Two former college teammates will knock heads for the first time as professional athletes when the Seattle Seahawks travel to Miami to face the Dolphins on Sunday.
Seahawks running back Mike Robinson and Miami defensive end Cameron Wake were teammates at Penn State for three seasons.
Robinson was a dual-threat quarterback at Penn State, becoming the fifth player in school history to gain more than 5,000 yards in total offense (5,168), and the only quarterback in school history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in his career, totaling 1,637 yards and 20 touchdowns.
Robinson was selected by San Francisco in the fourth round of the 2006 draft, and played four seasons there before signing with Seattle as a free agent in September 2010, after the Niners released him during final roster cuts.
Wake took a more circuitous route to his current job in the NFL. He finished with 191 tackles, 8.5 sacks and 24 tackles for loss as a hybrid defensive end at Penn State, but went undrafted in 2005, signing with the New York Giants.
But Wake was released before training camp. Looking for a second chance, Wake signed with the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League in 2007.
Wake totaled an impressive 39 sacks in two seasons with the Lions, twice earning awards for most outstanding defensive player.
Coveted by several NFL teams, Wake signed a four-year deal with Miami in January 2009. After some early struggles, the 6-foot-3, 258-pound Wake has developed into one of the best pass rushers in the game.
“In college we all knew he was loaded with talent,” Robinson said. “We just wish he had a little bit more dog in him and he found it. Good for him. I’m glad to see he is doing well.”
Since 2010, Wake has totaled 32 tacks, the fifth-most in the league in that period.
Wake has 10 sacks this season, tied for fourth in the league with the Cowboys’ DeMarcus Ware.
“He really is a classic, big-time rusher,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “He’s a problem without question. He’s just as natural as you can be at bringing the heat.”
Wake said he’s looks forward to getting to hit Robinson, who was usually off limits in practice as a quarterback at Penn State.
“He’s an athlete obviously,” Wake said. “But if you would’ve told me back then this guy is going to be a fullback in the NFL and you guys are going to play each other, I probably would’ve told you that you were crazy.”
Robinson, who still calls Wake by the first name that he went by at Penn State — Derek — says bring it.
“He had a chance (to hit me in college),” Robinson said. “He missed — for real. I’m serious. Go watch some tape. Ask some people.”