Las Rozas Black Demons DB Darius Robinson: Europe’s ultimate shutdown corner?

As the Las Rozas Black Demons got set to receive the second half kick-off from the Osos Rivas in Spanish League of American Football action, Black Demons defender Darius Robinson shifted to the return position. As the ball sailed high into the air, the Osos Rivas coaches suddenly realized they had made a mistake in kicking deep as Robinson shuffled to get under the ball. Ten seconds later he was celebrating in the opposite end zone after a 99-yard kickoff return touchdown. The big play helped propel his Black Demons to a 35-28 victory, giving them sole possession of first place in the Spanish league.

This was not Robinson’s first touchdown in Europe and no doubt won’t be his last.

Robinson joined the Black Demons after playing for two of the top teams in Europe in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, the 5’11″, 185 pound defensive back was part of the German powerhouse, the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions. While playing for the Lions, Robinson recorded 32 tackles, seven interceptions and two touchdowns while helping the Lions reach the German Football League semi final.

Darius Robinson returning a kick for Austria’s Swarco Raiders in a 2019 game against Switzerland’s Calanda Broncos Photo: Sergio Brunetti

The next year, the speedy defensive back was on the move again, this time heading to the Swiss Alps to play with the Austrian Champion Swarco Raiders. Robinson played a key role for the Raiders squad, helping them win the Austrian Football League title, while also becoming Central European Football League champions and earning the League MVP award. Robinson’s impact as a kick returner and corner helped make the Raiders one the best teams in Europe in 2019.

“Overall it was great. The players were great, I love so many of the guys there and it will forever hold a special place in my heart and will always be a place I return to. I wish the organization nothing but success!”

After the Raiders canceled their 2020 season, Robinson signed on with Las Rozas in Spain. His impact on the Black Demons has been evident as he has helped them reach a 3-0 record. His goals are to stay healthy and help his Madrid based LG Black Demons win the title.

“My #1 goal is to remain healthy all year. Second on my priority list is to win the Spanish title and bring it to Las Rosaz! It’s never been won here. I’m beginning to love the community more and more. Every week we must take another step to becoming the premier organization in Spain and eventually qualifying for international competition in the near future.”

Las Rozas DB Darius Robinson #1 getting set to chase down Osos Rivas RB Mike Gentili #33 Photo: Lola Morales

Before he was competing for championships in three different countries, Robinson’s football journey began in the heart of football country Atlanta, Georgia. Robinson was part of a historic Westlake High School’s football program, whose notable alumni include Cam Newton, Michael Taylor, and Adam “Pac Man” Jones. Robinson fit right with the talented squad as he developed to become of one the state’s best players. His speed and athleticism helped him impact the game as a dangerous return man, running back, and of course, his natural position of defensive back. His impressive high school career propelled him to being ranked as the 20th best player in Georgia and getting recruited by powerhouse programs such as Auburn, Miami (FL), and Georgia Tech. After initially committing to Miami (FL), Robinson opted to stay closer to home choosing to become a Clemson Tiger.

“ Clemson ultimately won me over the night I visited DEATH VALLEY and we beat up on Florida State.”

Clemson DB Darius Robinson #8 making a tackle Photo: Clemson Athletics

While at Clemson, Robinson stood out, starting three seasons for the Tigers. During his career, the Westlake product had 69 total tackles, six interceptions, and a 35-yard pick six. His senior year ended with a 40-35 Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State.

Robinson reflects on his time in Death Valley, South Carolina:

“My football DNA is Clemson. Everything I learned there I use in my everyday life from knowing how to be a champion & always expecting the best of myself. Game days were breath taking. Fans are amazing! Culture as well! Having the most exciting football entrance in College Football running down the hill was second to none.”

Robinson along with teammates Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant, and Bashaud Breeland had their eyes set on the NFL. After going undrafted in the NFL Draft, Robinson signed a contract with the Buffalo Bills. Unfortunately, a severe shoulder injury ended his short NFL career.

“During training camp I suffered a torn labrum literally destroying my shoulder and ended up not being able to play football for the next 2 years because of how bad it was. However I wish it hadn’t happened, God simply had another plan for me. I was grateful for the experience during my short stint in a NFL organization”

Darius Robinson #8 returning an interception against the La Courneuve Flash from France while playing for the Braunschweig New Yorker Lions in 2018 Photo: Fabian Uebe

While working in Florida after the NFL, Robinson heard about American football in Europe from a high school teammate Mike Taylor, who had played in Finland, Germany, and Japan. Robinson decided it was time for him to make a comeback to the gridiron.

“I was only 26 at the time. The excitement football brought to my life just couldn’t be matched and I knew I had a little left in the tank since I had never stopped training.”

It didn’t take long for European coaches to evaluate the talented Clemson defensive back, soon Robinson was the newest member of the New Yorker Lions one of the best teams in the German Football League and in Europe. After establishing himself as a top import in Europe, Robinson has won a championship in Austria and currently has his Spanish team in first place. Look for the ambitious Atlanta native to be on the move again soon as he plans to parlay his Spanish season into another opportunity in Europe’s newest league, the European League of Football, ELF.

“ In addition, my goal for 2021 was to play at the highest level this summer. Playing in Spain will bridge me to the European League of Football (ELF) later this year.”

Alex is a former professional American football player who is now studying in London. His goal writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and players and sharing different football