>1968 AFL Rookie of the Year – Paul Robinson


Paul Robinson grew up in the small town of Marana, Arizona, where he was a talented track athlete in addition to playing basketball and football.  He graduated from high school in 1963, and after time spent at a junior college, earned a track scholarship to the University of Arizona.  Robinson ran track for two years at the U of A, but played only one season of collegiate football before being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 1968 AFL Draft.
Robinson’s first contract paid him a $15,000 base salary, with a $15,000 signing bonus.  For their $30,000 investment, the Bengals got themselves the AFL’s Rookie of the Year.  In his rookie year, which was also the Bengals first year in existence, Paul Robinson rushed for 1,023 yards and scored eight touchdowns, which made Robinson just the second player ever to rush for more than 1,000 yards in his first year of professional football in the United States.  The other was the legendary Cookie Gilchrist, who ran for 1,096 yards for the Buffalo Bills in 1962.
After finishing second only to Joe Namath as the league MVP in 1968, Paul Robinson’s numbers dropped off in later years, but he played another six years in the AFL & NFL.  When Paul Robinson left the NFL after the 1973 season, he had carried the ball 737 times for 2,947 career rushing yards and 24 touchdowns.  He also had 90 receptions for 612 yards and two scores.  Paul Robinson spent the 1974 season with the Birmingham Americans of the World Football League, where he helped the Americans win the WFL’s only championship game before the league folded at the end of the season.

Todd Tobias (790 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

5 Responses to >1968 AFL Rookie of the Year – Paul Robinson


    I was just emailing you to see if you still sign your sports cards by Any chance.
    I have just a few that are not in the best of shape since being handled and shown a lot to others.
    And i was just asking if you still would sign them for me if possible and if so where would i send them to a well.

    Thanks again for your time and reply.
    Thanks again Richard valentine

    • Todd Tobias says:

      Hi Richard-

      The signed Robinson card comes from my personal collection. I purchased it from a dealer. Mr. Robinson does not have any direct connection to this site, and so unless he happens to stumble upon the page, your request will likely go unseen by him. I just wanted you to know.


      • Rob Norman says:

        I am a good friend of Paul Robinson, I have known him for years! You will not find a finer human being. Paul currently lives in Safford Arizona, I love listening to his stories of the AFL and WFL.

        • to Mr. Rob Norman;
          sorry to both you there but I also have a few football cards of Mr. Paul Robinson and I was just emailing you to see if there was anyway to get Mr. Paul Robinson to sign a few of my football cards of him if possible. you can contact him and see what he says and then let me know the outcome so I can add them to my collection.
          thanks again for your time and reply Richard valentine

  2. Bruce Clarke says:

    to Mr. Rob Norman,

    I am a huge fan of the WFL. I would love to speak with Mr. Robinson regarding his days in the WFL.

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