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Robbins commits to NDSU football program

FARGO — Lori (Knetter) Robbins finished her North Dakota State women’s basketball career as the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder. That was in the early 1980s when the program was just getting rolling.

In recent years, she always wondered what it could be like if one of her three sons could follow in her NDSU footsteps. Over the weekend, she got her wish.

Brock Robbins, the youngest of the three boys from Cavalier, N.D., verbally committed to the Bison football program.

“I can’t wait to see it happen,” she said.

He’s the second sibling of a women’s basketball player inducted into the Bison Hall of Fame who will attend NDSU. Redshirt freshman basketball player A.J. Jacobson is the son of former standout Pat (Smykowski) Jacobson.

Lori Robbins was NDSU’s first women’s basketball All-American. That was a while ago, in 1982, but Brock Robbins said he felt his mother’s allegiance during the recruiting process. The University of North Dakota was his other choice.

“She’s told me a few things but not really in much detail,” he said. “She’s told me about her coaches and a little about her experience at NDSU, and that helped me pick the school. I know she was happy and excited for me.”

Lori Robbins said she took a step back in the process and did not want to totally influence her son’s decision. Oldest son Brady is a student at UND. Spencer Robbins was on the Minnesota State Moorhead football team last year, and for a time, Lori thought he might have a shot at Division I football at her alma mater.

“I always thought, I have three boys — wouldn’t it be great someday if one of them, or all three of them, go to NDSU?” she said. “But as the older two graduated, they each set their own path. Spencer came close.”

Brock is a 6-foot-2, 220-pound fullback and linebacker — it’s not certain which side of the ball he’ll play at NDSU. He still has his senior year to play at Cavalier — a town that has sent a few players NDSU’s way.

“It’s a football town,” Robbins said. “Everyone wants to play football when they’re growing up. They get in the weight room and work hard.”

That was Brock’s advantage, Lori said — watching his older brothers pave the way.

“He just had a head start, and that proved to be an advantage,” she said. “He truly loves football.”

Jeff Kolpack
Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.