Nate on Eason: 'We Wanted Him to Come Back'

Former UW two-sport standout weighs in on football team's changes
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Nate Robinson was a talented Washington cornerback for a season, probably an accomplished NFL defensive back if he'd wanted to be.

At midstream, this freakish athlete changed over to Huskies basketball, which he felt was his true calling, and he turned this move into an 11-season NBA career. 

As the gifted son of 1982 Rose Bowl hero Jacque Robinson and having served as that lockdown pass defender two decades later, he remains a conscientious UW football follower. 

So it was with great interest that Nate Robinson watched as Huskies quarterback Jacob Eason on Thursday made himself available for the NFL draft as an underclassman. Fourteen years earlier, Robinson did the same, declaring early for the NBA draft. 

Yet as a UW fan, he wanted Eason to hold off on his pro aspirations for another year.

"You know to chase his dream is fun, but for us, we wanted to him come back," Robinson said. "But we understand the ultimate goal, as a kid, is to make it to the highest level. That's the pinnacle."

While the fan message boards lit up with negative comments directed Eason's way -- that the Huskies junior quarterback shouldn't have left early or he wasn't good enough for the NFL -- Robinson had a different take on him.

"I'm going to wish Eason a lot of luck," Nate said. "There's going to be a lot of hard work he's going to put into it. He's one helluva quarterback. He's tall and can throw. Lot of poise. I see an NFL quarterback. I like him a lot."

Robinson also praised departing Huskies coach Chris Petersen for bringing a winning mentality back to the Washington football program and suggested Petersen probably wasn't done with the profession, only that he needs a break.

While he welcomes the new football coach, Robinson  had no idea that Jimmy Lake previously coached at the school when he was there. It was news to him that Lake was part of Keith Gilbertson's staff and everyone was fired when the Huskies went 1-10 in 2004--when Robinson's basketball career began to take off. 

"I should have come back for another season," Nate said of his UW football pursuits. "They wouldn't have gone 1-10."