Lions & Tigers Join Hunt for Robinson

Penn State and Clemson both stepped up their respective recruitment's of the Virginia defensive back Thursday. He talks about both programs.

Robbie Robinson picked up a pair of offers Thursday. Each came as a surprise.

The Hampton, Va., Phoebus Class of 2016 corner received verbal offers from Penn State and Clemson, bringing his count to eight heading into his junior season.

"They sent me mail before, and I talked to [former Penn State safeties] Coach [Anthony] Midget," Robinson said. "I hadn't talked to the new staff, but [receivers] Coach [Josh] Gattis followed me on Twitter recently.

"I sent him my tape, and he said he loved it."

Robinson returned seven kicks for touchdowns last fall. Similar to his lightening-quick speed on the field, the Lions wasted no time getting back to him.

"I talked to Coach Gattis, and it was kind of a surprise that they offered me," Robinson said. "It's a great feeling knowing that the coach took time out of his day, when he's recruiting all over the nation, to watch my film and offer me.

"He said they like me as a player as a whole, and not just a corner. He said I can be a factor in the return game, and that I'm a play maker."

Despite being a couple states away, Robinson said he knows plenty about the Lions. He credits it to a friend that briefly lived in State College before moving back to Virginia.

Their friendship was strong, leading the corner to take more than one visit to see him in Pennsylvania. It was on those trips he developed an understanding for the Lions' program.

"I know a lot about Penn State," Robinson said. "I've liked them since [the trips]. They always had a big fan base, a big stadium — one of biggest in college football — and the atmosphere is great."

As for the Tigers, the 5-foot-9, 165-pounder has long been in contact with defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Yet, it was defensive backs coach Mike Reed who the sophomore spoke with Thursday to learn the program was offering.

"It was a big deal," Robinson said of the offer. "Clemson is one of the biggest ACC schools. I remember when Tajh Boyd was the quarterback [at Phoebus] and he signed [with Clemson]. I've been watching ever since.

"I know they had [former Clemson receiver] Sammy Watkins, and he's one of my favorite college football players ever.

"For them to give me that kind of opportunity at such a young age means a lot."

Robinson will visit Clemson April 18-19, and is also planning an ambitious spring and summer that ideally would include stops at Penn State, Virginia, Ohio State, North Carolina State and Wisconsin.

He's long planned to visit the Tigers, though, thanks to the relationship he's built with Venables.

"I just love the energy he brings to the team," Robinson said. "He wants me as a player and is interested in me, and that means a lot."

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