December 16, 2007

ASU moves to forefront for Robinson following trip

Arizona State took a giant leap forward over the weekend in what is quickly becoming a three-team race for the services of Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton star Gerell Robinson, the No. 1 ranked prospect in Arizona and a Top-50 recruit nationally. Following the trip, Robinson informed that the Sun Devils are a more serious contender than ever.

"I spent a lot of time with the coaching staff and everyone else there and had a good time," Robinson said. "To be honest, before I even went there, ASU was in my top three but it wasn't on the forefront of my mind. I wasn't thinking ASU was a top choice of mine. But it definitely is now. I definitely like what I saw. I got to hang out there and really see what the program and players were about and it was a good thing."

Robinson has been a regular at ASU games this season, and he attended a number of practices during fall camp. As a result, he already had a solid familiarity with the campus and facilities. But it was the opportunity to spend more time with the coaches that led to the visit being such a success.

"All of them are real good guys but for the most part," Robinson said of the ASU staff. "Coach (Eric) Yarber and Coach (Dennis) Erickson, were the ones that made a big difference with me and my family. It wasn't so much they said but the fact that they had been there, done that and he knows what he's doing. My mom had a great feel for him. She's so confident about what he does and what he said. He said this is a program that can get me to the next level and I can come in and make an impact right away."

While on Erickson's staff at Oregon state, Yarber mentored two of the game's top receivers, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houschmandzadeh. That is something Robinson said will factor into his eventual decision.

"Coach Yarber said I can be a big, fast, bullish receiver with a big body like Terrell (Owens)," Robinson said. "He said I have genetics on my side and I can have big strong muscle if I get in the weight room and lift and have that NFL type body because I'm big, fast and have the frame. He just sees me having that potential.

"That matters a lot. For them to be able to show they've coached some of the guys that are bigtime in the NFL, it shows they know what they're doing and what they're teaching. They can back up what they're saying and it commands the respect of their players."

The 6-foot-4 210 pound Robinson has had a circuitous journey to this point in the recruiting process. He originally committed to the University of Arizona as a quarterback prospect in November of 2006, while still finishing his junior season. Then, in September of this year, he de-committed from the school, citing his desire to play wide receiver in college.

After re-opening the recruiting process, Robinson took several official visits, and he is now focused on just three programs.

"I'd say it's really between Oregon, Notre Dame and ASU," Robinson said. "Before I took this visit, I wasn't thinking ASU too much because I really wasn't too high on ASU because of the (Dirk) Koetter-era and everything else, but I just took a trip there for a heck of it and sure enough I ended up really liking it."

Robinson plans to make his decision public at the US. Army All-American Bowl, which is being broadcast live on NBC January 5th at 11 a.m. Arizona-time. is the official online partner of the game.

"I plan to sit down with my dad and mom and talk it out and write out a list of pros and cons and see where the best fit for me to get on the field the quickest and have the biggest impact and be the most comfortable and try to make the best decision from there," Robinson said. "Going into the Army game, I'll know where I'm going but I'll probably announce there. My family members will know and I'll know where I'm going before I go to San Antonio but that's probably where I'll announce it to everyone."

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