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Sept. 23, 2009

By Michael Holt
Media Relations Student Assistant

Travian Robertson is humbly starting his junior year even though he has a lot to be proud of after his first two seasons.

Robertson has played in every game since joining the team as a freshman. Each year he has improved; from seven tackles and four solo stops as a freshman to 17 tackles as a sophomore, including a pair of tackles for a loss. After a productive offseason, Robertson was dubbed the team’s Most Improved Defensive Lineman. Now a starter on the defensive line, Robertson expects an even better year as an upperclassman.

“I am trying to step up,” said Robertson. We lost one guy over the spring and an opportunity came to me so I knew I had to show Coach Lawing that I can lead by example. I want too make plays on the field and show him I can play the position and that I really have improved.”

Earning the title of Most Improved Defensive Lineman over the spring has not been Robertson’s only recent achievement. He was recently given the title of the strongest pound for pound player on the team, squatting 600 pounds, bench-pressing 420 pounds and power cleaning 350 pounds. Robertson didn’t gain this title by just showing up to workouts and practice. According to Strength and Conditioning Coach Craig Fitzgerald, Robertson shows up to practice early and is completely focused and diligent when it comes to getting better.

“Travian mentally plows through the nicks and bruises that come with playing football,” said Coach Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald added that Robertson doesn’t complain about working out or about practices, in fact he finds ways to make working out fun. He considers everything a competition, making him work harder, trying to competitively beat his teammates. Robertson is proud of having the title of strongest pound for pound player and he takes his conditioning work seriously.

“It means a lot,” said Robertson. “We always compete in the weight room and I have a lot of guys really close to me. It means a lot because when we compete in the weight room it is fun, a challenge and it is something that we haven’t had around here in a long time.”

Robertson noted his appreciation for Coach Fitzgerald’s work this offseason and has been pleased with him as an addition to the South Carolina staff.

“Coach Fitz has us working together and competing, and while we are competing we are pushing each other,” Robertson said. “It has helped make me get stronger because if I see a guy that has my weight it makes me push myself to get the other weight. It makes me keep going up higher and higher. I love competing in the weight room and on the field.”

The weight room isn’t the only place Robertson’s shows up ready to go. When he arrives at the practice he is prepared to leave it all on the field.

“I try to make plays in practice,” said Robertson. “If you work hard in practice you are going to work hard in games, if you don’t work hard in practice then its not going to carry over to the game” Robertson said “I learned from experiences earlier in my career because some practices I didn’t work hard and than I got in the game and didn’t play that good.”

Robertson’s work ethic is what sets him apart. He doesn’t only apply it to football but to his school as well. Robertson is scheduled to graduate early after all of the hard work he has put into school.

“Some of my work is hard, but I push extra in class to show the other guys that you don’t have to be an honor student to make good grades,” said Robertson.

Now that Robertson is an upperclassman he makes sure that he is setting a good example for the younger guys on the team whether on or off the field. Robertson has improved every year and expects to have another solid season. As Coach Fitzgerald calls him, he is, “Mr. Consistency.”