Malik Robinson received unexpected news last week when his coach informed him of a phone call they were going to place to northern Indiana.
The three-star linebacker of Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett soon learned he was being offered by Notre Dame.
“I was very surprised,” Robinson said. “The offer came out of nowhere. My high school coach told me the day before that he had some good news for me and that we were going to make a phone call the next day. That’s when we talked to coach (Brian) VanGorder and coach (Mike) Elston, and they offered me.
“They told me about Notre Dame football and the athletics there and some of the history of the program. They were asking me about my academics and told me how I would fit into the program.”
VanGorder and Elston pitched the opportunity to play the same position occupied by former Irish All-American linebacker Jaylon Smith.
“They like me at inside linebacker,” Robinson said. “They said I would play where Jaylon Smith played and I have a high motor like him. That’s pretty awesome.”
The Irish have already made an impression on Robinson, even if he’s just getting to know Notre Dame.
“They are a leader, I have a lot of interest in Notre Dame,” Robinson said. “I don’t know first or last (schools) right now, but Notre Dame is a leader. They’re a great football team.”
Robinson listed Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech as programs he’s hearing from most frequently. Of those schools, the Tar Heels and Hokies have offered.
“I want a family feel and somewhere that I can see myself playing for the next four years,” Robinson said.
Robinson has taken visits this month to North Carolina and South Carolina, and he plans to visit Alabama on Feb. 26. A visit to Notre Dame this spring or summer is in the works.
“I want to make it up to Notre Dame for the spring game in April, too,” Robinson said. “That or for Irish Invasion.”
Robinson had 101 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, two sacks, one interception, one blocked field goal and two touchdowns as a junior.
“I had one fumble recovery and ran that in for a touchdown,” Robinson said. “The other was a pass I caught playing tight end. I played offense only when the game plan called for it but I enjoy it.”