EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There are 66 players in New York Giants rookie minicamp, but putting the Giants helmet on felt different to Andrew Robustelli than it did to any of the other 65.
"Honestly, something I'll never forget," the 6-foot-2 wide receiver out of Jacksonville University said following practice Friday. "For me, it's just about the opportunity. But obviously, because it's the Giants, and because of the name, I guess maybe there are some higher expectations."
Andy Robustelli was a Hall of Fame defensive end who played for the Rams from 1951-55 and the Giants from 1956-64. He is in the Giants' ring of honor, which means his name is one of those inscribed around the Giants' locker room just below the ceiling. Andrew Robustelli is his grandson, and it's no coincidence that his locker for this camp is that of quarterback Ryan Nassib, because it's right underneath the elder Robustelli's name.
"I remember when I came here for my pre-draft visit back in April," said Andrew, who says his mother doesn't like it when people call him Andy. "I felt like, everywhere I turned, I saw my grandfather in this building in some way."
Andy Robustelli died in 2011, when Andrew was a senior in high school. Because his family had moved from Stanford, Connecticut, to Florida when he was 10 -- and because, he said, his grandfather suffered from Alzheimer's disease -- he doesn't feel he got to know him very well. But he says he has watched film of "The Greatest Game Ever Played" more than once and is well aware of his grandfather's place in Giants history and in NFL history.
"He was a great man and a great player," Andrew said. "And definitely now, I get it a lot, especially from my family about the achievements he had. I hear a lot about trying to carry on the family name."
Robustelli faces a daunting challenge in trying to go from tryout wide receiver to the Giants' roster. But regardless of how it turns out, this will have been a special experience for him.