- Josh Moyer, ESPN Staff Writer
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There's no use in trying to get Allen Robinson to discuss school records.
He's just 42 yards shy of breaking Penn State's single-season record for receiving yards (1,084), a mark set in 1995 by NFL vet Bobby Engram. But Robinson deflects nearly any mention of rewriting the history books or figuring out where he fits in Nittany Lion history.
"I just try not to pay too much attention to it," Robinson said, "but it's definitely a good honor."
This isn't feigned humility from the reigning Big Ten receiver of the year. He shattered Penn State's single-season record for receptions last season by making 77 catches, 14 more than former record holders Engram and O.J. McDuffie. But, earlier this season, his parents admitted that record-breaking football isn't sitting on a mantle back home in Southfield, Mich.
Despite the presence of Penn State's All-Sports Museum inside the football stadium, no one thought to grab the record pigskin last year. Robinson and his parents figured they continued to play the game with that football, and it then got tossed along with all the other game-used ones.
That doesn't bother them. They never thought about it, really, until a reporter asked. Records just aren't that important to the Robinsons. So there's no telling what will happen with this next record-breaking football, which is something fans and the media are well-aware of, even though it's not exactly something the team emphasizes.
When a reporter told Bill O'Brien that his star receiver was nearing Engram's mark earlier this week, Penn State's head coach didn't launch into a soliloquy about Robinson's importance. O'Brien's response: "Is he?"
"Yeah," the reporter said, asking whether he talked about the record with Robinson.
"No, no, no," O'Brien responded. "I just learned that from you. No, we don't talk about records. We talk about doing the best we can to make sure we're ready to go for Minnesota."
Robinson ranks first in the Big Ten and fourth in the nation with 1,043 receiving yards. He's first in the Big Ten and eighth in the nation with 66 receptions. And he's averaging 10 catches and 149 yards in each Big Ten contest.
He's in the conversation as the best Penn State receiver of all time, and the junior could very well enter the NFL draft early. (That's something he'll discuss with the staff after the season, he insisted.) Robinson will almost certainly set the receiving record on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium because it'd be a season-low if he didn't.
He's on pace to break his receptions record from last season. If he stays another season, he could break just about every PSU career receiving record. And he's accounting for 48 percent of Penn State's passing offense right now.
But ask Robinson about the feats, and you're likely to hear a familiar refrain: "I haven't thought too much of it."
9hMitch Sherman and Dan Murphy