Robinson 1st Notre Dame football player elected president

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Posted: Feb 12, 2016 7:33 PM
Robinson 1st Notre Dame football player elected president

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Corey Robinson became the first Notre Dame football player elected as student body president this week. The wide receiver is used to multitasking.

The son of retired NBA great David Robinson has been juggling a variety of interests since arriving on campus three years ago as an early enrollee.

Last fall he took 18 credit hours, worked on his senior thesis of applying moral philosophy to environmental policy, was vice president of the student athletic council and helped start a nonprofit where student-athletes donate used game-worn or practice-worn athletic apparel to children at local schools.

He wants to inspire school children.

"To really show them, I am a Notre Dame football player," he said Friday. "I believe that you can be where I am."

Last month, Robinson presented the program to other universities at the NCAA convention.

Robinson thought about ending his football career after just three seasons because he has enough credits to earn his degree in liberal studies in May. He considered joining a program that would allow him to work as a teacher in Brazil and work on a master's degree in education.

"There were a lot of incredible opportunities I had to weigh," he said.

He applied to be Rhodes Scholar and to be a Fulbright Scholar, but was unsuccessful in both. He called that humbling, but said he plans to apply again to become a Rhodes scholar.

"I want to go to Oxford. I want to go and study with the best and brightest minds," he said. "I'm not going to let one setback bring me down. That's something athletics taught me, one game, one play, even one season doesn't define you as a player. You can always come back stronger than ever."

The 6-4, 215-pound Robinson said he decided to return for his senior season after talking with his father and Alex Coccia, a former Notre Dame student body president and a fencer who was a member of the Irish 2011 national championship team.

"They both said, 'You don't understand how valuable this experience in college is to be able not only to play here, but you're also able to increase your impact here,'" he said.

After finishing second on the team in receptions in his sophomore year with 40 catches for five touchdowns and 539 yards, he was projected as a possible draft pick. But Robinson saw his numbers drop to 16 catches for one touchdown and 200 yards this past season, and knows those aren't the numbers of an NFL draft pick.

He said he's interested in a career in the NFL, but he's not counting on it.

Robinson said coach Brian Kelly and the rest of the football staff was supportive of his decision to be president.

"He just wanted me to know that he needs a leader on this team," said Robinson, a junior from San Antonio, Texas.

Robinson was elected Wednesday with 59 percent of the vote and, along with vice president Becca Blais, will take office on April 1. The pair ran on a platform of improving resources for such issues as sexual assault, community engagement, health and wellness and diversity.

Robinson said he's taking a lighter class load, so focusing on both football and his president duties shouldn't be a problem.

"Before I had many medium to large size commitments. It wasn't like two or three, it was like six, seven, eight. So being able to narrow it down to two, I'm very thankful for," he said.