On Sunday, Carolina Panthers safety Kenny Robinson returned a blocked punt for a touchdown in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. Although Carolina ended up losing 34-28 in overtime, Robinson’s scoop-and-score was a very special moment for XFL fans.
Many will remember Robinson from his tenure with the St. Louis BattleHawks. Over a five-game span, he recorded 21 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 1 sack.
Robinson was a good player for the BattleHawks, but his story is what stands out the most. He ended his collegiate career at West Virginia early, joining the XFL in hopes of making money. The reason? Robinson wanted to help out his mother, who had recently been diagnosed with cancer at the time. The league was able to pay for Robinson’s online classes, meaning he could continue his education while playing pro football.
Robinson was in a very unique position, as he was the only XFL player eligible to declare for the 2020 NFL draft. After the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s exactly what he chose to do.
The Carolina Panthers selected Robinson in the fifth round (152nd overall) of the draft, and he’s been on-and-off the team’s active roster ever since. Sunday’s game against Minnesota was Robinson’s first action of 2021, as he had been elevated off the practice squad just 3 days earlier.
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