UNIVERSITY PARK -- Michael Robinson wanted out of Penn State midway through his career, and it even got to the point that he was looking at business cards of other schools trying to decide where to go.
He was frustrated because he wasn't playing, and his mother had pretty much had it with Jay Paterno and the coaching staff.
"Is this gonna be on cable TV? Can I use curse words? Those are some of the words my mom said to [Jay]," Robinson, who called the action on TV, said with a laugh after Saturday's scrimmage.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Receiver Devon Smith earned the Red Worrell award on Saturday.
Jay Paterno recalled conversations he had with Robinson's mother where she said she respected his opinion but didn't agree with it.
"It was just one of those things where they understood our frustration and they understood how I was feeling," Robinson said. "They gave us that avenue to be able to talk to them freely -- not through you guys [in the media] -- face to face, and a lot was able to get accomplished that way."
The difference between what MRob went through and the current Rob Bolden situation is that the latter went public early as Bolden's dad expressed his frustration to the media in early January.
"Obviously you want to keep stuff in house, but it's the world we live in," Robinson said. "Parents are very vocal, and they feel like they know what's going on. Nothing against him; he just wants the best for his child. So I understand, but I might have went about it a different way."
Robinson, of course, stayed at PSU and led the program to a magical resurgence in 2005 with an 11-1 record and No. 3 ranking.
"I've been there. I understand where he's coming from," Robinson said of Bolden. "I don't know, man. I stayed. And I felt like it worked out great for me. I don't ever encourage anybody to leave where you originally decided to go because what does that say about you?"
Robinson didn't know things eventually would work out so well for him at PSU -- he was the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year as a senior -- but he knew he didn't want to walk away from his football family.
"As I looked through the business cards of what school to call, my roommates came in," he said. "Matt Rice and Alan Zemaitis, they looked at the cards like, 'Dude, what are you doing?' I told them. They understood my frustration. I told them what was going on.
"And what kind of flipped the switch for me was the fact that they never tried to get me to stay. They were like, 'You know what, man, you've got to do what you've got to do for you. Just call us sometimes; let's still hang out.' And that meant a lot. I didn't want to start all over developing relationships."
SUBHD: Fun in the rain
Fans looking for a football game Saturday also saw a little bit of baseball action as a result of the sloppy field and pouring rain at Beaver Stadium.
During warmups before the first half started, linebacker Michael Mauti was the first to do a belly flop on a soaked turf. Then fullback Michael Zordich gave it a shot, and after sliding about 10 yards, Mauti emphatically signaled that Zordich was safe.
After the game was called mere minutes later, multiple other players took their turn sliding on the field.
"It definitely was a nasty day out, but we tried to make it as much fun as we could," linebacker Gerald Hodges said. "We tried to be competitive, but really just have some fun with each other."
The forecast for Saturday was dreary, and the actual weather didn't disappoint. Heavy rain didn't fall until minutes into the third quarter, but gusts of winds and a sky full of clouds made for a bleak end to spring practice.
Small wonder, then, that wide receiver Devon Smith needed one word to summarize his reaction to the game being stopped.
"Happy," he said.
In a way, the poor weather was a fitting cap to Penn State's 15 spring practices. Every other practice was indoors this season, and defensive coordinator Tom Bradley said this was the first time he could remember that being the case.
"A lot of the times, we'd get a good day and we'd have practice scheduled a different day," Bradley said. "Things are so different now that coach couldn't change practice. The way our academic schedules are set up with our players, the class schedules they're going to at length, they have some night classes, there's not as big of a window as there used to be to make it happen."
SUBHD: Recruiting notes
In addition to keeping the crowd down, the weather kept at least one major Nittany Lion recruiting target from making the trip.
Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt's Noah Spence, one of the top-rated defensive ends in the country, was scheduled to make the trip with teammate Brock Dean but decided to stay at home because of the rain, BlueWhite Illustrated reported on its website.
Spence has already made several unofficial visits to Penn State and is believed to have the Nittany Lions near if not at the top of his list of prospective colleges. He is the only pure defensive end the Lions are recruiting in this class.
The rain didn't wash away all the high school talent that wanted to visit and watch the game, though. Tight end Kent Taylor came all the way from Florida, and lineman Blake Bars, whose brother plays for Penn State, made the trip from Tennessee. Wyoming Valley West receiver Eugene Lewis and New York defensive tackle Mikal Myers were other players with a scholarship offer who came in.
Quarterbacks Brendan Nosovitch, Blake Rankin and Ian Fisher headed up the list of non-offered prospects at the game, which also included Baltimore area cornerback Da'Quan Davis, a teammate of 2011 signee Adrian Amos.
Incoming recruits Angelo Mangiro, Donovan Smith, Allen Robinson and Shyquawn Pullium reportedly were on the sidelines. A number of 2013 prospects attended, as well.
SUBHD: Spring awards
Wide receiver Devon Smith received the Red Worrell award, given to an offensive player for exemplary conduct, loyalty, interest, attitude and improvement during spring practice.
Defensive tackle Jordan Hill received the Jim O'Hora award, given to a defensive player for the same characteristics.
Offensive linemen Ty Howle and Mike Farrell received the Frank Patrick award, given to a junior who consistently follows through with his responsibility in all facets of the program in an exemplary manner.
SUBHD: News and notes
Joe Paterno confirmed he doesn't think WR Curtis Drake (broken leg) will be able to play this season. ... DT Evan Hailes also may miss the season with an undisclosed illness, JoePa said. ... Central Cambria product Shane McGregor, the fifth-string quarterback, played late in the first half and completed 2-of-3 passes for 4 yards. ... A number of alumni were spotted on the sidelines despite the conditions. Among those who returned were Derrick Williams, Tamba Hali, Lydell Sargeant, Alan Zemaitis and Robinson.
(Compiled by Cory Giger, Josh Langenbacher and Philip Cmor)