Previously: Last year's profiles. S J'Marick Woods, S Jaylen Kelly-Powell, S Brad Hawkins, CB Ambry Thomas, CB Benjamin St-Juste, LB Drew Singleton, LB Jordan Anthony, LB Josh Ross, DE Kwity Paye, DE Luiji Vilain,
DE Corey Malone-Hatcher, DE Deron Irving-Bey, DT Donovan Jeter, DT Phil Paea, DT James Hudson, DT Aubrey Solomon, C Cesar Ruiz, OT JaRaymond Hall, OT Joel Honigford, OT Andrew Stueber, OT Chuck Filiaga, WR Oliver Martin, WR Nico Collins, WR Tarik Black, WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, FB Ben Mason, RB O'Maury Samuels, RB Kurt Taylor, QB Dylan McCaffrey.
|Westerville, OH – 6'2", 180|
|ESPN||3*, NR overall
#14 P, #38 OH
|Other Suitors||Nevada, Illinois, Navy|
|Previously On MGoBlog||Nothing. I mean… he's a punter who committed on Signing Day.|
90-yard TD? Yessir:
[Editor's note: since the major sites abdicate on kickers and there's now a diversity of specialist rankings we're using them above. Robbins was not ranked in any way by Scout or Rivals and was in the 3000s on 24/7. ESPN does not have a scouting report for him but I'm including their ranking anyway because I don't want to reformat the table.]
Brad Robbins is a punter, and he was acquired in the best way to acquire a punter: without anyone else on scholarship, after it was clear that Michigan would have a spare slot. Michigan offered at the 11th hour and flipped him from a Nevada commit, and now they've got a high-upside punter.
— Brandon Kornblue (@KornblueKicking) May 30, 2017
the "touchback" guy must be fun at parties
Probably, anyway. Specialist rankings are notoriously useless. The recent emergence of a cottage industry of specialist, er, specialists is welcome; those are still subject to things like showing up at camps. Even with that caveat Robbins seems worth the slot. Kornblue:
…top nationally ranked punter for the class of 2017… performance included punts of 5.06/46 yards & 5.04/54 yards. …At our Ohio Fab 50 Camp (July 2016), we charted Bradley on 10 punts. Best charted punt was 4.94/47 yards. 8/10 were 4.2+ hangtime. He averaged 4.37/41 yards (0-5 mph crosswind).
Earning our highest ranking includes strength, consistency, operation time, athleticism, and character. Brad has all these traits. His operation times and consistency improved after recent private training in Florida, where we shortened his steps and adjusted to more of a two-step approach.
41 yards an attempt doesn't sound too exciting but it appears that Robbins took that private training and used it to reach the proverbial next level. He had a late, post-senior season breakout:
[Robbins] burst onto the scene from his impressive performances on the camp circuit, especially in front of kicking guru, Brandon Kornblue at his camp in Florida in late December.
From there, his recruitment quickly took off.
“I walked up to (Kornblue's) camp and he had no idea who I was and by lunch time he was asking who the heck I was,” Robbins told The Michigan Insider. “At the end of this camp, he had me ranked second on his website and two days later, the special teams coach at Nevada gave me a call and a week later offered me a scholarship. I went out for a visit and loved the way they recruited me, so I committed to them.”
I know recruiting specialists is another world but that's late and odd even for them. It does explain why he's basically unranked on the mainstream sites. The niche kicking sites did pick up on it, with Kornblue elevating him to #1 and a couple others delivering wow experience scouting reports. Kohl's kicking:
…dominant showing at the 2017 Senior Showcase. He averaged over 5.0 seconds on his charts at camp and hit several 5.2+ second punts during the drill work and competitions. … He is D1 ready right now. Robbins had an impressive camp at the 2016 Eastern Winter Showcase. He won the punt competition and the punt charting at camp. Robbins has solid technical refinement and great power. He is explosive in his hips, the ball jumps off his foot and his repeatability in his catch/hold is probably his most impressive trait that he has.
The first video above is from their camp and features a nonstop parade of booming punts with an appreciative audience.
The Kicking Coach:
No brainer Division 1 scholarship punter. Tall and fast. Excellent mechanics and consistency. Has leg strength to hit 5.3 second hang times. Brad has charted multiple consecutive punts of over 5 seconds. He will likely compete for starting job immediately. Kicks off well. Mechanics need work. But he can already reach 70+ yards with good hang times.
"He's, uh, really good."
"I think he is definitely up for the job and has the talent to do it and be not only a four-year starter but possibly one of the best ever."
There's always the question of objectivity since these specialist camps are a paid venture—special teams coaches gotta eat too—but the mainstream sites abdicating they're the best we've got. Robbins will hit a lot of boomers; whether he's merely good or great will depend on his consistency and touch.
Etc.: Hey man if you thought a recruiting profile extensively referencing "Smooth" was bad, it can always be worse:
A visit to Illinois is in the works. If that happens, cue up "Closing Time" for the Illini.
Why Punters? He's gonna punt, I reckon.
Guru Reliability: Zero as far as the regular sites go. Moderate for the specialist sites, because they seem to be going mostly or entirely off of camps with less sample size than you might like.
Variance: Low. Scholarship punters are consistently very good for Michigan.
Ceiling: High. Late-cycle version of this guy was hitting some serious boomers and getting rapt praise.
General Excitement Level: Moderate. Not Australian. I can get hype about an Australian punter only.
Projection: Will fight with Will Hart for the starting job and likely acquire it this fall. Scholarship punters don't often get beat out. Recent Harbaugh comments also support Robbins; those are more fully addressed in the season preview.