BUFFALO, NY (WIVB.com) – Bills cornerback Nickell Robey revealed his true strength when tragedy struck his family. One morning before school during Robey’s senior year of high school, he walked into his mother’s room to check on her and witnessed her suffering a massive heart attack. He reacted, trying to do CPR to save her while he waited for the ambulance to arrive. Unfortunately his mother, Maxine, passed away that day. That same day Robey made his mother a promise.
“I just promised that I was going to do what I said I was going to do. Go to college, get my degree and go to the NFL and just excel at that level,” Robey explained. “Everything was bigger than me from that point on. I didn’t try to make everything about me.”
Around the same time of his mother’s death, his father pulled away from the family. Robey and his younger sister stuck together.
“She was like my daughter but she was really my sister because I had to be there for her.”
Tragedy could have caused Robey to end his pursuits. Instead he used all the emotion as fuel. He attended USC. After three years of dominating at the cornerback position he decided to finish his degree on his own and enter the NFL Draft. He went undrafted but the Bills signed him. At 5’8 165 pounds, he is the smallest player on the Bills roster. For Robey, it is not how big you are but how big you play. He’s played in every single game this season. Success for Robey has been just as much a reflection of his physical ability as it has been a testament to his mental strength.
Robey explained “Never ever give up, never stop, stay hungry. That fire you feel, turn that into something that is great.”