2010 Recruiting: Marvin Robinson Comment Count

Brian April 5th, 2010 at 2:43 PM

Previously: S Carvin Johnson, S Ray Vinopal.


Winter Haven, Florida - 6'1" 204
marvin-robinson-seeexy Scout 4*, #18 S
Rivals 4*, #20 OLB
ESPN 4*, 79, #21 OLB
Others #42 to Lemming. #61 in Florida according to Orlando Sentinel.
Other Suitors Ohio State, USC, Florida, UNC
YMRMFSPA Stevie Brown with more lumber
Previously On
Tom interviews Robinson in 2008. Commitment post.
Notes This MaxPreps video of a game between Lake Region and Frostproof from Robinson's junior year contains multiple "power of Grayskull" references and the line "he had only one thing on his mind… get tackled at the four. So he did."

Marvin Robinson's almost disturbingly chiseled abs—and the rest of him—could be considered the very last Lloyd Carr recruits. Robinson's been on the Michigan recruitnik's radar since he camped at Michigan as a sophomore and picked up an offer. Publicly enamored since, Robinson withstood a bizarre anti-M campaign (one that included multiple message board postings that were at least slightly unhinged). from his coach, an Ohio State fan*, and picked Michigan early in the recruiting cycle.

Robinson's long status as a Michigan lock and some explosive early hype—Ricardo Miller and Robinson populated top ten lists of Florida underclassmen forever—actually make his above rankings disappointing. He was supposed to be an uber-recruit. It's not hard to see why what with his offer as a 14-year-old from Michigan. A year later he had added offers from Ohio State, Florida, and USC. Zounds.

Early evaluations were similarly tantalizing. Rivals's Barry Every in 2008:

6-2, 205, OLB Eagle Lake (FL) Lake Region 2010
Assets: Has a tremendous burst and excellent ball skills.
What was most impressive at camp: For a guy who is making the change from safety to linebacker, he sure looked a natural.
Areas for improvement: He just needs to get reps at his new position because all the tools are there.
On the Hoof: Has good height, long arms and wide shoulders. Robinson's frame will fill out and enable him to play all three linebacker positions.

Here's another 2008 eval from a camp in which he was named to the Hot 11 while competing against a host of top recruits a year older than him:

Marvin Robinson

6-1, 190, LB Eagle Lake (Fla.) Lake Region
Robinson admits he didn't have the best outing earlier this summer at the USC Rising Star Camp. Along with being injured, he just couldn't get in the zone. But he was there on Sunday, making big play after big play in drills and then in one-on-one battles. He was the one guy who was consistently able to hang with both the physical and speedy backs in the camp.

Those backs included top 100 seniors (and future Robinson foes) Cierre Wood and Edwin Baker. A game eval from his junior season was a little less rapturous but still pretty enthralled:

MARVIN ROBINSON (Jr., Lake Region): I’ve talked to Robinson a lot a over the last few months and his game film is impressive. What’s more impressive is his size and speed. He was bigger than a lot of the lineman on both teams and showed good speed while running downfield on kickoffs. However, he left his feet a lot when going for tackles on smaller guys and relies on a lot of arm tackles. Still, he is a great athlete and saved his team a lot as the last line of his defense.

Even in April of 2009, the reviews coming in were positive:

Defensive Backs Michigan commit Marvin Robinson (Winter Haven, Fla./Lake Region) stood out with the defensive backs. He is a physically imposing and athletic safety prospect. He showed good ball skills and moved well. On film, he displays a good feel for the game. In talking with Robinson after the camp, he said he still wants improve on his ability to read plays. Robinson said he plans to graduate early, and it looks like the Wolverines scored a good one from the Sunshine State.

Naturally, Michigan fans expected that a guy with those early offers and scouting reports would be shoved into national top tens, or at least top 25s, or at least given five stars, or at least put in top 100s or something. This did not happen. As you can see above, the scouting consensus on Robinson is good, not great, and almost frighteningly uniform.

Part of the drop is a re-evaluation when Robinson turned out to be one of those guys who gets big fast then stops growing. Another part of it is the perception that Robinson is a tweener between linebacker and safety. Robinson checked in at the tail end of top 100 lists when they came out. At the time of his commitment he was barely hanging on at #99. He slid in every rankings revision at Rivals until September when he was booted from the top 250 and ceased to exist in the realm of folks whose rankings fluctuate on the regular. Only Tom Lemming kept the faith: Robinson is his #42 player overall.

Why did this happen? Near as I can tell, Robinson showed up at a bunch of camps as a rising senior looking and playing like a linebacker but hanging out amongst the defensive backs. Mike Farrell's take from his appearance at "Gridiron Kings" that summer:

Robinson is bigger than his listed weight of 190 pounds, but he still has the body of a safety and not a linebacker. He's not a quick-twitch athlete, but he still closes well and keeps things in front of him. His coverage skills are OK, but not great, and he didn't stand out much.

Barry Every's version of events from the Tallahassee Nike camp referenced above:

ASSETS: Incredible body structure and very good speed for his size.
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Struggles coming out of his breaks and may be better suited as an OLB at the next level. WHAT WAS MOST IMPRESSIVE AT CAMP: Without a doubt the prettiest looking prospect competing in the defensive back group.
CONCLUSION: This Michigan commit will either be a hard-hitting strong safety, or more than likely a super-athletic linebacker with the speed to track down any running back in the Big Ten.

In a separate article for a Georgia site, Every is blunter: "struggles in space and in the backpedal trying to cover receivers." On the other hand, he had "tremendous speed and side to side movement" going forward. Barton Simmons closes out the Rivals skepticism trifecta by saying he looks "unbelievable on the hoof" but "isn't totally comfortable covering receivers on an island." Scout echoes:

Robinson has enough size that some feel he will grow into a LB. His speed would be very attractive there. He is an excellent tackler, particularly in space and he has plus hitting ability. Robinson will need to improve his range to stay at S in college, however he has shown quality instincts and has plenty of athleticism for the position.

So he's a 190-200 pound guy who doesn't seem like a free safety and is somewhat undersized for linebacker. That plus loads of athleticism gets you a solid but unspectacular four-star rating despite a crazy flood of early offers. Fair enough.

Compounding matters was a senior-year injury. Robinson pulled his groin in the second game and missed most of his season. Lake Region was 0-8 and no one was paying attention when he did, so Robinson stayed put in the rankings. Even so, Florida, UNC, and Georgia were still poking around in December (and probably beyond).

Robinson was planning on an early enrollment but couldn't get himself squared away in time for that to happen, leading to scattered rumors he might have some work to do to qualify. Those seem to have been generated by Robinson's creepy Buckeye coach and may or may not have much validity.

*(Whose team went 0-8. Surprise!)

Why Stevie Brown? Brown was a heavily recruited, super-athletic safety recruit who was completely terrible in coverage as a deep safety and was a total bust until he moved into the spur-type role he occupied last year, at which point he became Michigan's third- or fourth-best player on defense. Hopefully Michigan won't make the same mistake here, assuming the gurus are right about Robinson in a deep zone.

Other Guy Named Marvin Robinson: Spirit Bear guide in the super cold parts of Canada.

Etc.: Signing day photo.

Guru Reliability: High. Robinson was a heavily scouted player from midway through his junior year and the guru consensus is almost uncanny.
General Excitement Level: High. I know the sites downgraded him but the main reason they did is it seems like a traditional 4-3 doesn't have a great spot for him. Michigan does, whether it's the spinner position that Stevie Brown occupied last year or a spur/bandit in the 3-3-5.
Projection: Michigan's move to the 3-3-5 seems tailor made for an athletic edge player like Robinson who can take on backs out of the backfield, cover the flats, blitz, and take on blockers. Jordan Kovacs has one of the box safety roles sewed up but with the other currently manned by a rotating combination of Mike Williams, Floyd Simmons, and Thomas Gordon there is an opportunity for Robinson to step directly into the starting lineup. All observers mention Robinson's throbbing, college-ready abs. A redshirt is not necessary and there is an open starting spot that seems tailor made for him. Robinson will feature. Even if he doesn't manage to start against UConn, he will probably work his way onto the field situationally with an eye towards starting by midseason.



April 5th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

He was a freshman All American, second leading tackler on the team, played one year after knee surgery, paid his own way, no Barwisizing.

When he played box safety AS A REDSHIRT FRESHMAN he was very good.

It's not his fault he was out there and he played well. The disrespect he gets from the fanbase is despicable.

If he's outplaying dudes now, when there are going to be about 18 defensive back options, I have no idea why you think this is a bad thing.

There are tons upon tons of walk-ons who have not only played very well in college, but have made it as professionals.


There's no reason for you to criticize Kovacs if he's good enough to start.


April 6th, 2010 at 12:43 AM ^

Yeah, I completely agree with paragraphs 1-4 and paragraph 7 of his. It's the two in between that go a little too far. Brian Griese was not just a preferred walk-on, he had scholarship offers from a number of D1 schools, and chose to walk on at M. And they were offers from decent programs, IIRC. This is not at all analogous to Kovacs' situation.

That said, his point still stands. I'm a big fan of Kovacs, and when he played he did nothing but good. I hope that his lack of athleticism doesn't hold him back, but I think the spur/bandit position is perfect for his skill set.


April 5th, 2010 at 3:47 PM ^

There is little evidence to suggest Robinson does ever wear a shirt...

I might be mistaken, but i can swear TomVH mentioned that Robinson is in the process of petitioning the NCAA for "shirtless eligibility" whereby he can legally play during games wearing only pants, cleats, a helmet, and his number spraypainted on his back.


April 5th, 2010 at 3:58 PM ^

that Michigan will have fast, athletic and aggressive defense this year.

And for the record, Kovacs starting is not the end of the world. He was arguable Michigan's best tackler last year. This year minus deep safety responsibility, he should be a very productive part of this defense.


April 5th, 2010 at 4:21 PM ^

Marvin Robinson and Josh Furman are starting at Bandit/Spur. Those two are physical freaks who, IF their athleticism translates to on-field excellence, should be All Big 10 caliber players for UofM.

We're still 5 months from the start of the 2010 CFB season and I am already fantasizing about the 2011 season (and beyond). Sad, isn't it?


April 5th, 2010 at 4:22 PM ^

I would be concerned if someone told me a freshman was:
1) Learning a new position
2) Injured most of their senior year
3) Not enrolled early
4) In the starting lineup


April 5th, 2010 at 5:47 PM ^

I'm not sure if I like the Steve Brown comparison, if only because Brown was a corner/safety tweener coming out of high school. I think Robinson is a much different player, but we'll see, I guess...


April 5th, 2010 at 6:16 PM ^

I wish he could have enrolled early, but I think he still starts. I can't help but think of him and Furman playing the bandit positions and with Demar Dorsey, Cullen Christian, and Justin Turner in the secondary too we will have a insane secondary in the future. NO FLY ZONE!!!!


April 5th, 2010 at 7:41 PM ^

I appreciate the enthusiasm but let's not get ahead of ourselves. HS success and potential does not a college all-american make. Just look at Turner's progress or lack thereof to date. You never know who will pan out and who will not. Heck, maybe JT Floyd will turn out to be an above average CB leaving Turner on the sideline.

Go Blue.

Blue boy johnson

April 5th, 2010 at 7:51 PM ^

I love a good blitzer. Robinson and Furman could be our future Wolv Blitzers coming off the edge with speed and attitude.

Michigan's move to the 3-3-5 seems tailor made for an athletic edge player like Robinson who can take on backs out of the backfield, cover the flats, blitz, and take on blockers.

los barcos

April 5th, 2010 at 9:21 PM ^

heard anything relating to kovas "sewing" up a position? not saying it would be OMG terrible but i just dont believe anything in the backfield (aside from woolfolk) is "sewn up".

just my e-opinion


April 6th, 2010 at 8:23 AM ^

As seen below, I have taken some punishment for even a hint of concern over the fact that he allegedly owns a particular position at this point. M recruited heavy in the defensive backfield and have a few others with redshirts coming off. I thought Kovacs was acceptably proficient at his position, but I cannot pretend, as many seem to want to, that I did not believe him to be a stop gap. Being the second leading tackler on a team where nearly every play reached the defensive secondary cannot be viewed as cause for celebration. 3rd and 22 was a guaranteed first down against Michigan last year and Iowa's tight end is still running right now. Our safety play was flat out frightening. Sure there was often not enough legitimate pressure on the quarterback and our linebackers were playing cards, but I just think it seems a bit early to be crowning a key component of a poor secondary as a main-stay starter. That is all.

And what do you think M-Rob benches and how many times?

Jon Benke

April 6th, 2010 at 2:49 AM ^

Some of these new recruits are going to be hard to label, mostly because Michigan has changed so much in the style of players they bring in... I can't wait to see what he says about Devin Gardner and Demar Dorsey.