The recruitment of Demarcus Robinson was a rollercoaster — Clemson, Florida, Clemson, de-commitment, crazed high school football coach, 11th-hour decision, Florida.
The commitment of Robinson was the culmination of years of searching for a top wide receiver. The U.S. Army All-American is a top-flight, stretch-the-field, possession receiver who has the height, measurables, hands and route running ability that you seek in a wideout. The Peach County, Ga., receiver gained more than 1,000 yards as a senior and had 15 touchdowns.
At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Robinson is the first real vertical threat the Gators have signed since Andre Caldwell and Chad Jackson signed in 2003.
While Demarcus Robinson is a great prospect, it is important to keep reasonable expectations when discussing the role a true freshman may have in the offense … although, the Gators’ wide receiver position is the probably the perfect opportunity for a freshman to come in and play immediately.
Robinson provided ample opportunity to be evaluated, and it’s all on tape. Let’s explore.
The first thing that stands out is how fluidly Robinson moves for his size. He has great acceleration, good top-end sleep, and is smooth in his route running. Robinson has a great stride, which allows him to cover a lot of ground quickly, but not too long of a stride that would make it difficult to make cuts or change direction quickly. Robinson can be deceptive because only a 40-yard run, his fastest 10 yards come from the 15-25 yard range, when most are slowing, Robinson is accelerating.
Robinson, also, has a great vertical leap and always seems to come down with the ball in “jump ball” situations. He seems to time his jumps correctly, attacks at a great angle, readjusts his body when needed and has great hands to be able to secure the ball.
It is also tough not to notice how physical Robinson is. He is quick to break off of coverage and does not go down easily. Robinson breaks a ton of tackles, will fend off on-coming defenders with ease and run-over or stiff-arm anything in sight.
Robinson’s biggest flaw, however, is that he often waits for the ball to come to him, which could be a product of his quarterback, or Robinson could have over run the route. Ergo, Robinson will cradle the ball and in the SEC such a problem leads to interceptions, deflections and getting “lit up” by defenders.
Robinson has the tools to be a complete, dominant wide receiver if he gets the ball. The biggest barrier to Robinson’s success could not even be Robinson; it could be from the quarterback throwing the ball. Time will tell.