SLB Robinson Looks For Early Playing Time

Here's to you, Keenan Robinson. The Texas 5A First-Team All-State and now Parade All-American SLB from Plano East could figure prominently in the Longhorn rotation next fall.

The injury-riddled Texas linebacking crew has been oft-criticized the past two seasons as the 'weak link' of the Longhorn defense, but help should be on the way in Keenan Robinson. The Four-Star standout, who also played TE, helped lead the Panthers to the Division I - Region Two Semifinals last December. Plano East finished with a 10-3 mark after coming up short in the third round to Spring Westfield, 31-27.

The Longhorn linebackers should receive a considerable boost with the healthy return of Roddrick Muckelroy, while Drew Kelson, Sergio Kindle and Jarded Norton are due for an injury-free season. Yet, there is reason to believe that Robinson, even as a true freshman, may be too good to keep off the field.

"Coach (Mack) Brown doesn't want me to redshirt," Robinson told Inside Texas, "but he said it's up to me. He said they would try to play me as early as they can. But if I feel like I'm not going to get important playing time, I would go ahead and redshirt."

Robison is a tall lanky prospect (6-3, 210) who expects to buff-up in Texas' strength program this season. Robison believes his greatest assets are his pass-coverage skills and speed, having shaved his time in the 40 to a 4.5. He was heavily recruited by Oklahoma and all the other usual suspects in the Big 12 Conference. Notre Dame, Alabama, Iowa and Ole Miss also expressed interest in Robinson.

"He's drawn comparisons to (Texas All-American) Derrick Johnson," said Plano East head coach Johnny Ringo. "Keenan is flattered by the comparison, but he knows he has a lot of work to get to that level."

The Nebraska-native also strongly considered the Cornhuskers before deciding for the Horns.

"Nebraska was kind of my first choice," he admits. ""When I visited Texas, I knew it was the place I wanted to go. My parents liked it. It kind of grew on me."

Robinson was one of Texas' first commits for the Class of 2007, giving Brown his verbal nearly one year ago during a Junior Days visit. He took no other official visits.

"Most of the other schools backed off from recruiting me after I stayed solid (to Texas) for so long," he said. "I didn't waver. I didn't even think about changing."

Longhorn coaches contact Robinson "about every other day. And they come to the school every once in a while." WR coach Bobby Kennedy is Robinson's recruiting coach and paid an in-house visit at Plano East just last week.

"The coaching staff works hard to make sure that all the players who commit stay committed," Robinson said. "They don't want you to take any other visits after you commit. If you do, I think they might pull your scholarship."

New Co-Defensive Coordinator Larry MacDuff contacted Robinson for the first time last Wednesday.

"It went pretty well," Robison said. "He seemed like a nice guy. He's coaching the linebackers, which is good. He's had some experience in the NFL."

Robinson, in the has already forged a bond with Dallas-area Longhorn recruits Tray Allen, John Chiles and Malcolm Williams.

"I know them real well."

Robinson, along with fellow Texas commits OL Tray Allen and DT Andre Jones, was named to the Parade All-American Team this past week.

Robinson will compete in the long-jump and triple-jump at Plano East this spring before enrolling at Texas this June for the first summer-session. He hopes to major in sports management.

"I want to come to Texas and learn the playbook," Robinson concluded. "I want to learn the plays right away to give me a better chance of playing earlier."

National Signing Date is set for February 7.


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