Robinson Set For UMD Official, Updates Status

Here is an update on Trinity-Pawling (Pawling, N.Y.) senior defensive end Austrian Robinson.

Trinity Pawling (Pawling, N.Y.) senior defensive end Austrian Robinson has completed his final high school football campaign, and now he’s readying for his last season on the hardwood as well. The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder was actually raised on basketball, and as late as his junior year at Trinity-Pawling he envisioned snaring his share of hoops scholarships.

Obviously it hasn’t worked out that way, which is just fine with Robinson, a three-star recruit with double-digit football offers, but the New York native admittedly will miss his first love.

“This could be my last year playing basketball before I’m all football at the next level, so I’m trying to have fun with it and just play my best this year,” Robinson said. “I’m excited for the season.”

Robinson, who is currently back home on Thanksgiving Break, is now in hoops mode, but he put his gridiron season into perspective. He said he had a solid senior year, recording close to double-digit sacks while averaging six or seven tackles per game.

“I feel I did really well, and improved every game. I watched film after every game, and I felt I picked up on something and did something better each time I took the field,” Robinson said. “I felt I really helped the team this year with how I played, and also being more of a leader this year.

“Definitely I did a good job rushing the passer and changing the quarterback’s vision, and shedding blocks. I played strongside this year and I felt I did a good job tackling and getting into the backfield. But I feel I need to work on using my hands more and keeping my pads low.”

In terms of recruiting, Robinson recently added a significant offer from Penn State, while he’s been in close contact with assistants from Virginia Tech and Ohio State. He believes the latter two could come through with late offers sometime in the next month.

“I talk to both a good bit, and I think they might offer but I’m not sure yet,” Robinson said. “Those are two really good schools with good defenses, so I think I might check them out if they did offer. But I don’t know yet. I’d probably try to get [to both of them], but I’d have to see with everything else I have going on.”

“Everything else” is in reference to the main four or five programs he’s concentrating on, and the four official visits he has coming up. After taking in Penn State Nov. 29 for its game against Michigan State, Robinson plans to be at Maryland Dec. 6-8, Ole Miss Jan. 25 and Miami and UCF at some point in late December/January. He has already taken an official to Purdue, but the Boilermakers are not thought to be a serious contender.

The Trinity-Pawling product had been claiming the Terps as his top suitor ever since trekking to College Park, Md., during the summer. And even with the recent developments in his recruitment (read: PSU offer), that’s apparently still the case.

“Maryland is definitely still the top school, it’s still up there for me,” Robinson said. “I’m just continuing to talk to them, and then seeing what happens after I visit [Maryland] and then after I see some of these other schools I’m checking out.”

Robinson said he’s remained in close contact with his Terps area recruiter, Lyndon Johnson, as well as defensive line coach Chad Wilt. Both, according to the Trinity-Pawling end, have been harping on how Robinson could excel athletically and would have plenty of help academically should he attend school in College Park.

“They keep telling me to stay in contact, and how they want me there. They tell me how the team is doing, ask how I’m doing, and make sure I know how bad they want me there,” Robinson said of UMD. “Coach Wilt, he’s a really energetic coach, and a good guy, and he tells me how he can help me develop as a player and how good of a fit I’d be there.

“And Coach Johnson, he says the same thing. He’s always talking to me on-line and stuff, and he came up to my school to see [my coaches]. He talks about the impact I could have there and how Maryland would be great for me as a student and as a player.”

Robinson went on to laud Maryland’s campus and its location in respect to his New York home.

“I loved the campus and area when I visited there in the summer, and where it is is perfect,” Robinson said. “My mom, she can see my games, and I have family in Delaware too, so it’s a great opportunity for them to see me. And it’s right near D.C. and Baltimore is right there too, so I love that.

“It could be a really great fit for me. I’d have a chance to play early there, because I know they’re losing a lot of D-linemen.”

The senior edge rusher has taken note of how the Terps have performed on the field this year as well. He saw UMD’s road victory at Penn State on TV, and heard all about Maryland’s most recent win at Michigan in the Big House.

“I didn’t get to watch the Michigan game, but that was another big win for Maryland. They’re really moving up and doing something in the Big Ten this year,” Robinson said. “They’re going to a bowl game, and I think [UMD] has a really bright future if they keep bringing in the right guys.”

Robinson was supposed to take his College Park official Dec. 5-7, but he has SATs on Dec. 6, so he’ll be driving down with his family directly after the test. He already got a good feel for the campus the last time he was in the Old Line State, but Robinson wants to make sure he’s comfortable around the players while gaining more insight into the program’s inner workings.

“I just want to make sure I’m good with all the guys and see what they have to say about [Maryland],” Robinson said. “Then just seeing more of the classes, the atmosphere and talking to all the coaches again. I’m looking forward to it.

“One thing on all these officials I want to see is just how comfortable I am being away from home. Like with Ole Miss, when I go there it’s far away [from New York], so I have to think about what it will be like not being able to go home as much and my mom not being able to see a lot of my games. But then you have a place like Maryland, it’s closer to home, and I know it’s a good fit education-wise and with football too. So those are some things I’m thinking about.”

If distance is truly that much of a factor, then Maryland and Penn State would seem like Robinson’s two most ideal suitors. And Robinson did acknowledge the Nittany Lions’ offer was “really big” for him. He had long coveted a Penn State offer and was admittedly thrilled when head coach James Franklin pulled through.

“I had been talking to the Penn State coaches forever and we ere talking talking, talking, and they finally offered,” said Robinson, who mentioned that the PSU scholarship was a potential game-changer. “It was something, and I was real happy it finally happened. It was a real big one for me.

“So now I’m just talking to the coaches, and I’ll go up to their game against Michigan State to see what it’s like. I’ve never been there before, so I want to see the atmosphere and meet the coaches in person, and just get to know them more. Right now, yeah, [the PSU offer] is big, and it looks good, but I’ll know more after I visit.”

Robinson is unsure when he’ll be selecting a school, but said it would probably be sometime in late January or right around Signing Day. He said he wants to take the rest of his official visits before hacking through the pros and cons of each final suitor.

“I’m not rushing,” Robinson said. “I’ve got to take these visits and see what happens after that.”

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