Canadian Tavius Robinson produces seminal moment by starting for Ole Miss in SEC debut

Photo courtesy: Ole Miss Athletics

It was a seminal moment for Canadian defensive lineman/outside linebacker Tavius Robinson on Saturday.

The Guelph native took advantage of the Ontario University Athletics and U Sports football season being cancelled due to COVID-19. He sent his University of Guelph highlight tape out to NCAA programs and drew immediate interest from a number of respected programs, including Lousiana State University head coach Ed Orgeron.

The University of Mississippi was the first Southeastern Conference school to offer Robinson a full scholarship. The six-foot-seven, 245-pounder had his transfer waiver approved on August 27 with head coach Lane Kiffin tweeting to his over 470,000 followers, “Thank u NCAA for doing the right thing.” Robinson started at outside linebacker for the Rebels in his SEC debut against the fifth-ranked University of Florida.

“Well, he’s got a really big ceiling and got here late from a weightlifting standpoint. He’s a little behind that way,” Kiffin said in a videoconference prior to the start of the season.

“Would have really enjoyed to have him for a whole spring and all that. So he’ll obviously play a lot, but I think he will continue to improve more than the normal player throughout the season.”

Robinson made three total tackles, including two solo versus the Gators at Vaught Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. Florida earned a 51-35 victory, but Robinson playing is a remarkable accomplishment considering the short time on campus.

The 21-year-old went from Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute and a rising star in the Canadian university ranks to displaying potential in the vaunted SEC, viewed by NFL scouts as the best conference in the NCAA.

“The most amount of players drafted into the NFL come from the SEC, it’s the best conference in the NCAA. I’m competing with the best and that’s going to make me the best player that I can possibly be,” Robinson said upon committing to Mississippi.

The physical specimen and ultra athletic defensive player looked like he belonged at the SEC level. Robinson displayed the potential to ascend at the highest level of college or university football on the planet.