Thursday, December 18, 2014

The two sides of UCD defender Bobby Erskine

From page C2 | September 14, 2011 |

UCD defensive lineman Bobby Erskine stands at Aggie Stadium. Erskine wears No. 42 for the Aggies in 2011. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise file photo

For 60 minutes each week, UC Davis defensive end Bobby Erskine does all he can to create havoc across the line of scrimmage.

But off the field, there is a very different Mr. Erskine — a humanitarian who spends much of his time away from school trying to make things right in a world stretched thin.

“As athletes — especially football players — we’re kind of put on a platform,” the junior standout explains. “Younger kids look up to older athletes, looking at their example. I’m just trying to be a positive role model … to be more than a football player.”

A San Diego native and one of seven kids of Molly and Jim Erskine, the Aggie defender recently spent time in Mexico building, delivering supplies and learning more about his hosts.

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, Erskine was quick to offer his services in the worldwide relief effort.

“I found it a powerful experience,” Erskine continues. “The thing about (Haiti), yes, they’re a Third World country, but they’re happy. (In) Mexico as well. You see the people and they’re happy.

“You don’t need all the luxuries that we have. They still live their lives, they’re great people, they’re people of faith and it just was a really powerful experience to share.”

As much as Erskine cares for his fellow man off the field, he has little regard for him on the gridiron.

In an injury-plagued 2010, the 6-foot-3, 250-pounder had 35 tackles, saving his best work for the last game.

During the Aggies’ 17-16 Causeway Classic victory over visiting Sacramento State, Erskine fought through a downpour to record 11 stops, including his season’s lone sack.

No. 42 also recovered a fumble in the season opener at Cal.

So, what’s more satisfying to this UCD English major: rebuilding a school in Mexico or two sacks on a goal-line stand?

“For instant gratification, I’m gonna say the quarterback sacks,” laughs Erskine, still a little banged up after a recent practice. “But it’s definitely more fulfilling helping out a family.

“Remember, football is just a game. At the end of the day, what we do on the field is not important. We’re just there to entertain … to put on a show for the people.

“Nothing. Nothing can beat helping … (with) real-life issues.”

Veteran UCD head coach Bob Biggs knows he’s got a one-of-a-kind young man in Erskine …

“He epitomizes what every coach looks for — and that’s that he gives you 100 percent all the time,” Biggs says. “Now I’ll be the first to say — and Bobby would agree — I don’t think he’s playing up to his potential.”

But Biggs adds that Erskine’s technique is growing, and he loves the lineman’s contributions as a team captain and his buy-in when a coach makes a suggestion.

“He says ‘Yes, sir, coach.’ ” Biggs continues. “Some athletes you get that because they want you to stop talking. With Bobby, that’s not the case. He wants to get better.”

Biggs goes on to says that with “everything he does there’s integrity and a sense of responsibility. He’s sincere. He walks the walk and has the ultimate respect from all his teammates.”

Come Saturday, a 6 p.m. showdown with the University of San Diego at Aggie Stadium, a lion’s share of Erskine’s southland family will be in the stands — including big brother Michael, a USD graduate.

“He’s been talking a little trash to me,” baby brother Bobby says, that infectious laugh again taking over. “I mean it’s his alma mater, so obviously he’s going to (rub it in) a little.”

So, will Erksine know where his family is sitting, just in case the season’s first sack is at hand for little brother?

“Oh yeah. If it happens, I’ll point to him — like, ‘What’s up, Mike?’ ”

Notes: Erskine received the George Belenis Award as the UCD redshirt freshman of the year in 2009. He was an all-league player for St. Augustine High and made All-CIF Academic Team honors. Erskine, who has been named to the Allstate Good Works Team for off-the-field contributions, urges high school and college students to “find a service group on campus and join.” Erskine is a member of the Aggie Athletes in Action branch.

— Reach Bruce Gallaudet at or (530) 747-8047.



Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

    By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    City plans signs to improve flow on Fifth Street

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    U.S., Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    State gets more rain, big mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Boston bombing suspect in court for first time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offices will take a winter break

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    ‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolo County needs a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

    NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5



    Disagreement on mother’s care

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    And a jolly time was had by all

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Remember that all lives matter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Pollution from electric vehicles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6



    On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

    By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery



    College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

    Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Something growing in the mailbox

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery



    Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

    Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7





    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6


    Last Minute Gift Guide

    Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

    Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

    Holiday decorating contest winners light up our lives

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: LMG4 | Gallery

    Gift ideas for the health-conscious

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

    Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7