Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson did something this year that no one his age has ever done in the NFL. Not Randy Moss. Not Michael Irvin. Not Calvin Johnson. Not even Jerry Rice. Robinson, a former Penn State star, erupted for 1,400 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns, and 80 catches, becoming the youngest player in league history to put up those numbers. (Robinson doesn’t turn 23 until the end of August.)
The NFL rewarded the 6-3 wideout with a Pro Bowl selection.
As a tall, physical receiver, Robinson is known for making highlight catches. Much of that athleticism undoubtedly comes from his time as a basketball star at St. Mary’s Prep High School in Orchard Lake Village, Michigan. It was as a youngster that Robinson also developed a love of sneaker culture, regularly rocking Nike and Jordan heat.
For Episode 14 of The Drop video series, we caught up with Robinson on his personal style, his favorite sneaker memories as a kid, and how he’s built up a pretty impressive collection at such a young age.
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This was a huge year. What’s it like to go from being a rookie to now you’re in your second year and going to the Pro Bowl?
For me, you know, it was fun. Just as far as I know, our whole receiving group faced a lot of scrutiny coming into this year. So a lot of people would say we didn’t have the talent. We needed to take a receiver in the draft, so there were a lot of different things that really pushed me personally through last offseason.
To reach this level, it takes a lot of confidence in yourself, but was there ever a point where you were like, “Wow, I can really do this?”
Yeah. You know for me, it was kind of…I would say my rookie year. Before I got injured, that’s kind of when I had the revelation as far as I started making plays. Things started coming a little bit easier, you know? The game slowed down for me. And it was the same thing coming into my second year during OTAs and training camp. The game really started to slow down. So that’s kind of when I realized that if I just did what I was supposed to do, then I’d have a good year.
What’s that feeling like when you first got the call to say, “You’re a Pro Bowler?”
It was crazy. I used to joke with my dad when I got drafted as far as making the Pro Bowl my rookie year. I’d always tell him I’d be at the Pro Bowl. But until you get that call, really man, it’s a real dream come true. That’s something that you think about since you’re a little kid as far as watching the different Pro Bowls and things like that ever since I was 6 years old. So now to be apart of one is real special.
Receivers as a whole are super flashy. Is that kind of how you would describe yourself?
Yeah, I would say a little bit. I would say I’m more moderate flash. So not too over the top. For me, it just depends on what I’m wearing, as far as I kind of have a little bit of flair with different things.
You ever feel like you’re in a competition with some of those guys like Victor Cruz or Dez Bryant?
AR: Yeah, you know, I would say maybe sometimes. You see so much of those guys and how they dress. I would say as far as wide receivers in general, even on the field, we bring a different swagger to the game.
Who would you call the most stylish guy at your position?
Hmm, most stylish? I would say Vic definitely has to be up there. It’s tough to say because you are able to see a lot more of guys in a bigger market. But I would say Vic is definitely up there. You see a lot of his fashion and stuff like that. And even as far as his new Nike shoe that came out was pretty cool.
I saw you have a decent amount of tattoos.
Yeah. For me, I got my first tattoo when I was 15 or 16 years old. And then from then, I kind of fell in love with them. For me, I’m into art. I’m not the best drawer or anything like that, but I’m really able to express my passion for art through my tattoos.
Have you ever actually drawn any of them?
No, I haven’t. I haven’t. I’ve tried to draw a little bit, something similar to what I wanted. But I haven’t yet, so hopefully I can get to that point. At the end of the day, before I’m all inked up, hopefully I can say I actually drew one of my tattoos.
How would you describe your personal style away from the field?
I’m pretty laid back. Like I said before, I try to really express myself through different things as far as maybe clothes and fashion a little bit. But for sure tattoos. That’s one of the things I’m bigger on. As soon as I get a tattoo, I’m looking for ideas and things like that to get another one.
What’s your sneaker collection like?
My sneaker collection is not too, too crazy. I’d say I probably have about 300 pairs now. I still would say it’s not too crazy. A lot of people would tell me I’m really addicted to sneakers. But for me, I more so like to collect them and different things like that. So whenever I get my hands on a real unique pair, I try to grab a couple, maybe even three. Even for me, I know when the “72-10” Jordans came out this past Christmas, I was able to get three pairs. So hopefully I get a chance to custom two of those.
Do you go all out with a custom sneaker room?
Oh yeah, for sure. I’m always making sure that all my shoes are aligned properly, that they aren’t crooked or anything. I have a Jordan logo on one of my sneaker cases, so yeah, I’d say I go all out.
What are your go-to shoes right now?
That’s tough. For me, it just depends. For comfort, for sure Nike. They have a ton of shoes as far as just pure comfort. Jordan, as far as uniqueness, some of the sneakers are just so unique. I would say I probably have more Nikes than Jordans. I’m real big on Foams as well, so I have a ton of Foams.
Why do you think Nike resonates so much with so many different people?
For me, that was the thing as far as when I signed with Nike, I think they’re just so versatile. They still come out with the different Jordans and things like that. And then you see the different Foamposites, and the Roshes. I just think, as far as Nike, they’re just so versatile as far as a sneaker. You could almost get any type of sneaker that you want and different look from Nike.
If you could only wear one pair of shoes and one fit for the rest of 2016, what would that be?
Shoe-wise? That’s tough man, that’s tough. I’d probably say the “PSNY” XII. For me, those are probably my favorite sneaker that I have in my closet. Fit-wise, that’s kind of tough. I’m a big fan of a lot of the new joggers that Nike has come out with. And that’s the one thing about Nike as well, they’ve ventured into the fashion industry as far as long-line Tees, long-line hoodies, and different jogger sweats. So for me, I’d probably say a pair of joggers. Being in Jacksonville, it’s not too, too cold, so I can get away with a long tee as well.
Isn’t that kind of crazy how sweatpants, in a sense, are almost like the new jeans?
Yeah, yeah, for sure. It is crazy. I know for me, predominately about 75 percent of my sweats now are joggers. So even like these, all of them have the kind of jogger bottoms now. I’m a real big fan of those.
A lot of people talk about how the NBA has the most stylish guys. You guys have helmets, pads. So people may not always get to see the fashion. Do you think the NFL has guys that can step up to the NBA?
Oh, for sure. For sure. It’s kind of screwed because the NBA–don’t quote me because I’m not sure!–is sometimes a little bit less formal. I know for us, as far as our teams, our team dress code is more formal. I see a lot of different nice suits and things like that, so I’d say the NFL is definitely in competition.
You played basketball in high school, right?
Yeah, I was a big basketball guy growing up. That was probably my first love for sure. I made a bet with my high school coach that I would get my first basketball scholarship before football.
I saw your YouTube highlight tape.
Yeah, man. It was hard for me to let it go. Going into college, at first I was gonna try to play both, but I ended up just sticking with football. It was a tough choice for me to make.
Why’d you end up doing that?
I just started to excel a little bit more in football. Football came a lot easier to me than basketball. And then, you know, for the position I played, I would be a smaller point guard versus on the football field, I’m a bigger receiver. So you know, just kind of talking to my coach and seeing the vision I had as far as where I could go in the next few years. But I think I made the right decision.
Growing up, what sneakers were you into? What were you playing in a lot?
Jordans. For me, I had a championship game when I was eight years old, and the white and blue XVIIs came out, and I had to have them. Even now, I’m trying to get my hands on [a pair]. I know they came out with the 6-17-23s in a similar color, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on a [pair of] white and blue XVIIs. I had all-black suede ones, but I’m still searching for the white and blue ones. But that was one that I was just head over heels for.
I feel like those might be retro-ing this year.
I hope so, man. I hope so. But that was the first pair where I was like, “I’ve got to have it. Got to have it.” And I was about seven or eight. I think seven.
Was that your most memorable sneaker moment?
Yeah, that was the most memorable sneaker for me. That one was like, I’ve got to have it. Like hands down. Anything I had to do [to get it], I had to have that sneaker.
What about this offseason? Obviously, it’s a big one for you. You had the Pro Bowl. Then after that, is there anything specific that you’re looking to accomplish?
For me, after the Pro Bowl and stuff, just take it easy for a couple of weeks. I think this is a big offseason for me as far as taking it a step forward. I don’t want to regress at all. I think I set a standard for myself as far as being able to be a Pro Bowler, and with the numbers I had and how I helped my team. For me, this year, I really gotta hit the offseason. I’ve talked to the receivers on our team, and we all got a pretty good plan as far as how we want to come back next year. We had some success in our receiver room in Jacksonville, but we really want to take it to another level.
Will you be doing a lot of traveling?
After the Pro Bowl, I’m going to try to chill it down a little bit. I’m going to the Super Bowl, going to the Pro Bowl, and doing different things like that. But as we get into March, I’m going to try to tone it down, and really put my head down and get to work.
What’s Jacksonville like?
Jacksonville is real laid back. I was joking with one of the people at our facility just yesterday saying it’s kind of an older city, as far as a lot of old people. I’m always joking with him saying if it was a population of 900,000 (at least 875,000), the average age is over 70. But it’s real chill. It’s a real nice city to play in. There’s not too, too much going on. Pretty relaxed. You’re in a warm climate by the water, good food. It’s a real nice place to play.
Which NFL city you think has the best overall style?
That’s tough. That’s tough, you know? I would say probably Miami because you know it’s a big city. The state tax and stuff. It’s not like L.A. I would say L.A., but it’s just so expensive. So I would probably have to say Miami. But playing-wise, team culture, I would say it’s a lot of different teams. You look at Green Bay, and the history behind Green Bay and Lambeau Field and things like that. It’s a lot of different places, it just kind of depends on the feel.
Do you ever switch up your style based on where you’re at? In Miami, everyone’s rocking white.
On occasion. On occasion. Very seldom. Obviously you can’t wear white after Labor Day, and all those different things. But I will say I try to switch it up a little bit. Maybe like going to Miami, you know they have different kinds of floral shirts and things like that. I try to switch it up a little bit.
What do you like about the Roshe?
Man Roshes, they’re just so comfortable. I think as far as it being an all-purpose shoe, you see different Roshes that you could wear out that are kind of fashionable. Then you got the different style, maybe not the mesh material, but the ones that are for running that are pretty comfortable. And then like I said before, you’ve got the mesh that are just like pure, pure comfort. The Roshe for me is a real go-to shoe because it’s just about whatever you’re feeling. You know, comfort, style, training. They really complete all means.
How do joggers factor into your style?
I like the joggers a lot. Anytime I can get my hands on a different style or things like, you know, for me, being with Nike, it’s real cool that they kind of have converted over to having a lot of joggers and things like that. So for me, I’m real big on joggers.
If you had a top five sneakers you could pick from 2015, what would they be?
Top five. For sure, by far, number one was the “PSNY” XII. Number one. Number two was the suede IVs–the black and white ones. Number three would be the all-red IVs, the “11Lab4s.” Four, I would say the Pearl Foams. And then number five would be, let me see, I was real big on the “All-Star” Foams. The “All-Star” Foams was big. Real big.
Do you get a lot of customs done?
No, I’m going to start, though. That’s kind of where I want to take my shoe game next. You know, start to get the custom, even as far as cleats. That’s kind of where I want to take my footwear now is to start getting more customs. I haven’t gotten one custom yet, but I kind of have a vision, like I’ve been trying to get a couple pairs of shoes that I’m really a fan of so I can take one and get it custom.
In the NFL, what kind of restrictions do they have as far as cleats?
Oh cleat restrictions, they’re strict about that now. I mean you could wear whatever you want pregame, but in the game, it’s whatever your team color is. If the team color is white, then you’re a white cleat team or if it’s black, then you’re a black cleat team and they’ve got to be the team colors. But they’re really strict. I mean like strings have to be the same color as the tongue or else it’s a fine. They have to be the team color or else it’s a fine. They have to have a certain amount of team colors in it or it’s a fine. So they’re pretty strict on it. For me, sometimes I get away with a different cleat or something like that in pregame. You know, different cleat and visor in pregame, but then you’ve got to come out of it once the game starts.