Three-star quarterback Nick Robinson landed scholarship offers from Florida International University, Lafayette and San Diego. Instead, the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder from JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., could pass on those free rides to accept a preferred walk-on position at Notre Dame.
“I do have some scholarships to some other schools but there’s definitely something to be said about Notre Dame,” Robinson said. “It’s a special place. Ever since I was little I’ve been a big fan. My family has always been big supporters of Notre Dame.”
Robinson, who also has a walk-on opportunity at Georgia, grew up an Irish fan and gained more appreciation for the school when he visited South Bend for two games against Syracuse.
His uncle, Greg Robinson, coached the Orange from 2005-2008. That run included a loss in South Bend late in 2005 and an upset of the Irish in Robinson’s final season after he’d already been fired by the school. Nick remembers the respect his uncle showed Notre Dame despite those circumstances.
“I remember after the game he was being interviewed by NBC. Notre Dame’s alma mater was going on and he declined the interview and out of respect he made his players listen to the alma mater,” Robinson said. “This is a guy that was fired the week before and he just beat Notre Dame. You’d think it’s his one chance to step into the limelight and he chose to listen to the alma mater out of the respect he had for the school. That’s something that carried throughout my family.”
That respect and admiration is at the root of Robinson’s interest in walking on at Notre Dame instead of accepting full rides to other programs. He’ll make an official visit to South Bend on Jan. 23 and expects to make a final decision shortly after his final official visit to San Diego a week later.
Robinson has talked with both Irish quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur and linebackers coach Bob Elliott, both of whom recruit Southern California, and understands what he’d be up against if he accepts the walk-on offer.
“I talked with coach and he said there is nothing guaranteed,” Robinson said. “He said if you come to camp and you’re the best guy then the best guy will play.”
With the NCAA’s dead period ending later this week, Robinson is scheduled to split time between Georgia and Colorado State this weekend. He’ll begin a visit to Georgia on Friday. On Sunday he’ll head to Colorado State for a two-day official visit.
New Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo recruited Robinson to Georgia while serving as the Bulldogs offensive coordinator.
“I have a walk-on at Georgia but I was being recruited to Georgia by coach Bobo and he just took the job at Colorado State so I don’t know if that will be a scholarship or a walk-on,” Robinson said. “I’m going to Georgia and Colorado State this next weekend. I’m flying from Georgia to Denver on Sunday. We don’t have school this Monday so it’s perfect timing to hit both schools.”
As a senior, Robinson threw for more than 2,100 yards and 22 touchdowns to just three interceptions. He completed 59-percent of his passes, the most in Orange County, and shared the Trinity League MVP honors with UCLA commitment Josh Rosen.
“I’m not the flashiest of players,” Robinson said. “The things I think I do best are things you can’t measure. In the league that I played in I went against a bunch of big name guys. I was co-MVP of the Trinity League with Josh Rosen. I went against Blake Barnett this year. He was once committed to the Irish and chose to go elsewhere. A couple other guys are going to USC and Oregon. I feel like I can hang with all these guys. These guys, how highly recruited they were and how talented they are, I went against them all and I think every bit as capable as they are.”