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Freshman Focus: Corey Robinson

Jul 24, 2013, 11:42 AM EST

Corey Robinson

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Notre Dame reached out to little known San Antonio wide receiver Corey Robinson. Playing in lower division Texas high school football and a relative newcomer to the game, Robinson pledged to the Irish with fans knowing nothing more than he was the string-bean shaped son of former NBA star David Robinson.

With recruiting boards scratching their heads to even find information on Robinson, the profile of a 6-foot-4 (and likely growing) wide receiver with elite genetics gave Irish fans some degree of certainty, along with Brian Kelly and his staff’s ability to mine for diamonds. Then, Robinson’s national profile slowly began to emerge. At the Army All-American game, the San Antonio native showed himself to belong with some of the countries finest players.

Yet nothing was more important to Robinson’s future than the spring semester he spent in South Bend. Learning on the fly, our glimpses of the young wide receiver weren’t of a Bambi learning how to play, but rather of a velcro-handed athlete that looks like he’ll be able to help the Irish sooner than even the most optimistic Irish fan even thought.

Let’s take a closer look at Corey Robinson.

RECRUITING PEDIGREE

Robinson isn’t on any recruiting services’ Top 250 list, and Notre Dame was his first major offer and the school that put him on the national radar. While it wasn’t enough to boost him into the Top 250, Rivals added a fourth star to Robinson’s name after his performance at the US Army All-American game, where he garnered almost all positive reviews.

In addition to the Irish, Robinson had scholarship offers from Navy, where his father starred as a basketball player, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, and Wake Forest.

He committed to the Irish in March and enrolled early with fellow freshman James Onwualu, Steve Elmer, Malik Zaire, and Mike Heuerman in January.

EARLY PLAYING TIME OPPORTUNITIES

We’ve covered the deficiencies on the Irish depth chart at wide receiver, especially with the departures of Davonte Neal and Justin Ferguson. Robinson quickly found his way during spring drills, and got to a point where Brian Kelly acknowledged a fall plan for the talented freshman, similar to the way the Irish used Chris Brown last season.

“He’ll be a role player, kind of like Chris Brown was,” Kelly said last spring. “Chris helped us win a game against Oklahoma. That’s how you have to look at Corey Robinson. No, he’s not a finished product yet. He’s got to get stronger. But he does have a skill set. When you throw that ball near him, he comes down with it. So I think there’s a place for him in our offense, but he won’t be a featured guy.”

Working to piece things together, expect Robinson to make his way into some red zone packages, an area the Irish offense needs to improve in, and a segment of the offense that would definitely benefit from the height and length Robinson provides. For a guy that provided one of the highlights of spring, the future could be sooner than later for the under-the-radar prospect.

PROJECTING THE FUTURE

Taking an educated guess as to what the future of Robinson’s playing career looks like is tough business. After all, who would have predicted his father would’ve grown nearly a foot before his final year year of high school and then sprouted to be a seven-footer after being just another 5-foot-9 high school junior?

Robinson is already a shade over 6-foot-4, and while not everybody gets a late growth spurt (I’m still waiting for mine), he’s definitely going to grow into his body, adding bulk to his frame and possibly an inch or two before he’s done in South Bend. That’s going to give the Irish a weapon they haven’t had under Brian Kelly and a guy that could be highly versatile.

Robinson will need to learn the nuances of the game, and he’ll need to continue to improve his quickness and speed, making sure he’s not pigeon-holed as just a jump ball threat. He’s a much smoother athlete than most expected and the term “catch radius” all but sprung into Irish fans lexicons after listening to the coaches rave about Robinson, so there’s reason to be excited.

A pure outside receiving threat on a roster filled with guys that can play both inside and out, Robinson will have a chance to make a name for himself by the time his career is over in South Bend.

  1. irishinmich - Jul 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    I remember my final year year of high school. It was fun fun. Ha! Just giving you (or your editor) a hard time, Keith.

    Calvin Johnson wasn’t a 5 star coming out of HS. Just sayin’

  2. seadomer - Jul 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    So I’m looking around and reading about ND’s 2013 predictions, I see everything from 7-5 to 11-1.

    As you all know QBs are vital to the team but I was thinking in terms of a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being best.
    If a team is a 9 and a QB is an 8, would the whole team be an 8
    what if a team is a 9 and the QB is only a 6.5, would the whole team then be 6.5 or perhaps more like 7.5

    I am hoping for team 9, QB 7.5 (meaning everybody does their job and live up to their respective hype and TR improves) then we may at least have an 8 team to shoot for 11-1.

    Too soon?

    • gtizzo - Jul 25, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      Yeah way to soon. Remember USC was a preseason number 1 last year. Rees learns to limit turnovers and the defense is a brick wall ND will be in every game they play.

  3. 25kgold - Jul 24, 2013 at 2:09 PM

    I think he’ll be better than Michael Floyd by two laps! This was a steal!!!!!!!!

    • mtflsmitty - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      Dude! I’m cool with enthusiasm and a super-optimistic attitude. But if you’ve arrived at the conclusion that CR will be better than MF, it calls into question every opinion you’ve ever shared here or ever will share here. I agree he was a steal. But is there no limit to the hyperbole?

      • 25kgold - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        You can certainly question anything and everything I say. I also do not and will not give one iota of concern regarding such opinion(s), directed towards my opinion(s).

      • 1historian - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:18 AM

        Your question – “is there no limit to the hyperbole?”

        No

    • shaunodame - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:42 PM

      Let CR take a single snap in a game before we start the MF comparisons.

  4. fnc111 - Jul 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Stanford was his favorite school growing up. If they didn’t offer him that’s a cause for concern.

    • heartofgoldandblue - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      Your effort to find some kind of negative in anything is actually very humorous.

      • heartofgoldandblue - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:02 PM

        ….in a laugh AT you not WITH you kind of way.

      • 1historian - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        he does deserve points for being consistent, does he not?

      • bearcatirishfan - Jul 25, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        Hey I eat raw almonds so my stool I remarkably consistent both time and composition, but alas it’s still a pile of shit.

      • 1historian - Jul 25, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        bearcatirishfan – your 9:36

        On the list of things I did not need want or think I would read today your post is an unimpeachable numero uno.

        I will, however, defend to the death your right to say it

  5. 11thstreetmafia - Jul 24, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I would like to see a 6’6″ receiver on the outside. I’m sure ND QB’s would too. Who has been the tallest ND receiver? Samardzija and McKnight were up there.

    • rayguy14 - Jul 24, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      Samardzija yes, McKnight however was 6’2 or 6’3″. Maurice Stovall was another 6’5″ guy. With those guys and Fasano…what a group of targets. Also had D Walk catching something like 60 passes out of the backfield. It was one hell of an offense the FUDA put together.

      • kansasirish - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        To bad the “FUDA” couldn’t recruit defense or develop players. Oh and did you see he called his current team a pile of crap….way to motivate your players Chuck!

    • bernhtp - Jul 24, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Robinson reminds me most of Samardzija: tall, rangy, surprisingly quick, great catch radius and comes down with the ball. Neither were highly recruited out of HS, and Jeff didn’t come into his own until his junior year. I bet Corey contributes much earlier.

      McNight was a highly-recruited four-star HS player.

  6. fnc111 - Jul 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Kelly will get fired at the end of the ’14 season

    • yogihilt - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      OMG, I’m violating my own edict from a month ago to have no one ever reply to you, or even dislike.
      How can you possibly make a statement like that, even after your other stupid remarks, when a guy goes to the NC, and will probably have another good year despite losing the QB.
      Your lack of knowledge has somehow dropped lower than before, which most of us believe is in the pond scum level.
      This statement is senseless… and uhhhhhh. stupid

      • bernhtp - Jul 24, 2013 at 9:24 PM

        Your internal edict was sensible. Thus is, uhhhhhhhhhh, stupid.

    • andy44teg - Jul 24, 2013 at 10:30 PM

      I seriously want to know why you think that??

  7. yogihilt - Jul 24, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    OMG, I’m violating my own edict from a month ago to have no one ever reply to you, or even dislike.
    How can you possibly make a statement like that, even after your other stupid remarks, when a guy goes to the NC, and will probably have another good year despite losing the QB.
    Your lack of knowledge has somehow dropped lower than before, which most of us believe is in the pond scum level.
    This statement is senseless… and uhhhhhh. stupid

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