Advertisement

Former Trojan Nickell Robey rewarded with extension

Former Trojan Nickell Robey rewarded with extension
Bills cornerback Nickell Robey celebrates after scoring a touchdown on an interception return against the Miami Dolphins in 2013. (Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Three years before Nickell Robey left USC for the NFL draft, he entered the school with a heavy heart. His mother, Maxine, died suddenly just 15 days after he signed his national letter of intent to attend USC.

Now three years after Robey's departure from USC, he has a happy heart. The 5-feet-8, 165-pound cornerback signed a contract extension with the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. It is reportedly a two-year deal.

"I feel so wonderful inside. I'm so humbled at this point. Blessed that I got another opportunity to come out here for another few years and just to showcase my talent," Robey said in an interview for the Bills website.

"I haven't even told my family yet. The only person who really knows is my brother right now. We've kept it [quiet] and just tried to move on with the situation knowing that the Bills organization… they care obviously re-signing me."

Advertisement

Despite being one of the smallest players in the NFL, Robey has played in all 32 games, starting nine, since being signed by Buffalo as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Advertisement

He has 86 career tackles, including four sacks. He also has one interception, which he returned for a touchdown in the Bills' 23-21 win over the Dolphins his rookie season. He also has 17 career pass deflections, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.

"Nickell Robey has been a productive and dependable cornerback for our team since we signed him in 2013," Bills General Manager Doug Whaley said in a statement. "I commend our scouting staff for identifying and signing a player of Nickell's caliber in the undrafted college free agent period.

"Since entering the NFL, Nickell has worked hard and taken advantage of his opportunities to make plays when called upon. Under the tutelage of Rex Ryan and his coaching staff, we believe Nickell will continue to develop and make significant contributions within this defense."

Robey is an example of perseverance and persistence. Rather than reneging on his commitment to the Trojans and choosing to play his collegiate football closer to home after his mother's death, the Frostproof, Fla., native came across the country and quickly ingratiated himself to USC fans.

He came in, proved himself and became the first true freshman at the school to start a season opener at cornerback in the post-World War II era. Then he started every game for the next three years. Robey had 163 career tackles at USC and seven interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. He chose to enter the NFL draft after his junior year in hopes of helping support his family back home in Florida.

After going undrafted, he was signed by Buffalo where he found a home -- and Buffalo will remain his home for at least another two years.

Advertisement
Advertisement