept rising. He began the season ranked behind a number of more experienced receivers but finished it as one of the country’s best.
Robinson is slated as CBSSports.com’s fourth-best wideout behind Clemson’s Sammy Watkins, Texas A&M’s Mike Evans and USC’s Marqise Lee.
“We are very excited for Allen,” interim head coach Larry Johnson said. “Allen has meant a great deal to our program at Penn State and we wish him all the best and continued success at the next level.”