Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF Big Hitter Makes Ex-Linebacker Proud

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

UF Big Hitter Makes Ex-Linebacker Proud

Article excerpt

Byline: David Fox, Times-Union correspondent

GAINESVILLE -- From the moment Florida junior Jacque Robinson was born, her father knew she would be an athlete. Figuring what type of athlete she would be was another matter.

"I remember the doctor saying, 'My God, this kid is big,' " Jerry Robinson said. "She was 10 pounds, 9 ounces when she was born. That's not a little chick."

Through her youth, she tried just about every sport. She still holds the 50-meter butterfly record at Golden Valley High in Merced, Calif. She averaged 20 points per game in basketball, even though she hated the sport. She was a gymnast until she outgrew her coach.

Now 6 feet 2, Robinson, whose family has a history of athletic success, has become an all-around presence for the Florida volleyball team.

Jerry Robinson was an NFL linebacker for 13 years, going to the Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1981. And Jacque's mother, Cynthia, was a ballet dancer.

"It's in her DNA to be competitive," Jerry Robinson said. "I've been competitive. Her sister has been competitive. Her grandfather is competitive. To me, she's always been a step ahead of everyone else as far as athletics ability."

Nearly 20 years after he stood in that delivery room in Media, Pa., Jerry Robinson watched his daughter play volleyball in front of the home crowd for the first time on Oct. 18 and Oct. 20.

Sure, he had seen her any time she headed west for matches against Arizona and California, but to see her start for the Gators in the O'Connell Center was something special.

"I can't really put it into words to see my little girl perform at the next level the way she has," Jerry said. "This is big-time sports. This is big-time volleyball. It's really exciting for me."

The player who Jerry saw leave his California home three years ago is not the same who starts as the Gators' right-side hitter. …

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