Decision day is nearing for Trinity-Pawling (Pawling, N.Y.) defensive end Austrian Robinson. The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder currently has two main standouts, Maryland and Ole Miss, with a third, Miami running a close third.
“Maryland and Ole Miss are the top two. Miami is like third, but it’s Maryland and Ole Miss,” said Robinson, who holds offers from the likes of UMD, Miami, Ole Miss, Boston College, Rutgers, Kansas, Purdue, Connecticut, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Temple, UCF, Penn State (not committable) and Ohio State (not committable). “Right now, I’m thinking I’m going to make my choice on Signing Day [Feb. 4], but I’m not completely sold on that yet. It could be sooner depending on how things go, but I think I’m going to [announce] something at my school on Signing Day. We’ll see how it goes.”
Robinson was originally supposed to officially visit a fourth potential suitor, Ohio State, Jan. 30-Feb. 1, but the Buckeyes backed away, leaving the New York prospect with no school to see during the final weekend before Signing Day. Instead, Robinson said he’ll return to his mother’s home in New York to “talk things over.”
Robinson’s mother accompanied him to both College Park, Md., for his Dec. 6 official visit to Maryland and to University, Miss., for his Jan. 23 trip to Mississippi.
“My mom really liked both schools. She liked Ole Miss a lot, and she liked Maryland a lot too,” said Robinson, who officially visited Miami Jan. 16 and Purdue Sept. 19. “But she’ll support me wherever I go. She wants me to go where I’m most comfortable, where I’ll have the best chance and where I fit in best. She’s not pressuring me. I’m going to sit down with her [Jan. 31] to talk everything out, then I’ll make my decision after that, either that day [Jan. 31 or Feb. 1] or on Signing Day.”
While Ole Miss has seemingly made a late charge (it’s still uncertain whether or not the Rebels have a committable offer out to Robinson), the Terps have long held appeal. Robinson declared UMD his No. 1 suitor following a summer campus visit, and has kept Maryland in the pole position even as he acquired offers from the likes of Penn State and Ohio State. His Dec. 6 official to College Park, followed by an in-home visit with UMD head coach Randy Edsall, only helped solidify his feelings.
Not to mention Robinson has had consistent contact with Terps area recruiter Lyndon Johnson and defensive line coach Chad Wilt, the duo making one last push with the defensive end when they trekked to Trinity-Pawling Jan. 29.
“The visit went real good, real good,” Robinson said. “I know Coach Johnson and Coach Wilt very well, and it was good to see them again. I know they both really want me there, and I know they need me there [at Maryland].
“I talk to Coach Johnson like every day now on Twitter and stuff. He’s real cool with me and I’m real comfortable with him. And Coach Wilt, it’s the same thing. He’s just so cool and he’s really energetic. He’s definitely someone I can see myself learning from. Those guys, they tell me I can play right away, and they believe I can do big things there.”
In addition to Johnson and Wilt, Robinson lauded Edsall, while saying he’s exchanged numerous texts and Tweets with current Terps and current Terps commits alike. He specifically mentioned class of 2015 defensive tackle and potential teammate Adam McLean (Quince Orchard/Gaithersburg, Md.) as someone who’s in his ear.
“Adam, he’s just telling me he really wants to play next to me. He tells me how we can come in as freshmen and make an impact right away,” Robinson said. “So he’s been on me about Maryland.”
Robinson mentioned Maryland’s Big Ten affiliation, his comfort level on campus and the Terps’ academic support as three more reasons he’s considering UMD.
But should Ole Miss make a push -- and the Rebels were supposed to send coaches to see Robinson this week – the SEC school would have a good shot at prying the edge rusher out of New York. Robinson raved about his recent official visit to University, Miss., and said the Rebels’ coaches “are on me.”
“Ole Miss was great. The players there were very welcoming, and the coaches, they were telling me how they feel like I can come in there and play,” Robinson said. “I know they’re losing some [defensive linemen] and they need guys to come in and play. And just talking to [the Ole Miss staff], I know they can help me get better too. So it would be a good opportunity for me.”
Robinson said he’d choose the school that puts him “in the best situation to succeed as a football player and a student.”
Speaking of “best situation to succeed,” Robinson may actually project better as an offensive tackle in college. He did some of his best work on offense this year, although Robinson said all of his college looks have come at defensive end.
“I’m looking to play defense in college,” said Robinson, who primarily played basketball until trying his hand at the gridiron game in the ninth grade. “I know I still have things to work on, because I’ve only been playing for a few years, but I believe in the right system I can do real good and develop as a defensive end.”
Terps Make One Last Push For Robinson
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