NFL DraftProspect Interviews

2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Delano Robinson, LB, SMU

Delano Robinson SMU Linebacker 2022
Delano Robinson is a smart hardworking leader of the SMU defense at LB. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Delano Robinson
  • Height: 6’1”
  • Weight: 235 lbs
  • Position: LB
  • College: Southern Methodist University
  • Twitter: @delanoshowtime
  • Instagram: delano.10

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
My transition from high school to college has been flexible. I’ve always kept my studies and academics first. I already graduated with a major in English with a Sports Management minor. I am currently pursuing a Masters in Liberal Studies with a focus in Psychology and Communication. One of the activities that I’ve been part of was coaching Next Level Youth Football with the Highland Park area kids. I had an internship with EnterHealth which is a rehab center in Dallas. This year, I have an internship with the Global Royalties Organization for Oil and Gas. Other than that, I will occasionally volunteer my time to help some of the homeless in the Dallas community.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
I’m extremely hardworking, and I make others around me better by leading by example.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
My role on the team has been as a captain and a leader. I am the older guy coming back for my 5th season. I act as a facilitator to help the younger guys on the team learn how to adjust to college life and be successful football players. On the football field, as a middle linebacker, I’m the QB of the defense as the one that needs to communicate to others so that we line up properly and are ready for each play.

During my time at SMU, I’ve played in nearly every scheme. I’ve had 3 different defensive coordinators. We now have Coach Jim Leavitt. He was the position coach for the 49ers back when they had Patrick Willis. So, I’m looking forward to working with him this year. I’ve played both of the interior linebacker positions, and I can transition to OLB when needed. My primary objective is to be an efficient run stopper, filling in gaps and making tackles. Although, I also have the ability to drop back into coverage, which I’ve done throughout games. I’ve also played special teams ever since I was a freshman. I’ve played on nearly every unit. My best game on special teams was back in 2019 when I had 5 special teams tackle and a fumble recovery.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
Back in 2019, we had a big game against Memphis. I remember studying Kenneth Gainwell all week; yet, it was Antonio Gibson that really broke out in that game. He really earned my respect in that game.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Elijah Chatman is a DT who can dominate on the field. He’s a freak athlete who is super fast and super strong. Trevor Denbow is another teammate that really impresses me. He’s the most versatile guy that I’ve ever seen. He’s played safety and linebacker, coming into the box to make plays or even being the outside rusher. He’s also even punted the ball a couple times for us.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
When the pandemic hit in Spring of 2020, it really threw a lot of people off and changed our routines. We weren’t able to go into the facilities to train. I remember when I was on Spring break talking to the coach and hearing that we couldn’t come in for several months because things were shutting down. There were some public parks and gyms that were off limits. Yet, despite our circumstances, several members of our team were still able to meet together to train. My dad has a facility that we were able to use, and we would even go to the local high school. It was occasionally a challenge to find a place where we could continue to train. Although, we managed to put in work every day. Being in that situation helped us as a team, and also helped build our character and work ethic.

Playing that year through the pandemic was different. Teams were opting out, and we didn’t know how many games we were actually going to play. We knew that there was a big risk in playing. Any of us could have contracted COVID-19. Yet, I kept my head and faith up and continued to be a leader for our team. Things were definitely different this year, but I came out a better person in the end.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball. I really liked playing basketball growing up. I played all the way up through my junior year of high school. After that, I made the choice to stick with football.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
Finishing my degree in 3 and a half years is something that I’m very proud of. I’ll also be able to get my Master’s degree before I leave college which most student athletes don’t do. Back in 2017, I received the Penny and Paul Loyd Academic Honors. I was also named the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2017 for SMU. Being named team captain is something else that I’m also proud of. I’m honored to be recognized as one of our team leaders.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
One of my best memories happened when I was a freshman in our game against Navy. I had my first career INT in that game. To follow that, when Navy received their next possession, I was able to get a fumble recovery.

Another moment that comes to mind was our rivalry game against TCU in 2019 which is called the Iron Skillet Game. I remember getting the game winning pass break up and also being named Defensive Player of the Game.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My all-time favorite athlete is Lebron James. Some of the linebackers that I study in the NFL include players such as Bobby Wagner, Devin White and Mack Wilson. I try to model my game after Mack Wilson who is a very physical run stuffer.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
My favorite music artists are Lil Durk and King Von. One of the songs that I like to listen to before a game is called “Hellcats and Trackhawks” by Lil Durk.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My Grandma makes the best seafood. Her crawfish dip is one of her many dishes that I love.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
I enjoy all of the Shrek Movies. My favorite TV Series is Power. Some of my favorite comedians include guys like Mike Epps and Chris Tucker.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family. I also like playing video games and watching TV. I also like to cook.

Who or what motivates you the most?
My family, specifically my Mom and my Dad. They’ve helped get me where I am today and have always supported me. My Dad is a trainer which has really helped me in my development. My Mom has been a great example for me to follow with her great work ethic. I thank both my parents for how they have raised me, and my goal is to be able to give back to them some day.

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