Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Location: Scholar Athlete ZaVious Robbins

By Mark J. Zavodnyik

Hardin-Simmons University wide receiver ZaVious Robbins has accomplished a lot, both on the football field and in the classroom.

The Mesquite, Texas native was in New York on Tuesday after being named a National-Scholar-Athlete and a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, presented annually to “individual as the absolute best in the country for his academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.” The award is presented by the National Football Foundation.

“It's definitely an honor being here,” Robbins said at a news conference with the other finalists. “I never guessed I would be on a stage with such prestigious guys and be recognized by such a prestigious award. I'm humbled by the entire situation.”

Robbins is a two-year captain for the Cowboys. At 5’10”, 160 pounds, Robbins has been a dual-threat player for Hardin-Simmons, excelling as a wide receiver and in the return game.

He has 75 career receptions for 1,119 yards and 13 touchdowns. Also, Robbins is Hardin-Simmons’ all-time leader in kickoff return yardage (1,211) and has three kick returns for touchdowns. The two-year captain was First-Team All-American Southwest Conference (ASC) in 2008.

Robbins expressed gratitude toward the coaching staff at Hardin-Simmons who helped him accomplish his goals, “I thank my coaches, Coach Keeling, Coach Burleson, Coach Wartes,” Robbins said.

Robbins’ academic success equals that which he has earned on the gridiron. In December, he will graduate with honors after earning a 3.9 GPA as a marketing major. He is a three-time Dean’s List and President’s List honoree and was named Hardin-Simmons’ most outstanding marketing student.

Perhaps no person has played a bigger role in Robbins’ life than his father, Kevin.

“My dad has been the most important influence in my life, my best friend,” Robbins said. “I can tell him anything.”

Robbins said that it has always been important to his father that ZaVious achieve on the field of play and in the classroom.

“He told me when I was growing up that he wanted me to not only be an athlete but be smart and be able to give back to the community in some way,” Robbins said. “So I think that being selected for this award has definitely shown that we’ve reached that goal.”

With his college career ending, Robbins plans to go to graduate school. Soon, he will start a business helping high school athletes navigate the recruiting process and get ready for college. He says this will allow him to give back to the game of football as well as the Dallas community.

For now, ZaVious Robbins is thankful for his college experience and summed it up simply by saying, “It’s been amazing.”