Robinson Jumps on Penn State Offer

The Florida defensive back has yet to visit campus. But that did not prevent him from picking the Nittany Lions.

Florida defensive back Neiko Robinson transferred to Northview High partly to reunite with teammates from his youth and partly to get more exposure to college recruiters.

It only took two months for that transfer to create more visibility and it paid off in a big way. Robinson landed an offer from Penn State last Friday and wasted no time committing to the Nittany Lions, doing so Sunday.

PSU defensive coordinator Ted Roof stopped by his school twice during the spring evaluation period.

“Coach Roof visited twice when he was down here, and we talked a couple times by phone,” Robinson said. “I called him to just stay in touch with him. Penn State is kind of a dream school for me. Even though I haven't visited yet, I knew it was a place I wanted to go.”

Robinson is the ninth commitment for Penn State's Class of 2013. He told FOS he is 6-foot, 170 pounds.

Robinson played his junior season at Flomaton (Ala.) High, which is only a few miles from where Northview is located (Century, Fla.).

“I was supposed to go to Northview (previously) -- that's the district I live in and the one all my teammates from pee-wees live in,” Robinson said. “I wasn't getting a lot of exposure at my old school, and I needed more of that.”

So Robinson and his twin brother Neino made the move to Northview in the spring. Neiko said the adjustment is going well.

“We did a lot of scrimmaging and drills in the spring, and I love being back with all my friends,” Robinson said.

So why does a prospect from a state that hasn't sent a player to University Park since 2001 consider Penn State a dream school? Robinson said it was a combination of the old staff and the new one.

“The thing that stands out to me is the history at Penn State,” he explained. “Coach Joe Paterno was a great coach, and to be able to play on the same field he coached on -- in the same stadium he was in, nobody from my town has ever done anything like that -- and it's amazing to me,” Robinson said. “The whole thing, I could never dream of anything like it. I still think I'm dreaming.”

But more than Paterno's legacy stand out.

“The coaches they have there now are just amazing,” Robinson said. “Coach O'Brien coached under Bill Belichick, and I'm amazed by that because we just don't see that around here. Then you have Coach Roof, who won a national championship at Auburn and was around Cam Newton.

“They are trying to build a great program and I want to be apart of something new at Penn State, because it's not what it used to be,” he added. “I want to be part of what's upcoming because I feel like we are going to be a great team.”

Robinson says his recruitment by Penn State began when the Northview staff sent his film to the school. He believes his physical style stood out to the Nittany Lion coaches.

“I love to hit, I think I set a tone with the way I hit,” Robinson said. “I just like to tackle. Contact is fun and it definitely gives you and the team some adrenalin.”

His speed is also a factor, he said. He ran a 4.51 40 the last time he was clocked. But that was back when he was a freshman. Robinson has not attended many camps. Penn State wanted him to make the trek to last Saturday's Advanced Skills Camp, but the distance involved made that a problem.

He'd like to make it to University Park in the fall if not earlier.

“I hope to get up there soon, because all I've seen so far is pictures, and I want to experience it for myself,” Robinson said.

Fight On State Top Stories