PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – Former Bay High alum and Florida State defensive end Janarius Robinson was selected in the 4th round of the NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.
Robinson grew up in Panama City, and his mother, Cherine Duncan, says making it to the league has always been his dream.
“It’s been a dream of his since he was nine-years-old, one was to play at Florida State, the second was to enter the NFL draft and God has made his dream possible, made it come true right here before our eyes today,” Duncan said.
Robinson was taken in the 4th round (134 overall) by the Vikings, but it wasn’t till he received the call from General Manager Rick Speilman, that he knew he was drafted.
“He said New Orleans has the pick right now, if New Orleans doesn’t pick you, we’re picking you and we’re sending you in,” Robinson said. “And he was like hold tight and that’s when I was like okay dang, my dream is really unfolding in front of my eyes, it’s really coming true you know and just soaking it all in around a great group of support system, my family and friends and it was just a surreal feeling just getting that call and just understanding you know, I’m really taking that next chapter and that next step of my life.”
Many of Robinson’s family and friends were present at the Vibez club in St. Andrews, but his mother was his proudest supporter.
“Oh my God, my heart was rushing so fast, you know and I’m holding onto him and I’m shaking you know because this is what he has worked hard for and what he was waiting for and to see that phone ring and he hold up the finger like ‘shh’, we knew it was going down then,” Duncan said.
Robinson began playing football at a young age, but he said it wasn’t till high school that he knew how much work he had to put in to make it all the way to the NFL.
“I realized in high school and college that I really had a shot and an opportunity to do this,” Robinson said. “And I got my mental right and understood what I put in is what I’m going to get out, and you know, I went in everyday trying to put my best foot forward and ultimately today I reap the benefits of being an NFL draft pick on ESPN, NFL Network, something that I watched growing up and I can’t be more excited for this opportunity and this next chapter in my life as a Minnesota Viking.”
Robinson could be flown out to Minneapolis as soon as May 12 to join the Vikings, but he says he wouldn’t be where he was today without the people who raised him.
“I just want to thank the Panama City and the Bay County community for just supporting me and you know,” Robinson said. “I’m going to go up there and represent for this hometown and this city.”