December 10, 2009

Jackets back in the mix for talented in-state defender

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have been very selective about making offers for the 2010 class and one talented athlete who favored the Jackets early in his recruitment ended up committing elsewhere after he did not land a Tech offer. Two months shy of signing day however, the Jackets appear to be entering the picture for this talented defender.

Westlake cornerback Darius Robinson has been a fan of the Jackets for quite some time despite being a verbal commitment to Clemson. Robinson got an unexpected call Georgia Tech cornerback coach Charles Kelly and Robinson now plans to visit the Jackets during bowl practice in Atlanta.

"Coach Kelly called me up and we talked about if I was still interested in Georgia Tech," he said. "He told me that he still wants me at Georgia Tech and that they are still recruiting me. He is pushing them to offer me, but they have to see what is up with the scholarship situation. He told me that he would love to coach me at Georgia Tech."

During the summer, the Jackets were close to offering Robinson, but with the tight scholarship numbers and two cornerback commitments already on-board from Barry Bostic and Ryan Ayers, Robinson began looking elsewhere and ended up picking the Tigers. If the Jackets offer when Robinson visits, he could decommit.

"An offer from Georgia Tech would definitely stir things up," he said. "Georgia Tech is one of my favorite schools and I have followed them closely and followed Mario Edwards. I look up to him and we have talked about it. Georgia Tech is an in-state school and that is also something I really think about."

The temptation of staying home and playing for a school he really likes could cause a switch of Robinson gets good news during his visit.

"A Tech offer will definitely skew my recruiting process because my father loves Georgia Tech, my parents love Georgia Tech and the whole thing about me not going away for college would be good for both me and my family," Robinson said. "Coach Kelly told me to come over and watch them practice," he said. "He did not give me a day yet, but he will get back with me on that."

Robinson had some mixed emotions watching Clemson and Georgia Tech square off in the ACC Championship in Tampa.

"I really didn't know who to root for a time," he said. "I was rooting for Clemson because I am committed to them and that is my school at the current moment, but at the same time I wanted Georgia Tech to win because I wanted Morgan (Burnett) to get an ACC title as well as Mario Edwards to get that ring. I went both ways at times."

If the Jackets pull the trigger on Robinson, he will take an official visit immediately.

"I will definitely give them an official visit if they offer," he said. "I feel like I can compete with any of the corners at Georgia Tech in my mind. I feel like I could come in, get bigger, work hard and do what I have to do. I like that Tech plays a lot of man coverage as well."

Robinson feels like he can compete for a starting job at Clemson as well.

"I know Clemson might be a little deeper at corner than Tech, but I feel like I compete there as well," he said.

"I missed our first three games due to an ankle sprain, but I ended up playing eight games," Robinson said. "Most of the teams we played ran the ball away from me, but had around 50 tackles and two interceptions. I feel like I played well and made some great plays in the open field as well as good plays on offense. I think my junior year was a little better because we had more to play for. It feels good to be a high school All-American like Morgan Burnett who also played in that game. I feel honored to be playing in it."

Westlake has a tremendous tradition of putting players in the NFL and Robinson is hoping he is one of the players that carry on that tradition.

"It feels really good to know you come from a good program like that even though we don't have a state championship to prove it," he said. "We produce great players with great character and it feels good to keep the tradition going. We have some younger kids coming up who will do the same for the program."

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