Andrew Robison took a roundabout way of becoming a Nicholls Colonel.
A one-time player at Vandebilt Catholic in Houma, Robison transferred to Hahnville before ended up in Thibodaux after signing with Nicholls on National Signing Day on Wednesday morning.
“I did a little triangle, I guess you could say, but it’s been a fun journey,” said Robison. “Ever since I was little, I wanted to play Division I football. Just to have the opportunity to have a full-ride scholarship somewhere is a blessing. I can’t be thankful enough for that.
“I’m excited for what the future holds. I want to be the best player I can be. I want to be the best quarterback Nicholls ever had and I want to win a national championship and I want to grow as a person and a player. I’m excited for what the future holds.”
“I’m just glad for him,” said Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio. “I really think he will be the face of their program. Obviously, they have a great quarterback coming back but he will go in there and compete like it is his job. I know that much about him.”
Robison’s journey to college quarterback was filled with more than just a few bump in the road one might travel between Houma, Boutte and Thibodaux.
His father, Drew Robinson, was the head basketball coach at Vandebilt before being dismissed as Andrew was going into his senior season in 2018.
With his father seeking employment, Andrew looked for a new school to attend and ultimately chose Hahnville.
Questions arose concerning Robison’s “recruitment” by Hahnville. That led the Louisiana High School Athletic Association to rule Robison ineligible for the entire year and suspended Saltaformaggio for the first four games of the season.
A third-party arbitrator eventually ruled in favor of Robison and Hahnville, allowing the quarterback to play in the regular-season finale and the postseason, with the Tigers being eliminated in the second round.
Now, Colonels coach Tim Rebowe gets a motivated player with something to prove.
“I’m just excited for this opportunity but there definitely is a chip on my shoulder. I want to be the best. I’ve always wanted to be the best. It’s just that kind of natural competitive nature. I can’t say how excited I am to be a part of the Nicholls culture and be a Colonel. Coach Rebowe and the coaching staff over there, I think they have a great coaching staff. Now is the time to be a Nicholls Colonel,” said Robison.
Faith, Robison said, proved to be quite a comfort throughout his eligibility ordeal.
“Nicholls has done a great job of recruiting me. God made it real clear to me throughout this whole process and toward the end of it that Nicholls is where He wanted me to go,” said Robison.
Saltaformaggio echoed Robison’s sentiments.
“I’m a very strong Catholic, so I’m going to say I believe in faith. As a man of faith, I really think we have a good Lord and the Lord took care of him. I know he’s a kid of faith and comes from a family of faith and I just think the good Lord took care of him,” said Saltaformaggio.
Rebowe has built the Nicholls program that is coming off back-to-back playoff appearances in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs largely with players from the River Parishes and surrounding regions.
Robison now becomes another on that list.
“Whenever you start performing well, you start getting a lot more players. I know Nicholls is getting a lot of big-time recruits that they probably might not have gotten three or four years ago just because of where the program is right now. Coach Rebowe completely flipped the program around,” said Robison.
Expected to be one of the top FCS teams again in 2019, the Colonels are led on offense by quarterback Chase Fourcade, who will be a four-year senior starter in the fall. Robison will be someone who has a chance to follow in Fourcade’s footsteps.
“I got to know Chase pretty well and he’s a top-level guy. There are not many guys out there as genuine as Chase. I think he is awesome and will be a great player to learn from,” said Robison.
Whether Robison is red-shirted his first year remains to be seen. After playing in only three games in 2018, there still may be some rust to work off. With the new red-shirt rule implemented a year ago, a player can see action in up to four games and still be considered a red-shirt without using up a year of eligibility.
“I love the four-game deal. That way I can get in some games, whether I’m actually playing to help win or to just give Chase a breather. It just kind of gives you some more flexibility versus you play one down and you use up one whole year of eligibility in there. I definitely like that rule and I’m excited about it,” Robison said.