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Fitch’s Robinson continues big summer picking up D-I offers

Correspondent photo/Robert Hayes. Austintown Fitch rising junior Brian Robinson (23) helps bring down Akron Hoban’s Lamar Sperling on the road last Fall during the playoffs. Robinson has been quickly piling up Division I scholarship offers and was recently offered by defending national champion Georgia.

Brian Robinson has had a busy summer.

While most high school students are off enjoying their summer vacation, the Austintown Fitch rising junior edge rusher has been traveling the country attending football camps for prospective recruits and visiting Division I schools.

“The camps have been amazing,” Robinson said. “I’ve learned a lot and I’ve met a lot of great people. I’ve learned a lot of great new techniques and I’ve gotten to see a lot of different training styles. I’ve also gotten to see different kids, like myself, who want this just as bad as I want it.”

Fitch head coach TJ Parker and Robinson’s father both prepared him for what to expect this summer at the camps and what to expect from the college coaches evaluating the recruits.

“A lot of (coaching) staffs do things a lot of different ways,” Parker said. “It’s an evaluation period. We try to coach all our guys, not just Brian on what these coaches are looking for and what they want to see at the next level. That’s watching their every move from the time they step onto the field, how they present themselves, how they warm up and all that. Those are a lot of factors that Brian (already) had naturally.”

One of the things Parker told Robinson to be wary of was load management, especially when Robinson attended back-to-back-to-back camps at Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama over the course of three days.

“(Brian) has no off switch and with how a lot of these camps are structured, especially the bigger ones, they look to burn you out right from the start,” Parker said. “They want to see who wants to compete, who’s in shape and who wants to do it when they’re tired.”

“I knew what to expect and he found out that they were exactly like that. And I think that’s where he shined the most — he was mentally and most importantly, physically prepared to go through what they were going to put them through.”

Robinson first exploded onto the scene after a breakout sophomore campaign last season, during which he didn’t even start until about midway through the season.

His talent and performances have earned him a 4-star composite rating, according to 247Sports, and the site has him ranked as the 17th best player at his position nationally and the eighth best player in the state of Ohio in the class of 2024.

But that didn’t happen by accident. That was the product of a change in mindset and a lot of hard work over the past 12 months, according to Parker.

“The player we have now and the player that Brian has built himself into over the last year is not the same player that we played with last year,” Parker said. “He was a quarterback and that’s what he wanted to do. It took some talking with him to say, what’s the best option for you? And that’s when we decided to move him to the D-line. He was running around last year at 6-foot-4 185 pounds…and now you’re looking at a kid who’s worked on his speed, his agility, but also his strength and his body. And now the kid’s 6-foot-5 and every bit of 235 pounds.”

So far, the edge rusher has a whopping 28-30 offers from schools, including some of the top programs in the country, such as Penn State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Texas A&M and even defending national champion Georgia.

“I’m blessed and appreciative of all the schools that have been looking at me,” Robinson said. “This whole experience, I’ve been surrounded by some great people. I have a great team at Austintown Fitch, and my teammates have been very supportive.”

However, it’s still early in Robinson’s recruiting process since he still has two years left of high school football and, as a result, he’s still a ways off from making a decision.

“I haven’t really given it any thought,” Robinson said. “My father is the one who takes me everywhere and supports everything that I do. My father and I and my family will sit down and pray about it and then we’ll just try to figure out a timeline and when I want to make that decision. Right now, it’s really early, and as I’ve been learning and realizing, a lot of things change in college sports in a short amount of time, let alone two years.”

Thanks to his talent and hard work, Robinson has also garnered an invitation to the 2024 Under Armour All-America Game, which is an all-star showcase for some of the best high school players in the country.

But, right now, as the 2022 high school football season inches ever closer, Robinson has his sights set on the Falcons’ season sack record this fall, as well as helping to lead Fitch to a state championship.

“I want to be a great person and a better player,” Robinson said. “Our goal is to bring a state championship to Austintown Fitch and become greater men and greater people as the journey goes on.”

nmadhavan@tribtoday.com

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