Here's to You Mr. Robinson

Antonio Robinson may not be high on UT's list of wide receiver prospects for the Class of 2006, but he's heads above most that are rated ahead of him.

Listed at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, the long, lean South Pittsburg High School product demonstrated at UT's senior camp last Saturday how stretching a defense vertically can be as effective as stretching it horizontally. In passing drills featuring the QB, DBs and receivers, he repeated used his height and reach to haul down passes over smaller defenders that otherwise had him covered.

Robinson's strong showing followed an impressive appearance at Alabama's football camp two weeks ago and gave another boost to his rapidly rising stock. Before that he wasn't on the recruiting radar screen much less any Division I prospect boards. He's still awaiting his first offer, but based on his performances in Tuscaloosa and Knoxville that could be changing soon.

As a junior, Robinson caught 40 passes for 950 yards and 10 touchdowns. That's an average of 23.75 yards and one TD per catch. His efforts netted him Region Player of the Year honors and he was named to the all area second-team. However it didn't have college scouts beating a path to his door.

"Where I am from it's hard to get recognition," Robinson told Scout.com's Andrew Bone after the Crimson Tide camp. "I knew I needed to come to a big-time camp to get my name out there. I felt like I did good. I missed a couple of balls that I should have caught. Overall I think I had a really good day."

Robinson was equally enthusiastic after his exhibition at UT and is anticipating offers from the Vols as well as Alabama. He's also hoping for an offer from Georgia which is currently his favorite.

"My dad has always loved Alabama," he told Bone. "He would love it if I went there. It would be great to go to any SEC program. Alabama would be a really good school to go to. There is a lot of tradition down there. My top two schools are Tennessee and Georgia. Georgia is my top choice."

Not one to rest on his recent laurels, Robinson is out to enhance his options by improving his skills. He is training at Competitive Edge Sports in Georgia in an effort to reduce his speed from a respectable 4.7 seconds over 40 yards. He already has a 31-inch vertical which combined with his exceptionally long reach gives him a significant advantage over most defensive backs. He also has good hands, runs solid routes and uses his body well to shield opponents from the ball.

While Georgia has an early edge for Robinson's services that lead could disappear with increased interest from UT. The cousin of former Vol Eddie Moore and the nephew of former Vol Tyrone Robinson, Antonio has a strong family connection to Tennessee that may be hard to overcome.

Wherever he ends up Antonio Robinson could turn out to be quite a catch.


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