Trinity-Pawling (Pawling, N.Y.) defensive end Austrian Robinson caused quite a stir Jan. 5 when he announced Ohio State had extended a late offer one month before National Signing Day. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound three-star previously held scholarships from the likes of Maryland, Miami, Purdue, Boston College, Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, Virginia and UCF, so an offer from a program about to compete for the national championship certainly opened some eyes.
Not the least of which Robinson’s.
“I was kind of surprised, but honestly I’ve been talking to Coach [Larry] Johnson for a good minute now. Like since around Thanksgiving Ohio State has been showing a lot of interest, and I basically had an offer from them since then,” Robinson said. “But when I talked to Coach Johnson [Jan. 4], I was excited; it was a real good offer to get. Coach Johnson was just telling me to come in there, prove yourself and I could really be a great player there.
“He said I still have a lot to learn since I’ve only been playing football for a few years, but he thinks he can really help me and develop me. Coach Johnson is a great defensive line coach, so he’d be a great guy to learn from.”
Robinson said he’s seriously considering taking an official to Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 30, the only open weekend left on his schedule. The New York edge rusher has already officially visited Purdue and Maryland, and has Miami scheduled for Jan. 16 and Ole Miss (no firm offer yet) for Jan. 23.
“I’m thinking about Jan. 30 [for OSU]. We’re talking about it now, getting it all finalized,” Robinson said. “I want to get up there and see the school myself. I know it’s great academics and they have a winning attitude there. Urban Meyer is a great coach, and they’re about to play for a national championship. So it’s a great opportunity for me.”
But while Robinson is intrigued about the possibility of being a Buckeye, he’s standing by his longtime favorite: Maryland. The Terps, who have been recruiting Robinson for close to a year now, have plenty going for them heading into the home stretch. UMD's staff is selling early playing time with three starters graduating, a chance to play just a couple hours from his mother in New York, a standout education with numerous internship opportunities (Robison wants to major in either communications or criminal justice), and a chance to compete in the Big Ten.
“Maryland is definitely still No. 1,” Robison said. “They were my very first offer, and everything they have going on there fits. It’s really good academics, they need defensive linemen like me to step in and help them, and they did real good in the Big Ten this year. I like the way they play on defense, and I like Coach [Chad] Wilt and what he does with the defensive linemen.”
Even before he took an official to College Park, Md., Dec. 6, Robinson held UMD in high regard, rating a summer campus visit a “10 out of 10” and then declaring the Terps the team to beat in late July.
He’s had a longstanding relationship with area recruiter Lyndon Johnson, as well as defensive line coach Chad Wilt. Not to mention both he and his mother have connected with head coach Randy Edsall, appreciating his emphasis on hard work, character and education. Edsall and Johnson both visited Robinson’s family in-home during the open recruiting period, and then left an even greater impression during the early-December official.
“Coach Johnson, Coach Wilt, they’ve both been on me forever,” Johnson said. “I talk to those guys all the time, and I have a great relationship with them. They tell me how much they want me, and they’re real with you. And, like, Coach Edsall, he says he likes me as a player and as a person, and how I’d really fit well there. My mom liked Coach Edsall a lot too. I’m comfortable with all the coaches there.”
Speaking of comfort levels, Robinson said he meshed well with host Jesse Aniebonam and the current Terps during his official. He called College Park a “welcoming atmosphere” and said he’d fit well on campus.
“All the players there, I bonded with them really well, and I’ve been talking to some of them since [the official],” Robinson said. “They told me how it was at Maryland and made me feel like I was already part of the team.”
UMD may remain No. 1, but the Terps will have to weather three intended officials this January. Miami is considered a prime contender and could be a legitimate threat to Maryland. Meanwhile, Robinson said Ole Miss is actually his No. 2, right behind Maryland.
“Miami, it’s like Ohio State with their winning tradition. I have a great relationship with the position coach there, and now I just have to go down there and see what they’re about,” Robinson said. “And Ole Miss, that’s like right behind Maryland for me. I have a bunch of friends that go there, it’s an SEC school, and the coaching staff is great. I’m pretty comfortable with them and have been talking to them for a long time now.”
OSU now seems to be firmly in play as well, but it remains to be seen how hard Urban Meyer will actually push with other elite defensive line targets on their board. If the Buckeyes land or flip a top recruit or two, Robinson may not have a committable offer by the time his Jan. 30 official rolls around.
The same could be said for Ole Miss, which may or may not actually have a firm scholarship out to the Trinity-Pawling product.
“I realize that’s part of the process, and I know what happens if other recruits commit and spots fill up,” Robinson said. “But I can’t really think about that stuff. I can’t really concern myself with those things and look into all that. I’m just going to do my thing and what’s best for me.”
Robinson plans on selecting his school Feb. 1, three days before National Signing Day. He doesn’t intend to commit any earlier at this time.
“I want to commit right when I’m done these next three visits,” Robinson said. “I want to take all three trips to make sure I’m making the right decision, and then I’ll make my decision right after that last one on February 1.”
DE Excited Over OSU Offer But MD Still Up Top
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