Janarius Robinson isn’t afraid to tell you where his allegiance lies.
The four-star defensive end has been committed to Florida State since September of last year and said he has no plans of changing that any time soon. But Robinson does want to make sure he vets all his options before making that commitment official, so he made the trip up from his hometown of Panama City to check out Tennessee’s Orange and White Game Saturday.
Defensive line coach Steven Stripling is the No. 3 ranked Florida defensive end’s main recruiter, but Robinson was able to speak with almost everyone on the coaching staff during his visit over the weekend.
“He’s a cool dude. I like him,” Robinson said of Stripling. “The coaches here are pretty cool. I like how they click together.”
Butch Jones and his staff have pieced together consecutive back-to-back Top 5 recruiting classes in a rebuilding effort that some fans and analysts believe is ahead of schedule. Robinson hasn’t been able to really see that program-changing development, however, since his focus has mainly been on the Seminoles since he gave them a verbal commitment last season.
“Two years ago I really wasn’t watching Tennessee like that. I wouldn’t be able to tell you (about the rise in talent),” he said. “That’s kind of hard to say. I really don’t know too many players here.”
The 6-5, 246-pound rising senior was paying attention Saturday, though, telling InsideTennessee how impressed he was with the environment of the spring game and the 63,016 announced fans who braved the weather predictions that called for thunderstorms, lightning and hail to watch the Vols scrimmage.
“A lot of fans, a lot of love,” Robinson said. “The fans show a lot of support here.”
The visit wasn’t enough to make him re-open his recruitment or vault Tennessee into consideration, but it did make him appreciate what Jones has brewing in Knoxville. Scout’s No. 57 ranked overall defensive end will continue to visit other schools leading up to his senior season.
“I’m still committed (to Florida State). I’m just doing all my options, taking visits,” he said. “To me, I feel like the (Tennessee) program is on the rise. I just feel like since the coaching change two years ago that they’re still in the building process.”