Moose Robinson (UCF Athletics)
As UCF embarks on its 2009 campaign, the team has shown tremendous growth from a year ago on the offensive side of the ball. Perhaps the biggest improvement comes on the offensive line, where the Knights will have a handful of new starters, but most notably, Steve “Moose” Robinson. A highly-touted recruit out of high school, Moose is ready to make an impact for the Knights.
In hindsight, it was pretty obvious where Steve “Moose” Robinson got his nickname, but the 6’3”, 306 lb. guard was delighted to discuss the origin of his nickname when asked how it came into fruition.
“It came to me when I was a freshman in high school,” said Robinson. “I came out to football practice for the first day of summer workouts. I was kind of a big guy, I was pretty strong as a freshman and when we got into team drills, I was moving people. Some older players were like ‘damn, this kid’s bad, you’re a freaking moose man’ so they just started calling me Moose. It just went on from the players, the coaches, the whole school. It’s followed me and I even got a little tattoo of it on my arm here. I take pride in it now.”
The nickname “Moose” has even followed the redshirt freshman into his house, as Robinson said his mom doesn’t call him Steve anymore.
“Moose man, that’s my name, everywhere.”
To commemorate the growing popularity of his moniker, Robinson sketched a tattoo of a moose head into his right arm. While the nickname is here to stay, his next goal is to engrave himself into the memory of every UCF fan. Robinson is intent on making an everlasting impact for the Knights and as the team’s starting right guard, he will begin his step towards greatness by helping turn around an offense that was ranked dead last in the country last season.
“We owe it to (the team) to go out there and crush people this year, to open up some holes and score touchdowns,” said Robinson.
The attempt to begin this offensive turnaround started in the spring for Robinson, who went from being a scout-team player to a starter. In just a short period of time, Robinson has seen a complete turnaround from the entire offensive line and all the other players on his side of the ball.
“Last spring, we had a couple of young guys out there and we lacked that motivation that we have now. We didn’t go out there with the same intensity we have now. We’re thinking more, we’re communicating more on the offensive line and things are starting to come together now. We all have a sense of urgency and we know what are jobs are and we try to do our best every play.”
Where does this sense of urgency come from?
“It’s wanting to win. We want to make a 180 degree turn from how we performed last year. That’s our motivation, doing a hundred times better than last year and winning the conference championship.”
Robinson said the offensive line’s improvement hasn’t come necessarily from his presence or the additions of Cliff McCray or Abre Leggins, but by a newfound chemistry that the unit lacked last season.
“It’s just the chemistry, I can depend the guy on my right and I can depend on the guy on my left. If we make a mistake, we make a mistake as a group and we try to stay together with everything; on mistakes, everything, we don’t try to single anybody out. If one man screws up, we all screw up.”
There is no question though that Robinson’s presence has made a tremendous impact for the Knights from a talent standpoint. He probably could have started for the team last year as a true freshman, but the staff didn’t think he was ready yet to make an impact, and looking back on it, Robinson concurred.
“It was a good thing. I felt like last year, physically, strength wise, I was ready to play. But mentally, I was not where I should have been and I feel like this year, it’s way different from last year. I’m glad I had that year of experience to travel and get the feel of the whole collegiate thing, the college level.”
Now after a season in which he deemed frustrating, Robinson is ready to step up for the Knights and when an opposing defensive tackle feels the force and power that the girthy lineman exudes, they too will be well too aware of the meaning of Robinson’s nickname.