Devonte Robinson had long eyed a schedule that included a strong focus on his last year of prep football, and in order to do that he wanted to have his college choice completed before practice began. As he weighed the options in front of him, which included more than a dozen scholarship offers, one school kept coming up to the top.
"The coaches were a real strong point," he said as he began listing the reasons that WVU earned his nod. "I talked with them and called them a lot, and we built some really strong relationships. Then there was the academics – I know that without academics there would be no football, so that is very important to me. The style of offense they are implementing was important, too. That fits me and my style of play."
Among the coaching ties Robinson built, the strongest was with his recruiting coach, Robert Gillespie.
"Coach Gillespie and I have a very strong relationship," he elaborated. "He came down and saw my spring game, and even though we lost, he told me to keep my focus and stay hungry. I call him up often and talk to him a lot."
Gillespie forged the bonds with Robinson without the benefit of any ties to West Virginia, as Robinson said he didn't know anyone at the school or a great deal about it before Gillespie began recruiting him. However, Gillespie's natural rapport with young players, and his familiarity with the Florida recruiting scene, helped West Virginia get its first player from Delray Beach since 2000, when it nabbed Lance Frazier from the South Florida city.
Once Robinson identified WVU as his leader, he discussed it with his mother and cousin, Jeffrey Blanchard, who as a former running back at Florida Atlantic. All agreed on the choice, so Robinson decided to make his decision known, even though he has not yet visited campus.
"I will make a visit during the season and check out the atmosphere and everything around the games," he said.
Robinson, who will be an outside receiver at WVU, is now turning his attention to his upcoming senior season.
"I need to pick up some strength, so I am going to stay in the weight room. I want to get 1,500 yards receiving and score 15 touchdowns, but all of that is part of helping my team to win," he noted. "That's the most important thing. I need to keep my focus on that. Just like every team, we want to win a championship, and we have been preparing really hard for that. We've been doing workouts and 7-on-7, and getting ready for the season."