Saline senior Robbie Felton, as gifted in the classroom as he is in the athletic arena, had a goal. He wanted an Ivy League education. And he wanted to continue playing football.
Last Wednesday, Felton, son of John and Sonja Felton, signed a letter of intent to play football at Brown University.
“I’m excited about it because I get to continue doing what I love. And I get to do it at a higher level than I was doing it before, so that’s great,” said Felton, starting cornerback for the Hornets the last two seasons.
Felton will study pre-med and public policy. Though he’s planning a career in medicine he’s also interested in politics. He was elected governor at the Michigan Boys State conference. For Felton, the academic challenges are as important as the athletic ones.
“I chose Brown because of the strong academics, the chance to compete for an Ivy League title and there’s a great football coach at the school,” Felton said.
Coaches at Brown watched tape and visited to see Felton play.
“They said I was a physical corner who could tackle and cover well,” Felton said.
One of Felton’s career highlights was an interception he made during the district championship game against Canton. Saline was down late in the second quarter and Canton was pressing for a touchdown that would have put Saline in a deep hole. Felton picked off a pass intended for the end zone. Felton also points to an emotional win against Pioneer last year as a highlight of his Saline career.
“But the thing I’ll miss the most is the guys. Post-game, hanging out with my friends. Post-game we had a defensive chant. I’ll never get to say that again, so that’s kind of sad,” Felton said.
Seventh grade football coach Woolley, who played Rugby, introduced the team to what Felton believes is a Norwegian battle chant.
Like many great corners, Felton’s numbers weren’t eyepopping. Opposing quarterbacks often avoided his side of the field. But Felton was third on the team with 41.5 tackles. He also broke up eight passes, intercepted a pass and had a sack.
Saline coach Joe Palka said Felton anchored the secondary.
“Robbie really has excellent speed and was our top cover defensive back,” Palka said.
Palka expects him to make a good transition at Brown University.
“He has an opportunity at Brown to play a great deal. His speed is something that is coveted in the Ivy league and Robbie brings so much more than just that,” Palka said.
Felton, like many of the Hornet football players moving on to the next level, believes he’s well prepared.
“I feel very ready. Saline High School has prepared me for college. Coach Palka prepared me for Saline football. Academically and on the field, I feel very prepared for what’s coming next,” Felton said.