Rockford, Illinois News

Rockford’s James Robinson starts, sets rookie record in NFL debut

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — James Robinson set a new NFL record Sunday as the starting running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Robinson, a former Rockford Lutheran and Illinois State University standout, rushed for 61 yards on 10 carries in the first half of Jacksonville’s home game against the Indianapolis Colts, a new record for yards rushed by an undrafted rookie running back in Week 1.

Robinson had 56 yards on his first eight carries.

At Illinois State, he logged 4,444 yards over four years. He came to ISU as the IHSA’s all-time rusher, running for 9,045 yards and 158 touchdowns in his All-State career at Lutheran.

At 5-9, 220 pounds, Robinson came into training camp with the Jaguars as a long shot to make the team but quickly emerged as a potential regular in the running game. The club then released starter Leonard Fournette, opening the door for Robinson to work his way to the top of the depth chart.

Robinson is the first undrafted running back in 30 years to start in Week 1.

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