A seismic shift in the high-profile recruitment of Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic running back Bijan Robinson occurred over the weekend, as Bill Kurelic of 247Sports reported on Sunday morning that the Ohio State Buckeyes staff was informed that Robinson is no longer favoring the Buckeyes.
“Bijan Robinson was planning to be a Buckeye,” Kurelic said on the Bucknuts Morning Five podcast. “There’s not a whole lot of question about that... but this is recruiting and things change in recruiting.”
So head coach Ryan Day and his staff only have a “small chance” of Robinson committing to the Buckeyes when he makes his decision on Friday via Instagram, even though Ohio State was the runaway favorite for the consensus five-star running back since he visited Columbus in June.
The news is all the more surprising because it looked as if Robinson was set to play college football with his high school teammate Lathan Ransom, a talented safety who considered Texas before committing to Ohio State two weeks ago.
Now it looks as if the Longhorns are the favorite in the final hours before Robinson announces, a position that Texas was in before the visit to Columbus represented the last major shift in his recruitment.
The second visit to Austin for the 6’0, 200-pounder coincided with Robinson reportedly naming Texas his leader during an Instragram Live video back in June.
Given the deep ties of offensive coordinator Tim Beck to the state of Arizona, it would be somewhat surprising if another school can beat out the Longhorns, though Robinson did take an official visit to Los Angeles to see the Trojans between his trips to Columbus and Austin.
So if Robinson doesn’t pick Texas on Friday, USC is the other contender — and a serious one at that, according to some people with whom Kurelic spoke — but at this point, it appears that the Longhorns have a tremendous opportunity to close with Robinson and allow running backs coach Stan Drayton to re-write the narrative about his recruiting ability.
At least until the pressure mounts for the Horns to land a running back or two in the 2021 class.
The caveat is that while there are some 247Sports Crystal Ball picks for Robinson to Texas now, there are also a handful of foggy picks, indicating that it’s still far from clear where he ends up. It’s just not likely to be Ohio State, the overwhelming favorite before the shocking swing over the weekend.