Football player’s journey to EC displays heart and determination

“We don’t want him he’s too small.”

El Camino wide receiver Stephon Robinson heard the whispers from coaches around him at an early age.

“I actually didn’t see myself as being that small,” Robinson said. “I thought I was regular.”

Robinson’s mother, Cheryl Duncan, said he’s anything but regular.

“He’s my miracle child,” Duncan said. “As a child he caught meningitis and there was a 95 percent chance he wouldn’t walk again.”

Robinson has bounced back strong since overcoming the brain and spinal cord infection.

Robinson touchdown
Stephon Robinson (No. 4) runs to the endzone in the third game of the season against Grossmont College. He finished the game with 159 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen


Through nine games at EC, Robinson ranks 11th in the association in receptions (52), second in receiving yards (994), third in yards per game (110.4) and ninth in yards per catch (19.1) according to the California Community College Athletic Association.

Robinson began playing football at six years old when his mom dragged him to the field.

“At first I did not want to play football, I hated it,” Robinson said. “My mom asked me, ‘Do you wanna play tackle football?’ I was like ‘No,’ I was crying.”

It didn’t take Robinson long to adapt.

His second year playing, he laid a big hit on an opposing player and the rest is history.

“He fumbled and I was like, ‘Ooh I like this,'” Robinson said.

As Robinson got older he stayed small in stature, measuring at 4 feet 9 inches as a freshman at Narbonne High School.

Robinson was often overlooked because of his size.

“I moved myself to receiver because I missed like a day or two, I came back and they said, ‘starting groups’ and I wasn’t on there,” Robinson said.

Robinson was determined to be a starter.

About five games into his freshman season, he was moved to the junior varsity team.

His height can now be measured at 5 feet 11 inches. What couldn’t be measured was his heart.

After Robinson suffered a broken wrist three games into his junior year playing varsity at Narbonne, he exploded for 65 receptions, 1,300 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns as a senior.

“The one advantage Steph has is he’s had to work for everything,” Tim Kaub, El Camino offensive coordinator said.

Robinson Run
Stephon Robinson (No. 4) runs past three Grossmont defenders in the team’s 58-23 victory. Photo credit: Dmitri Hansen


Kaub, who has known Robinson since he was in the seventh grade, believes the only reason Robinson is at a junior college is because he was plagued by injury his junior year in high school.

“You can’t put a quantifiable number on his playmaking ability because it’s truly an intangible thing,” Kaub said. “All the boxes for a receiver you check with Stephon but his ability to make big catches in big situations to break the game open, he’s the guy.”

Robinson is described as a humble kid, with a big heart and a chip on his shoulder.

“He was always the littlest kid on the team with the biggest heart,” Duncan said. “But he balled.”

Robinson spent much of his childhood playing football with lots of support from his mother who allowed the football team to come over after games giving her the label of, “team mom” by spectators.

“His mom is a great lady, she’s a team mom to every team she’s been around,” Kaub said. “She was the team mom even when her son was with a broken wrist not playing.”

Robinson’s mom set the bar influencing him with her love for the game.

He’s stepped up as he is inspired by the idea of not being successful as well helping his little brother Brandon out.

“He (asks) me a lot of questions so I just love to help him, make sure he’s better than me when he’s at this stage of his life,” Robinson said.

Robinson currently holds two scholarship offers: one from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut and another from Middle Tennessee State University.

His hard work and dedication are seemingly beginning to pay off.

Those around him hope he continues improving so he can perform at the next level.

“I really would like him to finish, put the period on the sentence and just lead by example like he’s been doing all season for us,” Kaub said.

Robinson has battled through adversity making the most of each opportunity he has had and strives to continue doing so in order to make his dreams come true.

“Really all my life I was like ‘I (want to) go to the NFL,'” Robinson said. “Finding the right college, that I feel most comfortable at that I believe I can get to the next level and you know just going in there and working hard as I been doing and hopefully it take me to the NFL.”

Editor’s Note: Thursday, Nov. 30 at 12:37 P.M.: Robinson’s current height was added.