Terrell Robinson executed a reverse Thursday.
The redshirt sophomore quarterback, who quit the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team Tuesday, has rejoined the Mocs. He met with coach Russ Huesman in the morning and was allowed to return, though he won't play Saturday.
"I spoke to the coaches after I met with Terrell, and [it was] unanimous they wanted him back," Huesman said. "I spoke to the captains — I couldn't get all of the players — but I spoke to the captains and they agreed, they want him back."
Huesman described Robinson as humble, contrite and willing to "do everything he can to help this team win."
Robinson looked happy and relaxed during practice Thursday at Scrappy Moore Field, but he will not be on the travel squad for Saturday's game at No. 24 Jacksonville State. Robinson was not made available to the media, nor was Huesman's son, Jacob, the redshirt freshman quarterback who will make his first start against the Gamecocks.
One moment that really impressed Huesman during his meeting with Robinson was the former South Pittsburg High School star's request to attend the game on his own.
"That was actually one of the best things that he said: 'Coach, can I drive down there on my own and be on the sideline with y'all,' and I said yes," Huesman said, smiling. "Great comment right there. ... I was pretty proud of that."
UTC had granted Robinson his release, Huesman said, "so he had options."
Robinson and Jacob will start practice Sunday like nothing happened, the coach said. They will get equal snaps as they prepare for next Thursday's home opener against Glenville State like they did last week for South Florida.
Huesman said he hadn't given any thought to who will start that game. Almost lost in all of the Robinson news this week is that the Mocs have a very tough road game at Jacksonville State to worry about.
Running back J.J. Jackson said that despite the "difficulties" of the past few days, "you've still got to prepare like it's just another week."
Robinson hasn't spoken to the media since last Saturday. His father, Vincent Robinson, a former UTC basketball player, told the Times Free Press on Thursday that he hopes everything can blow over soon.
"This whole thing has affected him and I think he's still down, but he needs to be there with his team and there are people there that do care about him," Vincent Robinson said. "I think it will just take time for everybody to move past all this, and I hope everybody on both sides can do that."
The 2011 Southern Conference co-freshman of the year's return won't bring about a change in UTC's offensive philosophy. After Saturday's game, the Mocs will return to a two-quarterback system and "play the guy that's producing," Coach Huesman said.
Huesman and offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield met with Robinson again Thursday afternoon. Huesman said he urged Robinson to not "look over your shoulder" and to just play and have fun playing the game.
It's been a difficult week for Coach Huesman, who had faced relatively few critics since the former UTC safety was hired in December 2008 and led the Mocs to winning seasons in 2009 and 2010.
"All the naysayers came out" this week, he said.
One hit him harder than others.
"I got a phone call that was brutal. In fact, I hope he reads your paper because it's ridiculous to get a phone call like that, and I didn't return it," he said. "They wanted to turn it into a black-white issue and a nepotism issue. You ask anybody on our football team and there's not one black-white issue, there's not a nepotism issue.
"This is a good group of kids. This is a group of kids that can win, and I'm proud of them. So that guy that called me on my phone and didn't leave his name and number, don't show up — we don't need you."
What the Mocs do need is to earn their first win of the season Saturday against the Gamecocks.
John Frierson is in his fifth year at the Times Free Press and fifth year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...
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