PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Jakob Robinson is often the smallest guy on the football field. The BYU cornerback stands 5-foot-11, and weighs 170 pounds dripping wet. So he understands why quarterbacks throw his way.
“I don’t blame them,” Robinson said. “Look at me, I guess. I would throw it to my side too.”
After two interceptions, including one in the end zone against Sam Houston in the BYU’s first shutout in nine years, quarterbacks may not test him much longer.
Robinson credited the preparation led by new defensive coordinator Jay Hill for BYU’s 14-0 shutout, its first since 2014, and its first over an FBS opponent since 2012.
“I think this is the most prepared we’ve ever been,” Robinson said after the game. “Formations-wise, we just knew what was coming. We could call it out before it happened.”
“J-Rod had two picks,” said linebacker Ben Bywater. “That doesn’t happen too often. I just think we played great as a defense overall.”
Kalani Sitake recruited Robinson at Orem High. After he played one season at Utah State, Robinson decided to transfer and Sitake finally got his man. In just over two seasons with the Cougars, Robinson has proven to be a ballhawk with six interceptions.
“I was really impressed with him coming out high school at Orem,” Sitake said. “He was a big-time playmaker, and he did it on both sides of the ball.”
But not all of BYU’s coaches were sold on Robinson, mainly because of his size.
“When we recruited him, I’m not sure everyone was on board with him,” Sitake said. “I think there were a few people that said he was too small. When we unfortunately lost him to Utah State, I was glad that he was able to come back.”
Robinson has a great friend in the BYU secondary in Ethan Slade, who was a high school teammate at Orem High.
“It’s so much fun playing with Jakob,” said Slade, who made his first career start against Sam Houston. “We’ve been playing together since fourth grade. Jakob is my guy. We’ve played basketball, baseball, football together. We’re very good friends, and every time we go on the field, I know he’s about to make a play. That’s just who he is.”
“I’m used to having him behind me, because I played with him in high school,” Robinson said of Slade. “It was just nice to look back and see one of my high school teammates, and I think he did amazing.”
The entire BYU defense was amazing against Sam Houston. They’ll look for a similar effort this Saturday against Southern Utah.