Robinson Has Terps Up Top

Maryland’s main position of need as it fills out its 2015 recruiting class remains the defensive line, and thus far only local tackle Keiron Howard (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.) is on board. But the Terps, at this time, could have the inside track on a New York-area defensive end they offered first -- before his offer list expanded into the double digits.

Maryland’s main position of need as it fills out its 2015 recruiting class remains the defensive line, and thus far only local tackle Keiron Howard (Potomac/Oxon Hill, Md.) is on board. But the Terps, at this time, could have the inside track on a New York-area defensive end they offered first -- before his offer list expanded into the double digits.

Trinity-Pawling (Pawling, N.Y.) edge rusher Austrian Robinson has talked up the Terps for several months now, and while in the past he’s hesitated to name any clear leaders or favorites, the 6-foot-5, 265-pounder felt good enough about Maryland to call them his No. 1 suitor.

“Maryland is my top choice right now. They’re my No. 1,” said Robinson, who holds verbals from the likes of Syracuse, Rutgers, Boston College, Kansas, UCF, Purdue, Pittsburgh, Virginia and others. “Like every day I’m in touch with Coach [Chad] Wilt and Coach [Lyndon] Johnson. They want me down there badly, and they need me there.

“Coach Johnson, he hits me up all the time and we have a really good relationship. He’s been recruiting me for a good while now, and we can talk about anything. And Coach Wilt, I love that guy’s energy and I feel like he’s the type of coach I want to play for. He knows a lot about defensive line play, and he can get me ready for college and the next level. I talk to him on Twitter and stuff, and he’s always on me, talking about how Maryland would be a great fit.”

Robinson wasn’t finished. He went on to describe his spring visit to College Park, Md., which apparently still resonates, while Maryland’s educational aspects, the chance to play Big Ten ball, and the opportunity to contribute early during his career all appeal as well.

“Getting a degree from Maryland, it means something. It’s a really good academic school, and that’s important to me,” Robinson said. “And I know they’re losing a few guys next year, so there’s a chance I can come in and play early. They need a bunch of D-linemen going into the Big Ten, and they need guys like me to come in and contribute. So that’s big for them.

“Then when I visited there, I just felt really comfortable. Coach [Randy] Edsall, Coach Johnson, Coach Wilt, they were all very welcoming. I liked being on campus and I liked how it was a similar environment to my high school now [at Trinity-Pawling]. It’s not as close as some schools, but it’s not too far from home either. They’re doing some big things there with the new facility, new dorms – it’s going to be nice.”

Robinson said he will attempt to revisit UMD this August, and after that he “definitely” wants to take an official visit to College Park either this fall or after his senior year.

In the meantime, though, Robinson will be checking out a few other schools. He hasn’t been able to take many summer trips due to his AAU basketball season (he plays for Team Scan), so he’ll try to cram as many visits in as he can this August.

“I was able to get out to Kansas because [Team Scan] played in a tournament down in Kansas City. That was really nice, and Kansas is a good school. They’ve been talking to me,” Robinson said. “But now that AAU is over I’ll be able to get to some more schools. In like two weeks I’ll be going to Pitt, Penn State, Syracuse and Temple definitely, and after that I’m trying to get back to Maryland and Boston College before the season starts. I’m planning to see games at Virginia and Michigan too since I probably won’t be able to visit [UVA and UM] this summer.”

The Trinity-Pawling product also has at least three official visits in mind. Besides UMD, he wants to experience Central Florida and Purdue.

“With Purdue, I really like the coaches and how they’ve been talking to me. I like the defense they run and how they’re in a great conference like the Big Ten like Maryland,” Robinson said. “And UCF, I like how that program is up-and-coming. They talk to me all the time, and I’ve been talking to some players there. It’s a great opportunity for me down there. And Maryland, like I said, they’re at the top of my list. Coach Johnson, Coach Wilt, they’re on me all the time. I’m definitely getting out to Maryland.”

Don’t misunderstand, Robison implored, those three officials don’t necessarily mean those are his top three suitors. Syracuse is still very much in play, Pittsburgh is in the game and he’s hoping PSU gets involved following his visit there.

“Syracuse is very high for me too. I have two teammates going there, and a lot of friends there. It’s pretty close to where I am in New York, and their coaches are in touch a good amount,” Robinson said. “Pitt, their coach came to my school twice and they’ve been trying to get me down there, so I’ll check them out. And Penn State, I’ve been talking to them since April, when they came out to my school. I’m heading out there for a visit and hopefully they offer at some point.”

Robinson does not plan to announce his college decision until after his senior season, following official visits, however. He said he’s well aware that some schools may fill up defensive line spots between now and then, but “if it happens it happens. I’m worried about what I can control. It is what it is, and I don’t want to rush anything. I’m focusing on my senior season and after that I’ll look at what options are available to me.”

Indeed, with AAU season over, Robinson is eager to get back in the weight room and enter full-bore football mode. He said basketball helped improve his conditioning and he still has much love for the hardwood, but “football is my game now and I’m ready to start.”

“I’ll be getting back in the weight room, getting my strength up and just getting ready for my senior year,” Robinson said. “Working on my footwork, my moves, my fundamentals – I’m ready to get at it.”

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