February 9, 2009

Robinson makes promise to fans, Rodriguez

Michigan's coaches wasted little time conveying their desire to land Canton, Ohio, wide receiver Jerald Robinson, offering the Rivals250 Junior to Watch 24 hours after wrapping up the Class of 2009. That offer made quite an impression on U-M's newest commitment …

"Michigan offered me before Ohio State and that showed me how much interest they had," Robinson said. "It's almost like Ohio State was waiting for something, and it's funny because I talked to my coach today and he said the OSU coaches wanted to know if I was committing to Michigan because they were getting ready to offer.

"But I have no second thoughts. Coach [Rich] Rodriguez said if I wasn't sure I didn't have to decide now. He said there have been a lot of kids decommitting lately and he didn't want me to make a commitment I wasn't ready to make but I'm not that kind of person. I'm not waiting for an offer from Ohio State. I'm a Wolverine now and I'm going to be a Wolverine for the rest of my life."

The 6-2, 175-pounder made the trip from Canton to Ann Arbor this morning and met with Rodriguez after lunch, following a visit with defensive line coach Bruce Tall, and strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis. He officially offered his commitment around 1:00 p.m. and texted TheWolverine.com with the good news.

"Coach Tall was really nice and showed me around campus," Robinson said. "All of the coaches were really nice. I saw the academic facilities and the weight room and new practice facility. I met with Coach Barwis. He's a real intense guy and he showed me some of the workouts. Marlin Jackson was in there working out with him and some other NFL guys and that was pretty cool."

Robinson is ranked the No. 15 player in Ohio for 2010 according to BuckeyeGrove.com. As a junior, he made 35 catches for 804 yards (22.9 yards per catch) with seven touchdowns. He also had seven interceptions.

"He's a tremendous athlete," said rival coach Dan Ifft, of Dover HS. "In our offense -- we run five wide -- he'd make 100 catches and every one would be memorable. He's a kid that runs a lot of slants because he's not afraid to go over the middle. He can run the go-route too because he has a tremendous ability to go up and get it. His hand-eye coordination is superb.

"His team runs a lot more so he doesn't get as many chances to showcase his abilities but he's a talent. I can tell you this -- we'd drool over the prospect of having him play wide receiver for us."

Ifft also said Robinson is an outstanding defensive back, but the playmaker wants to line up offensively.

"Coach Rodriguez asked me what I wanted to play and I told him offense so he said 'Then that's where you'll play.' They're going to use me on the outside and I think I can impact there early. I run really good routes, I have great hands, can get open and can catch the ball. Anytime you need a big catch, I'm your guy."

Robinson also plays basketball and might run track. He's determined to lower his 40-yard dash, which is currently 4.59 seconds.

"I want to get it down into the low 4.5s or the 4.4s if I can," he said. "I don't want anybody to say that I'm not fast enough to become a big-time receiver at a place like Michigan."

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