Among the nation’s top 100 prospects, only Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle tight end Duce Robinson, the No. 1-ranked player at his position, remains uncommitted with National Signing Day set to pass with Robinson still on the open market.
In an interview with ESPN on Wednesday, Robinson provided insight into his unusually lengthy recruitment.
“To be honest, it’s just a flat out we’re not sure where we want to go yet,” Robinson said. “It’s been a long process. It’s been a fun process. We just don’t have that conviction yet — when I make my decision, I want to be at peace with it. I want to be fully convicted. I don’t want to go anywhere, I want to be there for three years but maybe more.”
The Texas Longhorns are one of five programs still under consideration by the 6’6, 225-pounder, along with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Georgia Bulldogs, Oregon Ducks, and USC Trojans. Among those five, Georgia, Texas, and USC are generally considered the frontrunners and the Bulldogs the leaders in that group with seven 247Sports Crystal Ball predictions. All three programs held in-home visits with Robinson and his family.
And all three are still under consideration because the schemes can highlight the talent of Robinson, a flex tight end with the route-running ability and ball skills of a wide receiver whose size presents matchup problems for defenses.
“I’m going to go somewhere where I fit the scheme,” Robinson said. “I’m a pretty unique player in what I can bring to the table. I’m going to go somewhere I feel I can be used to my full potential. I want to go somewhere where I have great relationships with the coaching staff, the recruits. On the baseball side of it, I want to make sure that the coaches work well together, that I’m going to be able to be developed in both sports to my full potential.”
Texas has the advantage of the best baseball program among the five finalists. And a potential move back to the NFL by Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken — Chris Mortensen said Wednesday he’d be “surprised if Monken remains in Athens — could also benefit the Longhorns given Monken’s recent success playing multiple tight ends together and the uncertainty that move would cause surrounding the future offensive direction by the Bulldogs.
Whatever choice Robinson makes, he plans on enrolling for summer conditioning, making him one of the rare athletes to forgo signing a National Letter of Intent.
“I want to go through summer workouts with those guys,” Robinson said. “I want to play early. I want to get the scheme down early, get the playbook in. I plan on making a decision before move-in day and then seeing where the draft will take us from there.”
The draft referenced by Robinson is, of course, the 2023 MLB Draft, which could ultimately alter his plans on playing football and baseball in college. An outfielder currently ranked No. 123 by Baseball America, Robinson often draws comparisons to New York Yankees star Aaron Judge thanks to his above-average athleticism and prodigious raw power and could further increase his stock with a strong senior season following recent private workouts with several organizations.
“We want to hopefully get drafted and have to make a decision from there,” Robinson said. “I plan on playing college football but obviously, it definitely plays a role. If I can get drafted pretty highly, it definitely plays a role in my decision.”
So even after Robinson enrolls this summer, there’s still going to be plenty of drama surrounding his future, which could include signing a professional baseball contract but still playing college football.