April 25, 2020 / 7:45 PM / a month ago

Panthers draft XFL safety Robinson

Kenny Robinson is going from the XFL to the Carolina Panthers, via the NFL draft.

FILE PHOTO: Feb 23, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; St. Louis Battlehawks safety Kenny Robinson (23) is introduced to the crowd prior to the start of an XFL game against the New York Guardians at The Dome at America's Center. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hurst-USA TODAY Sports

The Panthers took Robinson, a safety who played earlier this spring with the St. Louis BattleHawks before the XFL shut down, in the fifth round with the No. 152 overall pick. He was ineligible to be signed as a free agent.

In five games with St. Louis, he had 21 tackles, two interceptions and a sack.

Robinson played 25 games over two seasons at West Virginia and was named All-Big 12 First Team after his sophomore campaign. He then was expelled for academic dishonesty, which he owned up to in an essay published earlier this week in The Players’ Tribune.

“I have no problem admitting it. I cheated. I got caught,” the 21-year-old wrote. “I made a stupid decision, and I don’t have any excuses. I had the opportunity to do the right thing, and I chose to do the wrong thing. That’s it. I own that.”

Instead of transferring and sitting out a year, Robinson decided to play in the XFL to help his mother, who was suffering from colon cancer, with medical costs. And in his essay, which was an open letter to NFL general managers, he said the experience prepared him better for the NFL than college would have.

“I’m the most NFL-ready prospect in this draft.

“You can’t even debate it.

“I didn’t go to the combine. I didn’t have a pro day. I didn’t have none of that.

“Because I was playing professional football at the time.

“And I know the XFL is not the NFL. I know that. But I could tell the difference in the speed of the game the second I stepped on the field in a BattleHawks uniform. There was definitely an adjustment, but I believe I made it pretty easily. And I know the NFL game is even faster than the XFL. And I believe I can make that transition just as easily.”

—Field Level Media

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