Philip Montgomery boasted on signing day about the offensive linemen coming in, but the second-year Tulsa coach was also excited about his defensive linemen coming in as well.
“…The D-line part of it, we got guys that can make plays, that can hold blocks, that are going to command a double team up front and keep our linebackers where they’re free and being able to roam and move,” Montgomery says.
One of those guys is Shemarr Robinson of Central High School. He is one of several local football players who chose to play college football at Tulsa when national college signing day took place in February.
Robinson, who graduates from high school this month, will join current players D’Angelo Brewer, another Central product, along with the likes of Bishop Louie (McLain), Nigel Carter (McLain), Drew Klinghagen (Holland Hall), James Caligone IV (Booker T. Washington), Conner Sherwood (Cascia Hall), Spencer Shores (Union), Avery Gragg (Holland Hall) and Jeremy Smith (Berryhill), who all hail from the Tulsa area.
“I feel like it’s a very good opportunity for me to play for a private institution that has the type of football team that the University of Tulsa has. It’s very exciting,” Robinson says.
Robinson (6-4, 280) will be playing defensive tackle for TU, but he played end for the Braves in his senior season. He was a four-year letterman at Central, having played both offense and defense. He racked up 65 solo tackles, including 16 for loss and nine sacks in nine games during the 2015 campaign.
He accepted an offer from Tulsa over those from Wyoming, Army, New Mexico, UTEP and Missouri State.
Robinson’s most memorable game as a Central Brave came his freshman year.
“It was my first game,” he says. “I was playing left tackle, and I was nervous. I went on to play well, though. We were playing Memorial, and I remember it like it was the other day. My heart raced. We went on to lose by two touchdowns, but I played a good game.”
His prep career flourished from that point.
“I think the main key was my perseverance, because we didn’t win a whole lot of games. But I always knew that hard work pays off, and that’s what has got me this far to this point,” Robinson says.
But there was a bump in the road later in that freshman campaign.
Robinson would later transition to defense that same season. But he got injured when his elbow popped out of place in a game.
Rehabilitation was more like boot camp, he says.
“I was already in good shape,” he says. “So I wasn’t worried about that. I was more worried about getting strength back in my arm.“I just had to keep working and gain my weight,” Robinson says. “I had to learn how to lift weights. I had to learn to get into the weight room. I feel like I made a pretty good transition. I didn’t fall in love with the weight room until my junior year.”
Robinson was able to return to full health his sophomore year.
At one time, Robinson had decided to be a Wyoming Cowboy.
“I was favoring Wyoming,” he says. “I was actually committed to Wyoming. That was my choice. Then TU came along. I knew it was right down the street, so that’s what made me choose TU.”
Robinson made a visit to Laramie, Wyoming, where the university is located, before Christmas his junior year, which would have been nearly a year and a half ago.
“I liked the atmosphere,” he says. “I have a friend up in Wyoming, and I wanted to go up there and leave my mark. But in the end, I just stayed home.”
It had been known that Robinson was Wyoming-bound for over a year. The change occurred the weekend before signing day.
“TU came, they offered me, and it was all about education for me,” he says. “I want to say it was a no-brainer, but it was easier because they had a good season as far as academics was going. Plus, they went to a bowl game last year.”
Robinson hopes to be a big playmaker in the Golden Hurricane defense.
“Go ‘Cane,” he says.