The paradigm shift in Michigan wide receiver recruiting has been one of the more interesting developments during Rich Rodriguez’s short tenure as head coach. While the Wolverines will clearly still target the six-foot-and-over and over playmakers that have come to define the position in Ann Arbor for the past 15+ years, there is now room for the sub-six-foot as well
The most prevalent youngster of this ilk to have emerged in recent weeks is Houston (TX) Klein Oak athlete Terrence Robinson. His interest in the Wolverines was a new and unexpected occurrence.
“They just started to get on me once they got to Michigan,” Robinson said regarding the new staff. “It’s mainly because West Virginia doesn’t recruit out of Texas. That’s when I really started to look at them.”
Part of what makes Robinson such a hot prospect this late in the recruiting season is his versatility. A few of his suitors envision him fulfilling different needs.
“I started at quarterback for my high school,” he said. “I also played running back and receiver. Boston College is recruiting me as a running back and Michigan is recruiting me as a slot receiver. I pretty much always looked at it like, if I go in and prove myself… prove to the coaches that I can make plays with the ball either at running back or the receiver position… at that level the best player gets on the field. If I do my job, I should get the ball. So it’s not really a matter of do I want to play this position or do I want to play that position. I feel 100% comfortable at both.”
Robinson’s mention of Michigan and Boston College gave the impression that those two programs were out front in the race for his services. When asked about that, he did little to dispel the notion.
“I would have to say so,” Robinson said regarding whether the Wolverines and Eagles had recently emerged as his leaders. “Also Wake Forest. I had them in my top (group). Really it’s a process of elimination and the main thing is coming down to one school.”
Michigan got the opportunity to show Robinson exactly what they are about when he made his way to Ann Arbor for an official visit last weekend. Needless to say, the Texas speedster came away extremely impressed.
“Being around Coach Mike (Barwis) was definitely a different experience than the past places that I’ve visited,” Robinson admitted. “He is a great coach at what he does. He did a phenomenal job at presenting what he does with the training by showing some examples. They also had a very well planned out presentation of the academics and the viewing of the campus. We also got to hang out with some of the players. I already knew some of the players that were from Houston. Basically they said they liked the place and what it had to offer… not only on the football side, but the degree it carries as well. They talked about the academic support they get, that it’s a big football town, and other things like that.”
The Texas contingent of Wolverines already in Ann Arbor weren’t the only ones to get into the recruiting act. Sam McGuffie also added voice to the effort to lure Robinson to Michigan.
“I talked to (McGuffie) while I was up there,” Robinson recalled. “Basically he was just telling me to come on up and that speed kills because we’re both pretty fast. I kind of look at myself as a Percy Harvin type. Neither one of us has extreme size but we’re both very quick and fast. My height is 5-9.5 and I weigh 170. The last time I ran a forty yard dash I ran a 4.33. In the 100m, last year I ran a 10.44.”
With all of his trips now behind him, Robinson is now focused on hosting his last in-home visits so he can settle in on a choice. As it turns out, though, any conversations concerning his recruitment at this point might just be a formality.
“Coach (Fred) Jackson came last week,” Robinson said recalling his recent visit with Michigan’s running backs coach. “Him and Coach Rodriguez are coming (Tuesday) on an in-home visit. Boston College was here a couple weeks ago.”
“The main thing for me and my family is opportunity to graduate and the
support that they have for their players to graduate,” he continued, explaining
the criteria for his choice. “You don’t want to go somewhere where
there are not good alumni or you just go there for four years and don’t
really get anything out of it on the academic side. Then you come out there
and you don’t have a good job. So I would have to say the main thing would
be on the academic front."
As far as which school will come out on top, he said: "I pretty much have my mind made up already. I just have a little bit more evaluating to do. I was offered a thing Sunday on TV where I am officially going to make my announcement.”
Robinson indicated that he plans to announce his decision on the same show
in which Sam McGuffie and Darryl Stonum announced their commitments to Michigan.