SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Cole Luke is a true freshman from Arizona. Corey Robinson is a rookie from Texas. Both have seen extended playing time in their first five games at Notre Dame, and both will be part of reunions of sorts on Saturday when the Irish face Arizona State in Arlington, Texas, though both have tempered any excitement about the familiarity of the weekend.
"Honestly, I'm going to treat it like every other game," Luke said. "Trying to do the regular stuff that I do against any other team -- Oklahoma, Michigan State, so it doesn't really matter who I play, I'm just going to do the same stuff that I always do."
That role has increased for Luke in recent weeks, with the 5-foot-11, 184-pounder jumping from nickelback to the next-guy-in at corner behind starters Bennett Jackson and KeiVarae Russell, tallying three tackles, one break-up and one pass defended in the process.
Luke, who will face a pair of buddies in Sun Devil starters D.J. Foster and Jaxon Hood — the latter of whom was his prep teammate at Chandler High — never really gave ASU much consideration because he was set on leaving the state.
Robinson, the Irish offense's 6-4.5, 205-pound target, had more hesitation leaving Texas, though the academics, tradition and "mystique" of Notre Dame convinced him to get out of the Lone Star State.
"My older brother goes to [Texas], so I was thinking about staying in Texas, being around my family going to see Spurs games," said Robinson, the son of former NBA great David Robinson. "That's a really big thing for me. My whole life I grew up in the stadium and in the arena."
Robinson has four catches for 66 yards this season. He is also a skilled ukulele player, as he and defensive linemen Kona Schwenke demonstrated after interviews Wednesday for television cameras in town to film a special on the Irish program.
The San Antonio native enrolled this past January, allowing him to adapt to the learning curve and get thrown into the fire early.
"Before it was just like a whole new playbook, and then they'll just throw you right in, especially coming in the winter, so it was just trying to stay alive," Robinson said. "And then now it's like actually understanding some of this stuff. Before it was just like: 'What is it? What is it? What is it?' And now it's kind of slowing down and I'll be like, 'Oh, that makes sense now,' because it's conceptual and I'm starting to understand everything."