Lone Oak's Robinson Chosen Mr. Football

By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
There's a drill Lone Oak coach Jack Haskins devised a few years
ago, an innovative way to test his team's endurance.
Haskins calls it "NASCAR," in which the Purple Flash run the
2-minute offense over and over and over again. On a good day, the
drill requires the quarterback to throw the ball up to 50 times in
10 minutes.
"We just go up and down the field," Haskins said. "You've got
to be in great physical shape to do it and it makes you a little
bit tougher."
There were few players tougher this season than Lone Oak
quarterback Corey Robinson, selected as Kentucky's Mr. Football
after a record-breaking season in which he led the Purple Flash to
a 14-1 record and a berth in the Class 4A state title game.
Robinson threw for a state-record 5,872 yards and a national-record
91 touchdowns for the Purple Flash this season, shredding defenses
in the modified run-and-shoot offense Haskins put together.
Not bad for a player who only wanted to be a wide receiver until
a Lone Oak assistant saw him playing catch with the team's
quarterbacks during his sophomore year.
Robinson at first resisted the move to quarterback until he
realized just how much fun it could be throwing the ball around the
lot in Haskins' five-wide receiver sets.
"We knew that he had a good arm, but a lot of kids have a good
arm," Haskins said. "But once we found out he could put it on the
pads and that he was so accurate, we just kind of took off."
Did they ever.
Lone Oak averaged 53.2 points per game before being shut down by
Lexington Catholic in the state title game, confounding defenses
with their intricate route scheme and Robinson's uncanny ability to
read the field.
As impressive as the yardage and touchdowns are, perhaps the
most startling thing about Robinson's year is the lack of mistakes.
He completed nearly 74 percent of his passes and threw just four
interceptions in 520 pass attempts, none of them in the team's
final 10 games.
Robinson attributed his accuracy to precise route-running by his
receivers.
"They just ran hard routes and never quit hustling," Robinson
said. "We've got five receivers going on every play, and they
tried to find open space. ... It makes it a lot easier on you when
you know where everybody is going to be."
Still, even Robinson didn't expect to rewrite the state record
books. But after throwing for seven touchdowns in the season-opener
against Union County, Haskins joked to the assistant coaches
"let's see if we can do this every week."
They nearly did, even with Robinson sitting out the fourth
quarter of most games after the Purple Flash took a commanding
lead. He was even better in the playoffs, helping Lone Oak rally by
Warren East 38-35 to advance to the state title game for the first
time in school history.
"We got behind a couple of times in the playoffs and Corey's
ability to make sure we didn't get rattled really helped," Haskins
said. "I think we threw for more yardage in the playoffs than
people during the whole season."
Suddenly, Robinson's mailbox started getting full with letters
from some high-profile colleges impressed by the 6-foot-3,
195-pounder's right arm and athleticism. Robinson was also the
team's leading rusher and played in the secondary on defense.
Robinson still has a month to decide where he'll play next fall,
but he's not picky so long as he gets an opportunity to play.
"It doesn't matter to me," he said. "I just want to go to a
school that throws the ball. Wherever I go, I'm going to try and
win."
Robinson received nine of 12 votes. Boone County running back
Cory Farris, Bowling Green wide receiver D.L. Moore and Somerset
wide receiver John Cole received one vote each.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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