From Sleeping In A Car to College To The NFL

The number 23 is tattooed in the middle of Indianapolis Colts Running Back Josh Robinson’s chest.

Photo courtesy of WN
Photo courtesy of WN

Many of us think of Michael Jordan and Lebron James with the number 23.

But the number 23 goes much deeper for the young Robinson.

On May 23, 2004 Robinson’s grandmother died.

On May 23, 2005 his grandfather died.

On Feb. 23, 2011 his mother was sentenced to 18 years in jail.

The young Robinson now sits just three lockers over from Pro Bowl Wide Reciever T.Y. Hilton, as Robinson tries to make his dream become a reality for himself,?a?sixth round NFL draft pick earlier this past month.

His former college coach, Dan Mullen at Mississippi State, had a few words to say about Robinson.

“That’s pretty special with Josh when you look at his background He had an extremely hard upbringing. I think he’s going to continue to have success. He’s overcome a lot to get where he is.?

Mullen also wonders how Robinson avoid all the temptation as he was thrown into turbulent childhood.

Robinson went house to house, at least 20 of them after his grandmother, who had raised him from birth, died from a?heart attack at the age of?51. Heavy stuff for a young man.

At the young age of 16 and thinking about his future Robinson packed up his belongings and left Bogalusa, Louisana and drove 50 miles to Franklinton because that was his best chance of getting recognized for his football talent.

For 6 months Robinson slept in?the Nissan Maxima that he purchased with what little money he had earned. His bed was the backseat and his home was the football parking lot.

Robinson says,

“When I did have to stay in my car, I just found the field as my comfort zone. “I’ve been (playing) ever since I was 4 years old. That’s all I know. So I relieve stress like that and try to get better than what I was yesterday … You keep a strong faith, and that’s what my grandma always taught. Keep a strong faith and you’ll never be let down. Just gotta have faith.?

Robinson ate his breakfast and lunch at school and grabbed extra so that he would have enough food for dinner. He never told anyone about his situation because he was too humble. He walked the halls without a care in the world and a smile on his face, as if his life was a paved road.

His high school football coach Shane Smith didn’t know either but had this to say about Robinson.?

?We were shocked, We had no idea. We always told Josh or any of these kids if they ever needed anything or needed help with anything, we would be there for them. I hate to know he went through that and we knew nothing about it. Josh’s strength during that time carried over to him at Mississippi State, and it’ll be same now that he’s in the NFL.?

After being a backup for two years in college?at Mississippi State, Robinson earned his spot and rushed for 1203 yards and 11 touchdowns last year.

Colts coach Chuck Pagano had Robinson tagged in the draft and had this to say.

“That’s grit. That’s not somebody saying ‘OK, because of this, this and this, this is why I’m where I’m at.’ This kid said ‘I’m going to overcome circumstances. I’m going to overcome adversity no matter what. I’m going to prove everybody wrong.’ There were probably a bunch of people when he was growing up and in his life that said, ‘You’re not going to do this and you’re not going to do that. You’re too short, you don’t have this. You don’t have that.'”

Do you remember the 23 tattooed on his chest?

He plans to put the NFL logo around it because it will resemble the first medallion he earned while playing baseball at the age of 4.

Josh Robinson is definitely something special. His story makes you admire his character and how strong his mind and heart are.

But his demeanor surpasses it all.

Because Josh Robinson doesn’t make excuses. He just finds a way to get the job done on and off the football field.

Tanner Bisbee hails from the great State of Maine. He's a full time college student and serves on the football staff at school. His most notable work to date is his book Modern Day Sports Blog. To read more check out my blog