MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Khiry Robinson played his last two years of college football at West Texas A&M, spending his time bulldozing Lone Star Conference opponents and earning first-team all-conference honors as a senior.
It’s safe to say he didn’t spend his Saturdays facing defenses laden with talent that would eventually graduate to the NFL.
Despite his lack of prime-time collegiate playing experience, Robinson is still a member of the Saints as the NFL preseason comes to a close.
Other players have already been cut as the Saints march to their 53-man regular season roster, but Robinson remains.
Robinson continued to fight for a roster spot Thursday night with most of the starters sitting for the Saints’ 24-21 loss to the Dolphins in the preseason finale.
Showcasing a bruising and physical running style that netted him over 2,000 yards at West Texas A&M, Robinson accounted for over 100 total yards against the Dolphins as he saw his most action as a pro.
While Saints veterans Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas also saw a good deal of action Thursday, Robinson seemed to be everywhere for Sean Payton’s team.
After not tallying a yard in the first quarter, Robinson had four receptions for 39 yards at halftime, providing a useful safety valve for Saints backup quarterback Ryan Griffin.
Robinson continuously fought through tackles, sought contact and dove for extra yardage after already being wrapped up by defenders.
Robinson’s night wasn’t without a number of rookie moments, though, as he fumbled on the goal line in the fourth quarter, fighting to break through for the first touchdown of his NFL career.
Fortunately for Robinson (and the Saints), lineman Tim Lelito fell on the ball in the end zone.
Robinson fumbled again later in the fourth quarter as the ball appeared to just drop out of his hands on a sweep.
If Robinson does end up making the team, it will be because he’s shown in the preseason he is a capable receiver out of the backfield and a back who’s willing to run between the tackles and finish his runs.
The Saints have shown in previous seasons that they’ll use a number of running backs throughout the course of a game, depending on what type of skill set a certain situation calls for.
And everybody knows Drew Brees will get you the ball if you can get open.
Yes, a majority of Robinson’s yards gained came against backups and fringe players.
But all of those yards were still against NFL competition.
It’s down to the final hours for Robinson now before he knows if he’s made the Saints’ 53-man roster, but for a few hours Thursday in Miami, Robinson gave the Saints one last look at what he’s capable of.