ATHENS, Ga. -- Christian Robinson wasn’t unemployed for long.
Only a day after learning that the St. Louis Rams did not plan to keep him as a rookie free agent, Robinson accepted Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s offer to serve as one of the Bulldogs’ defensive graduate assistants this fall.
“I decided last night with my family and called and told my agent I was hanging up the helmet and that I wanted to pursue this job,” Robinson said Tuesday afternoon. “I called Coach Grantham this morning and before I could even say anything, he told me I was hired. So yeah, I was pretty excited.”
Grantham sat down with Robinson before the 2012 senior left for the Rams’ rookie camp and discussed the idea of a grad assistant position if he didn’t make the cut in the NFL. Robinson felt good about his performance in a couple of practices with the Rams and the speed with which he picked up their defensive scheme -- he even lined up alongside former Georgia teammate and first-round draft pick Alec Ogletree in some alignments -- but the team signed several other linebackers and informed him Monday that he wasn’t in their plans.
Robinson had a decision to make, but it didn’t take long for him to inform his agent, Adam Sattler, that he felt the smart move was to begin pursuing his long-term career goal of becoming a coach.
“I called my agent and talked to him and I said, ‘I have this position open to go back and be a GA and I really think that I don’t want to sit around and wait for somebody to call me to make a 90-man roster when I’m not even on their radar right now and the likelihood of making it is very low,’ ” Robinson said. “So my agent talked to me and said, ‘You’re not like a lot of guys.’ A lot of guys, this is their only option and they don’t have a slot like I do to go back and be a GA so quickly. He said, ‘It would be hard for me to tell you not to do that at this point.’ ”
Robinson still must pass the GRE to be admitted to a UGA graduate school program -- he plans to take the test next Tuesday -- and then he can jump into the responsibilities in his new position. He will replace Mike Kelly, who recently accepted a defensive line coaching position in Mississippi, in working as an on-field assistant, assembling scouting reports and scout-team preparation among the many behind-the-scenes tasks that grad assistants typically handle.
Having played for the Bulldogs so recently, Robinson knows this is a rare opportunity. But his knowledge of Grantham’s defensive scheme and terminology will also help him hit the ground running as an instructor, which should come in handy in working with the four true freshmen who will play his former position, inside linebacker, this season.
“That’s one thing my dad’s reminding me -- not a lot of guys have this opportunity, how easily it was kind of handed to me by the coaching staff,” Robinson said. “I really appreciate it. It’s definitely my dream position if I’m not playing professional football.”