Following five seasons with the University of Calgary Dinos, Airdrie’s Cory Robinson achieved a lifelong-goal Feb. 16 when he signed with the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“This is a great opportunity, it’s something I’ve been working toward for quite a while now and I’m really excited for it,” Robinson said. “I think I’m going to a very good team.”
The Roughriders, which returned to the CFL playoffs in 2017 after missing the previous two post-seasons, is currently coached by Chris Jones. According to Robinson, Jones has been regarded as one of the best defensive minds the league has seen in the past decade.
“(Jones) has great defensive schemes and always gets the best out of his players,” Robinson said. “I’m looking forward to playing for him.”
Although he signed a contract, Robinson said he knows it’s not a guarantee he will play in the CFL this coming season, but said he is prepared to do whatever it takes to crack Saskatchewan’s roster.
Robinson faced a setback in his final year with the Dinos after he did not hear his name called during the 2017 CFL Draft, but used that as motivation to help the team to another strong season.
Robinson completed the 2017 campaign with 38 tackles (22 solo, 16 assisted), 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 11 games. The Airdrie product was also a Canada West All-Star for the second time.
“I knew I could go back for one more year and the draft wasn’t the only way to get a professional opportunity,” Robinson said.
“The Dinos program, I can’t say enough good things about it – the coaches there put their players in the best position to succeed and they definitely did that with me.”
Although he has five seasons of U SPORTS experience under his belt, including three as a starter on the defensive line, Robinson said he is going into training camp this summer willing to contribute to the team any way he can.
Robinson won’t be the lone Dino alumni competing for a roster spot in Regina – he joins fellow fifth-year Adam Laurensse, linebacker Sam Hurl and receiver Jake Harty.
Having former teammates in the locker room will help Robinson fit in, he said, and feel more comfortable with his transition to the pro ranks.