When healthy, Robinson teams with senior free safety Eric Franklin (Archbishop Curley) to give the Terps an imposing presence in the defensive backfield.

Robinson is 6 feet 3 and played basketball in high school, and Franklin is just an inch shorter. Seeing over the top of them can be an issue for opposing quarterbacks.

"Maryland must love big safeties," Robinson said with a smile. Previous Maryland safeties, including Kenny Tate, who is now a linebacker, have also been larger than average for the position.

Maryland's 2011 season was buried under the weight of injuries, inexperience and poor tackling. Robinson and at least six other defensive starters spent time on the sidelines. The team finished 2-10.

This preseason, Robinson has been injured, defensive end Andre Monroe (knee) is out for the year, and Tate is getting checked for a left leg problem.

"It is really rough because it's almost like deja vu," Robinson said.

But Robinson can't imagine this year's injury toll will approximate last season's. He is optimistic by nature — a trait that helps him battle through his own ailments.

"We've got a lot of young guys who are going to have to step up and carry the weight from the beginning of the season," Robinson said. "I think it's still going to be pretty exciting because our 'D' is pretty fast."

Says his mother: "He says adversity makes you stronger. That's his motto."

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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