Big Rapids, Mich. - The 79th annual National Football League (NFL) Draft takes place this weekend at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and at least one former Ferris State University football standout is hoping to hear his name called or be contacted by NFL or professional football franchises as a potential free agent pickup following the annual event.
The Bulldogs' Marvin Robinson, who completed his collegiate eligibility as a starter in FSU's defensive secondary last fall, has received interest from a number of NFL teams and/or taken place in various pro scouting combines and all-star contests in recent weeks. He's also currently listed among the top 100 players at his respective positions across the country and
projected as a potential free agent aquisition in numerous mock draft lists.
The NFL Draft begins with round one on Thursday (May 8) night at 8 p.m. (ET). Round two will take place on Friday night beginning at 7 p.m. (ET) with the final rounds four thru seven set for Saturday starting at noon Both ESPN and the NFL Network will have endless coverage of the draft.
Robinson, who participated in the 2014 College All-Star Bowl held in February in South Carolina, is a 6-5, 200-pound safety who hails from Winter Haven, Fla. He's been rated as one of the top 40 free safetys on the board in the class of 2014 by Football Nation and the NFL Draft Scout pegs him as one of the top 50 safetys overall.
Additionally, Robinson is among the NFL Draft Diamond publication's top five small school players "on the rise" at his position and tabbed as the "best of the rest" by Draft Daddy on the top small school safety watch list. The Detroit News listed Robinson as a player with Michigan ties who might be selected or picked up this weekend while the JB Scouting Service has him chosen among the top 200 non-Division I players regardless of position. He's also found on several other lists of the nation's top potential draftees or free agent pickups.
An All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) First Team selection in 2013, Robinson made the most of his lone season as a Bulldog after transferring from the University of Michigan. The Bulldog safety led the team with 89 total tackles, which included 50 solo stops and became one of the league's most feared hitters in 2013. He also had an interception in the season opener at two-time defending FCS National Champion North Dakota State and finished with five pass breakups in the secondary.
His performance this past season helped Ferris State wrap up a successful 2013 campaign and the second season under head coach Tony Annese's direction with a 8-3 overall record along with a second-place 8-2 finish in the GLIAC North Division standings last fall.
FSU, which finished the year riding a four-game winning streak, narrowly missed receiving the school's first playoff bid in 17 years. The Bulldogs' eight-win campaign was the school's first since 2006 and only the second in the program's last 16 seasons.
Ferris State's eight league wins in 2013 were also its most since 1996 and the Bulldogs beat rival Grand Valley State for the second consecutive year to hold onto possession of the Anchor-Bone Trophy.
Before coming to Ferris State, Robinson appeared in 28 games for Michigan over his three-year career in Ann Arbor and racked up 28 tackles with a fumble recovery. In addition, the four-star recruit earned a start in Michigan's first-ever night game against Notre Dame in 2011 and played a valuable role for the Wolverines on special teams throughout his UM career.
No Ferris State football player has ever been drafted by an NFL team, according to the official NFL Draft Report.
However, several former Bulldogs have inked NFL contracts as free agents and played in the league. Last year, in 2013, former defensive end Jordan Morgan received a rookie tryout with the New York Giants. The most recent to earn a free agent contract was cornerback Angelo Williams (Jackson), who signed with the Minnesota Vikings after going undrafted in 2010.
Williams unofficially represented at least the ninth former Ferris State player to ever sign a NFL contract. The select group also consists of running back Dave Gagnon (1974-Chicago Bears), outside linebacker Monty Brown (1997-New York Jets), defensive tackle Ed Philion (1994-Buffalo Bills), defensive end Dave Zuiderveen (2001-Atlanta Falcons), flanker Clarence Coleman (2002-Buffalo Bills), tackle Matt McCoy (2004-Detroit Lions), wide receiver Carlton Brewster (2006-Cleveland Browns) and defensive tackle Jake Visser (2009-Houston Texans).
Two other former Ferris State players, offensive guard Bill Bourdlais and safety Patrick Wells, received tryout invitations from the Cleveland Browns in 2008 and participated in the team's rookie minicamp, but did not ink a deal. Several others have also had NFL tryouts including wide receiver Andre Johnson (1989), quarterback Dave DenBraber (1987) and receiver/returner Fred Kirkland (1981). Defensive back James Skodak (2006) also had tryouts with several NFL organizations among other past Bulldog standouts.