By Tommy Howard

"If they're going to be in front of you, you might as well hit 'em like you're glad," Ali Robinson said. "If you shy away from them, you're going to get hurt.

"You might as well hit them and have fun."

That's part of the philosophy of Waccamaw High school offensive guard and defensive tackle Ali Robinson.

He signed a letter of intent last week to play football at Fork Union Military Academy, about 60 miles from Richmond, Va.

Rest of the story

There's a lot more to Robinson than that idea, though.

He's done well on the football field, in wrestling and track.

He made it to the Lower State finals in track in discus throwing.

Fork Union -- or FUMA -- is a prep school with a one-year program, Robinson said. After that, he will transfer.

He wants to major in communications in college with an eye on a career in TV broadcasting, probably in entertainment.

FUMA has had more than 80 football players come out of the school.

Coach Burney Bourne agreed, adding that the school has a 95 to 98 percent success rate in placing their kids.

"Bob Hines is the main reason I'm going there," Robinson said. "He put me onto it."

Hines played at Vanderbilt and suggested that Robinson look into FUMA.

Robinson is looking to go to professional football after college, and then into broadcasting.

He's done some projects in school where he conducted interviews on camera and liked what he was doing.

He plans to return to the area "when I'm old."

Family matters

Robinson and his family attend All Saints Church at Pawleys Island. His godmother Emily Bailey has been a big part of his life.

His family includes an older sister Alicia, a younger sister Aaliyah and a niece Angel.

Fork Union has a beautiful campus, mom Lisa Robinson said. "I like it."

"He's a shy kid but a good kid. He's mannerly and respectful."

"I've been a single parent since he was 4 years old. Ali has been successful in football and academically."

"I'm happy for him. With the help of the Lord, I hope he goes four years and then gets picked for a Division I college."

Really blossomed

"He's a great young man," Bourne said. "He's got great potential and a great opportunity."

"Ali has really blossomed this year. I think the college people recognize that.

"With his athletic skills and size, he could develop into a Division I lineman, and I think he will do that."