‘Ready to put that work in’: Newly drafted Darius Robinson gives props to Mizzou

Now-former Missouri Tigers standout defensive lineman Darius Robinson wasn’t feeling nervous about the NFL Draft this week.

He explained that had a comfort level with the team that wound up drafting him 27th overall on Thursday evening in Detroit: the Arizona Cardinals.

“I wasn’t antsy,” he said. “I knew (Arizona) was the one for me since the beginning of this process.

“They were one of the first teams that met with me at the Combine and one of the first teams that met with me at the Senior Bowl. I’m really excited to be there and just ready to put that work in.”

Robinson’s selection made him the first first-round pick for Mizzou since Charles Harris was selected 22nd overall by the Miami Dolphins in 2017.

And Robinson talked at length about what that means to him.

“It’s awesome,” he told reporters at his introductory news conference with Arizona media. “I feel like I’m setting the standard going forward.”

“But that’s the thing: Mizzou is known as ‘D-line ‘Zou.’ I’m just added to the family, but now, I feel like I’m setting the standard for my younger teammates that this is attainable if you work really hard, be consistent and really trust your strength coach.”

He underscored that final point.

“I feel like every program is really built off the strength coach,” he said, “and that develops all the habits on and off the field.”

In the age of the transfer portal, it’s become somewhat less common for a player to stay at one school for his whole college career. But Robinson’s one of the few who stayed true to his school, and it seems he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“At Missouri we had some tough seasons, but we were really built with an edge,” Robinson said. “Energy, details, grit, and emotional consistency. I just found myself trying to grow and get better each year and also as a team. Win more games each year. That was my home. That was my family. I was blessed to get two degrees as well off the field and I just love Mizzou.”

Robinson earned an undergraduate degree in hospitality management with a minor in business and a master’s in positive coaching and athletic leadership, all while establishing his non-profit Darius Robinson Helping Hands Foundation.

The organization provides assistance from youth to seniors in need in the community and is fueled by Robinson’s passion for philanthropy, which he said stems from his family.

“My brother and my mom really instilled that into me at a young age: Give back your blessing to others,” Robinson said. “My fifth year at Mizzou was the best year of my life, so why would I not share my blessings with others?”

Robinson says his goal is to hold charitable three events every year, now that he’s in the NFL. In the process, he could very well be joined by new rookie teammate Marvin Harrison Jr., the Cardinals’ first pick in this year’s draft.

While Robinson didn’t play against Harrison in college — the latter sat out ahead of the draft as his Ohio State Buckeyes lost 14-3 to Robinson’s Tigers in the Cotton Bowl — they certainly know of one another.

Perhaps Harrison noticed that Robinson’s draft day outfit included a Cotton Bowl Ring.

“I have to make sure Marvin knows that when we’re talking ball,” Robinson said with a smile. “He’s a generational player. I have my name next to his, so I feel great.”