CUERO – Robert Armstrong figured he would be playing Division I football after earning all-state honors at receiver his junior and senior seasons at Cuero.
Armstrong was so sure he was headed to a big-time football school that he virtually ignored the inquiries he received from Division II Texas A&M-Kingsville.
Armstrong changed his mind after being called into a meeting with Cuero head coach Mark Reeve.
Reeve let Armstrong know playing on the Division I level required more than athletic ability.
“He used some words basically saying, ‘What are you doing?,’” Armstrong recalled. “He said, ‘Kingsville is one of the only places you can go,’ and within five minutes, he said, “I’m calling Kingsville right now and you’re going to sign and play college football.’”
Armstrong signed with A&M-Kingsville that afternoon and has never regretted his decision.
He earned four letters for the Javelinas, was selected as a first-team all-Lone Star Conference receiver three times, and won the Lone Star Conference Receiver of the Year Award in 2012.
Armstrong finished his A&M-Kingsville career with 2,826 receiving yards – second all-time in school history – and owns the school record with 33 touchdown receptions.
Armstrong was recently named to the Javelina Football All-Decade Team for the 2010 through 2019 seasons.
He was joined on the team by free safety Rockeem Collins from Gonzales.
“A lot of family and friends and ex-teammates that I played with have congratulated me,” Armstrong said. “It’s been almost 10 years since I played college football and to be semi-remembered is pretty cool.”
Armstrong not only had a successful football career at A&M-Kingsville, he also earned a degree with a major in sociology and a minor in criminal justice.
“The biggest adjustment was coming from a smaller town,” he said. “You’re in a college town with always something going on, on campus and you have Corpus right next door to you and nobody’s waking you up in the morning to go to class.
“What I tell kids now is the most prepared kids finish college not the smartest,” he added. “When you go to college, there’s going to be so many different things that entice you. If you go to college with the mindset that you’re going to play football and go to class and that’s all you’re going to do, it’s a cakewalk.”
Armstrong was invited to training camp with the Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers of the NFL and Saskatchewan Rough Riders of the CFL after completing his college career.
Cuero graduate Robert Armstrong calls a play at Gobbler Stadium for the youth football team he coaches. Armstrong was named to the Texas A&M-Kingsville @JavelinaFB all-decade team. pic.twitter.com/lJpHP0GK1v— Mike Forman (@mikeforman21) September 18, 2020
He played for the San Antonio Talons and Wichita Falls Nighthawks of Arena Football 1 before retiring from football in 2015.
Armstrong went to work for the DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office, and after becoming acquainted with Department of Public Safety Sgt. Mike Cantu, went to the DPS training academy and became a state trooper in 2017.
“It was a way for me to reach my community and try to change my community through law enforcement,” said Armstrong, who stays involved in football by coaching a youth league team. “I’m grateful for the chances I’ve gotten. I love what I do. It’s great work and it’s rewarding.”