Robinson relishes long journey to Packers' roster

Weston Hodkiewicz
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All people wanted to talk about was Colt Lyerla on May 19.

Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Luther Robinson pressures Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder during a game at Lambeau Field last October.

If you looked a little deeper, however, there might have been a better story coming out of the Green Bay Packers' rookie orientation camp in former Miami defensive lineman Luther Robinson.

A native of Greenville, Mississippi, the 6-foot-3, 301-pound rookie started only three of 33 games during his time with the Hurricanes, recording 40 tackles (16 solo), including two for a loss, and two fumble recoveries.

After going undrafted, Robinson received only one phone call for a tryout – Not a contract, but an offer to tryout out for a contract.

One of 28 invitees at May's mini-camp, Robinson impressed the coaching staff enough to be given a contract. The attention was drawn to Lyerla, the troubled but talented tight end out of Oregon, but there was Robinson counting his blessings in the background.

It all led up to the biggest moment in Robinson's football career during Thursday's 42-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Promoted hours before from the practice squad, it was his tipped pass of Christian Ponder that set up Julius Peppers' 49-yard interception returned for a touchdown.

Afterward, Robinson's phone was blowing up with calls. Even in a brief interview, the iPhone in his pocket continued to ring out.

"It's been a long road, a very long road," Robinson said. "Without my mom and dad and God, I don't know if I would have made it, man."

Robinson officially got the call to the active roster around noon on Thursday with defensive lineman Josh Boyd out with a knee injury he sustained in Sunday's 38-17 win over the Chicago Bears.

Based on how he'd been used in practice during the week, the call wasn't a complete surprise.

"I knew through the week because I was practicing," Robinson said. "But today around about noon they told me I was going to be active."

What the 23-year-old defensive lineman wasn't anticipating was playing as much as he did. Robinson was pushed into action in the second quarter when Datone Jones exited with an ankle injury.

When it came to batting Ponder's pass, Robinson didn't even know Peppers had intercepted it. It had a domino effect with linebacker Jamari Lattimore and safety Morgan Burnett forcing turnovers on the Vikings' following two possessions.

Robinson said this can't be his and the defense's ceiling. What do his teammates think?

"I'm very proud of him," defensive lineman Mike Daniels said. "He came and he worked and he worked from there on out. You see it carried all the way through to making the team. He worked out there tonight. I'm very impressed by him and very proud of him." and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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