On Friday, the Texas Longhorns secured the program’s first five-star running back pledge since Johnathan Gray in 2012 with the commitment Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic standout Bijan Robinson, the nation’s No. 3 running back and No. 20 player overall, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Given that Robinson was a virtual lock to Ohio State less than a week ago, the combination of his lofty ranking and the drama surrounding his sharp turn away from the Buckeyes made his interview with Sports360AZ.com even more interesting than most in that genre.
And plus, he’s an interesting young man who had quite the story about meeting Matthew McConaughey.
Why Robinson chose Texas
“Just how they handled themselves as a program. They’ve been to a lot of great programs with the experience they have as coaches, but it’s just genuine with them. It’s family. I’m all for that because of my family and how we are and our relationship with each other. I love how it was all truth with them. No storytelling. It was, ‘This is what we’re going to do for you and help you throughout the process when it does come further in life. Just meeting the players and how they gravitated towards me and how I gravitated towards them, it was definitely a big part of why I chose Texas.”
Robinson was sold on development of Ezekiel Elliott
“What they’ve done with Ezekiel Elliott when they were at Ohio State, Coach Drayton, the running backs coach, and Coach Herman. Just how they developed him as a player off the field and on the field, his style of play that they developed when he was at Ohio State was huge for me to look at because of what they can do for me as that bellcow back that he was — they can do the same things for me.
It was a tough decision between the Longhorns, Buckeyes, and Trojans
“It was very tough. Like I said, I prayed on it a lot. You talk to the family. I talked to some other sources about how they are as a program. When you get there what they will do for you. It was very tough, especially for USC — they were one of them. Just telling the coaches I had to go in a different direction. It teaches you to grow up a little bit for future life as a man. It was very tough, but I just had to do what was best for me.”
On not playing with longtime teammate and friend Lathan Ransom at Ohio State
“I will always support Lathan with everything he decides. We’ve been with each other since we were young and people don’t realize, we go through hard times. We go through great times. In practice, we’re after each other, but we just love each other as teammates and just as brothers, because, like I say, we’ve been with each other since we were seven years old and we always competed and always loved each other. Families, we always got together and just talked about things. Big decisions like this, it will be hard to get away from Lathan, because we’ve always been with each other, but that’s the best decision for him. I’ve been praying that he makes the best decision for him and this was the best decision for me. We’ll always stay in touch. That’s my brother. We’ll keep in touch always and the love factor will be there always.”
On teaming up with Brayden Liebrock and Jake Smith, fellow Arizonians
“I talk to those guys all the time. They always tell me the good and the bad things and there’s not really any bad things that they tell me about it. They’re always positive about the program. Just to see how they’ve developed in the short period of time they’ve been there, it was definitely a great factor for me and those are two great dudes to play with and to talk to a lot about getting advice for college programs.
When he knew it was the Longhorns
“After the visit, my family and me kind of knew it was the spot for me. Like I said, I liked how they handled themselves towards me. It was all truth and that’s when I kind of knew this was the place for me and that will make me successful, not just in college football, but if, God willing, I go to the NFL.
On not knowing who Matthew McConaughey was when he met him
Alright, alright, alright— Justin Spears (@JustinESports) April 14, 2019
Salpointe Catholic 5-star RB Bijan Robinson meets Matthew McConaughey at Texas’ spring game. pic.twitter.com/s2ie8gewlH
“See, I didn’t really know who that was until my coach was like...”
“I’m starting to feel my age here guys...”
“He said this is a famous actor who just came up to you right now. And I was like, ‘This is crazy.’ I’d kind of seen him somewhere in some interviews with Kimmel and that stuff, but I never really knew who he was until he came up to me. He was really supportive. Of course he really wanted me to go to Texas, but he was just supportive about whatever decision I make, told me to keep God first, and to always be around the best people who can help you succeed. So it was really great talking to him.”