Bastrop senior defensive tackle Cray Robinson possesses all the necessary tools.
"Cray's an athletic kid," Bastrop defensive line coach LaMarcus Williams said. "He's not through growing. He's naturally strong. He has pretty good speed. He's one of our better defensive linemen as far as going sideline-to-sideline. He just has a lot of natural ability."
That said, Robinson's best football may be ahead of him.
"He hasn't tapped into his potential as far as becoming a total player," said Williams, a former All-State Bastrop High defensive tackle who went on to play for Mississippi State. "He has to understand the little things. You can't just have fun playing defense anymore. With everybody going to the spread and people checking, there's about 30 different things happening in one place. You have to be able to read blocks, read stances and understand what's going on."
Though Robinson remains a work in progress, Williams says he has the ability to play at the next level.
"Cray can definitely play college ball. He just has to keep working and get stronger. College football is all about how quick you can catch on," Williams said. "Cray's still young. I just wish I had the opportunity to spend two or three years with him."
BDE: When did you start playing football?
Cray Robinson: I started playing in the fifth grade at Delta Junior High. I played defensive end. My cousin, Lorenzo Price, was my coach.
BDE: What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of football?
Robinson: My least favorite part is gaspers (wind sprints). My favorite part is winning.
BDE: What went wrong against Neville last week?
Robinson: The biggest thing that went wrong defensively was poor tackling on our part. You can't arm-tackle against Neville. We didn't have enough hats flying to the ball. We have to learn from out mistakes, finish tackles and pursue to the ball.
BDE: What challenges does Carroll's offense present for the Rams' defense?
Robinson: They have a good running back (Devonta Johnson), who runs hard and they have a lot of speed.
BDE: What is the biggest improvement you have made since coming to Bastrop High?
Robinson: The biggest improvement I have made is on my pass rushing. The hardest adjustment was learning to come off the ball from my stance. At Delta, I was a standup defensive end.
BDE: What are the biggest hits you have received and delivered?
Robinson:The hardest I have ever been hit was last year against West Ouachita when I got crack-backed on a kickoff.
My biggest hit was in the seventh grade when we were playing Morehouse Junior High. I hit Terrell Doaty as soon as he caught the ball and he was on the ground for about five minutes.
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BDE:Do you have a pregame ritual?
Robinson: I get in a corner by myself and say a little prayer.
BDE: Who is the biggest trash talker on the team?
Robinson: Me and (defensive end) Johnnie Marsaw. He starts it and I back him up.
BDE: How do you spend a typical Saturday during football season?
Robinson: I sleep late, wake up and play Madden.
BDE: What sport would you like to try?
Robinson: I always wanted to try bull-riding, but my mom (Stephanie Robinson) won't let me. I can't even try it after I get older and move out of the house because she would still get me.
I would like to try hockey because it's a sport with a lot of contact.
BDE: What do you like best about attending Bastrop High?
Robinson: The people.
BDE: What are your future plans?
Robinson: I want to play football at the next level. I've talked to coaches from several schools, but there's nothing official. I plan to major in criminal justice and becoming a police officer.
BDE: How did you become interested in law enforcement?
Robinson: I have a family member, everybody calls him "Bear" (DeRoderick Robinson), who is a policeman. It's just something I've always wanted to do.