What could former West Virginia football defensive back Kenny Robinson’s path to the XFL mean for the future of the college game?
In the fall of 2018, Kenny Robinson, Jr. was outperforming expectations along with the rest of his West Virginia football teammates.
The sophomore safety had two interceptions and eight solo tackles in a 42-34 against Texas Tech in the team’s fourth game of the year. The Mountaineers would start the season 8-1 and would climb to No. 7 in the national polls. Until a late-season slide in which it dropped its last three games, West Virginia had outscored five opponents by at least 25 points.
As a sophomore that year, Robinson won All-Big 12 honors. He was second in the conference in interceptions (four) and second on his team with 77 total tackles.
Last Sunday, however, Robinson opted to suit up for the St. Louis Battlehawks of the fledgling XFL league. What prompted this promising young player to take a risk in the second rendition of a minor pro football league instead of playing NCAA football?
West Virginia dismissed Robinson for a code of conduct violation relating to an academic situation in June 2019. Robinson was then unable to play his junior year. Instead of entering the transfer portal, Robinson declared for the XFL Draft and was chosen at No. 39 overall by the Battlehawks in October 2019.
Why might it matter to college football fans nationwide how Robinson performs in the XFL this spring?