MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Kenny Robinson Jr. is one of 19 former Mountaineers who are currently playing in the NFL.
Robinson’s journey to playing pro football wasn’t straight forward, needing to play in the revived XFL after his time with West Virginia came to an end.
The second-year safety has upped his production for the Carolina Panthers this season, and scored his first career touchdown last month.
“It was just a blessing, honestly. It was just so surprising, a surreal moment. My first touchdown. I was just so thankful for the opportunity,” Robinson said in an interview with Nexstar affiliate WJZY.
Robinson scored that touchdown on a blocked punt against the Vikings. The former Mountaineer scooped up the blocked punt and walked untouched into the end zone from four yards out.
Robinson was selected by Carolina in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Wilkinsburg, PA native has played in five of the Panthers’ eight games this year, and has registered six total tackles. He recorded four tackles against the New York Giants in Week 7.
Robinson has seen a big increase in playing time on defense over the past two weeks.
After playing strictly on special teams through the first six weeks of the season, Robinson was on the field for 13 plays in Week 7, and for 19 more in the Panthers’ Week 8 win against the Falcons this past Sunday.
He’s still waiting on the first regular season interception of his career. A career in the NFL, though, might not have been possible without multiple highlight-reel-worthy interceptions he made during his time with the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks.
Robinson intercepted seven passes during his two seasons with West Virginia.
Carolina takes on the New England Patriots on Sunday Nov. 7.