Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This is the first in-depth DawgNation feature on a very talented Class of 2022 RB in Branson Robinson out of Mississippi.
There is a great deal for DawgNation to learn about 5-star Mississippi tailback Branson Robinson. The Intel cup pretty much runneth over here.
Imagine going to a concert again and seeing Grammy winners on multiple stages. Or a show with 12 dueling pianos. That’s the way this read is going to go.
There are a great many things that will capture one’s attention on Mr. Robinson:
- The 1,197 yards and 15 TDs in eight games in 2020. He averaged 9.7 yards per attempt.
- The physical marvels on his HUDL page are a little outdated, but still freakish. Robinson reports a “wow” superfecta of a 620-pound squat, a 400-pound bench, a 40-inch vertical leap and a 4.49 time in the 40.
- The other two metrics aren’t bad either: It is an 11.2 in the 100 meters and a 4.19 pro agility drill.
- Georgia leads and has been “the consistent number one school” since the last game of his junior year
- There is a link to Nick Chubb, but also Zamir “Zeus” White and a body-transforming inspiration from college football legend Herschel Walker.
- Robinson and his teammates have noticed there are many connections to UGA. They even see it as a sign about where he should play college ball. That covers all those “RBU” names to the Germantown variant of the Georgia “Power G” and the cardinal red and black colors.
- Robinson still won’t turn 17 until March 17. When you see the highlights, the mind won’t really allow the observer to process the notion it is a 16-year-old kid rolling all over the field.
- Let’s applaud Rivals.com for being the first in the industry to rate Robinson as the nation’s No. 1 RB for the class of 2022 and as a 5-star recruit. The 247Sports Composite rates him as the nation’s No. 7 RB and at No. 102 overall. That will climb.
- His older brother, Bralon, is a sprinter at Alcorn State. He was just named a second-team All-American after the national indoor championships this weekend in Arkansas. He’s seven years older but can clock a 6.6 in the 60 meters at 175 pounds.
It is a lot to digest, but save a lot of room here. Let’s really get it going with some telling comments from his coach. They serve as the roadmap for all things Branson Robinson.
There is something about talking to a down-home coach like Germantown’s Tim Shramek that is good for the soul. He kept it all so very simple.
“Such a great kid from a great family,” Shramek said. “When folks call about him just about the best compliment I can give him or anybody is if he grew up, got a job and moved next door to me then I’d be a happy man to have him as my neighbor.”
“And I don’t know if we can say that about everybody we run into.”
Robinson is a “freak” in the weight room and just naturally strong.
“You’ve got all these kids who specialize and say I have got to do this and can’t do that,” Shramek said. “Because that’s not my main sport and then you’ve got a kid like Branson.”
The state champion powerlifter was getting ready for a meet. So he was lifting heavy on a Tuesday. It meant three sets of three “heavy” weights that day. He squatted heavy with his three sets of three at 90 percent or so.
“Then he eased into the locker room and sat down and changed clothes and went down on the field during the track meet and stretched,” Shramek said. “Relaxed a little bit. Then got up and won the 100 and the 200 meters.”
Try to Google a list of 16-year-olds in America who can squat three sets of three at 525 pounds AND then win the 100 and 200 in a track meet the same day.
That search looks something like what appears flush to the right here.
“Branson just kind of does track,” Shramek said. “He’s really into football and powerlifting, but just goes and does track on the side, too.”
Branson Robinson 5‘11“ 215 Madison Germantown HS, MS is a 5* RB and one of the nations top 10. Very impressive in person and super impressive on film. Bench is 405. 3.5 GPA and runs a 4.49. He also averages 10 ypc. Prep superstar.@Brae_004 he can do it all run, catch and block. pic.twitter.com/JzA7CrFjza
— Tom Lemming (@LemmingReport) December 3, 2020
Branson Robinson: What drives him to be great
There’s a picture atop his Twitter profile page. That image isn’t of Robinson, but his uncle and young niece. It is the answer to what drives him to run fast and lift every weight.
“My uncle was shot and killed,” Branson Robinson said. “He was nothing but like 27 years old and he left a daughter behind. That just pushed me even more. I want his daughter to grow up knowing that my uncle was a great man. I play for him also. That gave me extra motivation.”
He writes the initials “BJR” on his pre-wrap and the spat on his cleats before every game. That is for Bryan Jerome Robinson.
It is really about bringing honor to the Robinson family. He wants to see generations of his family have it easier than he did.
“I want to leave a legacy,” he said. “I want people to talk about me for years to come after I’m done playing. I want to leave a legacy for my future kids. To let them know what hard work can do for people and let them see the results it shows.”
He had no interest or offers prior to the 2020 season. He played in just two games in an injury-riddled 2019. Robinson said he will probably always play with a chip off his shoulder like that. It will still mean he has everything to prove.
“When he gets off the bus, he always plays like he is mad about something,” Shramek said.
It is a little more calculated than that.
“When I run the football I’m looking to dish out pain,” Branson Robinson said. “Especially on the first couple of runs. I want to set the tone. Once you get in their heads and keep hitting them like that, well come around the fourth quarter they don’t want to hit you anymore.”
“I’m an angry runner. When the seams open up, I do look for the seams to open up. But if somebody is in my way trying to stop me from seeing that seam, then I am looking to dish out violence to them.”
Branson Robinson: The many pieces of the puzzle for UGA
Georgia is the clear No. 1 school here. Robinson will tell you Oregon isn’t that far behind in second place.
“Oregon has always been my favorite football team growing up since I was like five years old,” he said.
Alabama is in the mix. LSU is another team of interest. Clemson is also recruiting him heavily. The Tigers have yet to offer, though. If they do, they can quickly jump into that scrum.
All that said, the Bulldogs have a lot of connections for the solid student with a 3.5 GPA. He has a chance to enroll early and plans to do so.
“Georgia is my top school because of the way I fit into their offense and the type of offense they run,” he said. “It is a good situation for me headed there. They have great offensive line play. The most important thing is I have a great relationship with the running backs coach. We talk almost every day.”
He’s known as “Zeus” to some on the Germantown staff. His lifts make it easy to see that, but that was also the high school nickname for rising redshirt junior tailback Zamir White in Athens.
The school colors and the variant “G” logo are also very similar.
“When they first came up with the colors and all the stuff I said we would be Germantown but we look just like Georgia,” Shramek said. “But then they chose Cardinal, black and white for our colors. We kind of look like Georgia and a little bit like South Carolina.”
Branson Robinson is cold pic.twitter.com/uCKMh4qUz9
— Sir Ax (@AXactlyAx) March 1, 2021
Dell McGee has been the primary recruiter for Georgia. But line coach Matt Luke also knows the staff in Germantown quite well, too.
“The running backs coach Dell McGee and I have developed a good relationship off the field,” he said. “We really just don’t talk about football. When I get on the phone with him, we talk about stuff with my family and everything. Out of all these college coaches, coach Dell McGee is the best relationship I have with all my coaches. That’s a big reason why Georgia is my number one right now, too.”
McGee has brought up the parallels with Chubb’s style, too. He is not the only one. Shramek sees it, too.
“I would say that I run like Nick Chubb and [former Auburn great] Brandon Jacobs,” Robinson said. “Those are the ones I have been the most compared to. I do feel like I run similar styles as those two backs. But Nick Chubb mostly is what I want to say is my best comparison.”
Why is Georgia his top school beyond the McGee connection?
“The way they develop and produce their running backs,” he said. “That’s ‘RBU’ right there. The great offensive line play. The great head coach. Just a great overall all-around football school and a great academic school. Georgia is just a great overall place to be.”
He said the Bulldogs have told him he is their No.1 target at RB. That was a while ago.
“Yes they have,” he said. “When they said that, it was amazing.”
When he Facetimed with Kirby Smart, it was a trip.
“When I talked to him it was kind of like face to face, it was awesome,” Robinson said. “He asked me my weight numbers and stuff and after I told him what they were his reaction was funny. He was like ‘Dang’ and he was amazed. He said it reminded him of Nick Chubb.”
“He said Nick Chubb was obsessed with that. He said after the games that Chubb would go in the weight rooms and lift all night. That was the most memorable thing about chatting with Kirby Smart.”
Robinson will also lift afterward his games on Friday night. All night. Every Germantown player has a key to the weight room. He put his copy to good use.
“After every game, I will go in there and lift,” he said. “I just go in there. Especially after a loss. I will be in there all night.”
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Branson Robinson: His transformative Herschel Walker story
We interrupt this Robinson post for a story about the greatest Georgia Bulldog of all time.
Herschel Walker hasn’t carried a football for Georgia in almost 40 years. He hasn’t carried a football professionally since 1997.
And yet the Walker legacy touches the lives of prized RB prospects in the year 2021. The SEC Network and its recent documentary Walker returned those highlight runs to living rooms across America.
That Walker story actually aided Robinson’s development.
Robinson calls himself a country boy. He’s always been “country strong.” When he was younger, he would go to work with his father. He’s a car salesman. He would pick up bricks and crossties at the dealership.
He would come home feeling sore on those days.
“My first year of high school I had watched a Herschel Walker documentary,” Robinson said. “Another Georgia running back. I watched him. He did 1,000 push-ups a day and 1,000 sit-ups a day. I just got so inspired about that and how he transformed his body. That whole summer I did one thousand push-ups every day. I didn’t quite do a thousand sit-ups. I did about 800 sit-ups a day.”
“I went from 160 pounds in my eighth-grade year to then my ninth grade year I weighed 205. Once I got in the weight room, I was in the weight room. I’m in there all the time now. There’s no longer any need for 1,000 push-ups every day. That’s just where it all started at for me.”
It was 250 every hour. Then he’d rest. Get some fluids. Then 250 another hour. He’d do 50 push-ups at one time. There’s no wonder that two of his Germantown coaches also call him “Atlas” all the time. His running backs coach and his friends will call him “Zeus.”
— 704 Dawg (@FSFRecruits) February 18, 2021
There was a point in Robinson’s DawgNation conversations where he pointed out the obvious. There’s a lot of layers here to the onion about Robinson and some clear UGA ties to his not-quite-yet-17-years on Earth.
“It does seem like a reason that pulled Georgia to the No. 1 on my list,” he said. “All these signs right here. I think these are signs from God or something like that. It is just ironic. It just pushes Georgia to be number one for me right now.”
Robinson hears the same from his teammates. There’s just too much to ignore.
“When I talk to my classmates and I tell them Georgia is my number one right now they tell me they basically got the same colors and logo as we do right here,” he said. “That’s a sign, too.”
When visits are likely restored in June, he said UGA will be the first school he plans to check out.
“Yes sir,” he said. “Absolutely.”
The one thing that might be changing for Branson Robinson
He’s now at 630 pounds for his squat. At least. His max power clean at this point is at 335 pounds, but he’s never really tried for anything beyond reps. He said his bench press is right at 415 pounds.
Those are all Germantown school records.
When DawgNation first started tracking Robinson in December, he was thinking he wanted to wait until after his Mavericks won their last game. The state championship would come first for Germantown and then he’d think about making his college commitment.
I’m going out with that trophy in my hand…and Ima man of my word💯🏆
— Branson (@Brae_004) December 6, 2020
That stance has softened over the last two months.
“Kind of,” he said. “The visits are really the thing for me. I want to go on the visits. After I take the visits if I feel like if I have my one main school in mind, then I will commit before we win the state championship. Probably even before the season starts. The visits are the main thing for me. That’s why I haven’t even made a top 10 or a top 5 list for me yet.”
What is he looking for?
“Really and truly I want to go to a team that has a good offensive line,” he said. “I know Georgia definitely has all that. I just want to go to a school with good facilities and a good atmosphere and good fans. Aside from the football, I do want this one thing: A really good biology program.”
“After football, I plan to be a physical therapist. So I look for a school with a good biology program. The school that I end up choosing, man, they have got to have that.”
He sees a future in that. It will be something involved in sports and the training of the body. He knows he can make a good living at that, too.
“I actually did a virtual tour about the academic side of things with Georgia,” he said. “They link up very well. I want to say Georgia and Clemson have the top two programs I want to major in of the schools I am considering. Those two schools have what I am looking for as far as the biology program.”
He’s been to Atlanta, but not UGA. Robinson said this week he has family in Atlanta.
“My family they love Georgia, too,” he said. “Especially not just my immediate family. My auntie lives in Georgia. Actually. She actually I want to say yesterday she visited the campus. She walked around the campus and she sent my mom pictures of all the stuff around campus. The Bulldog statues. She is really excited about it. She loves Georgia. She wants me to go down there badly. My family really loves Georgia.”
The real coachspeak on Branson Robinson
Robinson has the ability to perform in any system. Put him in the gun and he has the ability to run laterally and get downhill. He could thrive in the “I” and punish a defense. He has the combination of athleticism and physicality to adapt to any scheme.
He’s the “Wildcat” quarterback for Germantown, too.
There are about 10-15 running backs every year who show up on tape with the ability to play at an Alabama or a Clemson or a Georgia. The intangibles shine here with Robinson.
“I’m not going to say this kid is a great kid just because he has great stats,” Shramek said. “Not going to lie to anybody. I’m going to say he’s a great kid because he’s a good boy. That’s it.”
Shramek said the recruiters bring up Robinson’s politeness. The quotes here made it abundantly clear he’s a very well-spoken young man. He wants to be a really good running back and to play in the NFL one day.
“But I don’t think that overshadows him being a good son and a good student,” Shramek said. “I’m the one who wants him to be my next-door neighbor. If we could all have people down the road and in the cul-de-sac like this guy, then shoot I’d be a happy old man.”
The Germantown head coach (Madison, Miss.) has a nickname for everybody. Robinson is “Double Deuce” because of his No. 22. Robinson took that number as a freshman starter because the young guys don’t get the sleek single digits jerseys.
He was fine with it. He then made it his own and didn’t see the need to change it. Shramek remembers somebody asking him why the Mavericks do not throw the ball more.
“If you had him back there, then why would you throw it?” he said.
He detailed a story about another player which parallels how he feels about Robinson.
“Why would we throw the ball out there to Elmer Fudd at receiver?” Shramek said. “When we’ve got the road runner back there at running back? You must think I want to get fired? Why would we do that?”
Robinson is right at 5 feet, 10 inches and about 218 pounds right now.
“We have a saying around here that too many backs all want to bust that 80-yarder,” Shramek said. “They all want to break the big one. We’ve got a motto here you’ve got to get four [yards] before you can get 80. We want to run as violently as we can to get four yards and then whatever else happens is gravy.”
He couldn’t name Robinson’s best play.
“Shoot fire,” he said. “Take your pick. Take any of them. I don’t know if it showed up on film real well but there was one against Terry where he ran through about five, six or seven tackles and nobody could get him down. There’s just a multitude of what you want to see. Do you want to see him break tackles and keep on going? Or do you want to see him hit the edge and outrun somebody? Do you want a mix of him breaking 1-2 tackles and flashing the speed to pop outside? Do you want jump cuts? He can do all those things. It is all-natural and he doesn’t get frustrated.”
“I think the one thing about any good back is what I call the Barry Sanders syndrome. That guy who can get hit for a loss or no gain or for one yard and doesn’t get mad. He doesn’t get frustrated. Because he knows he is going to tote it again and those other guys will be even more frustrated after he does. He doesn’t let a bad play or a negative play affect him.”
Robinson also shines as a team anchor.
“There’s the locker room work he does as a leader and about pushing people in a positive way,” Shramek said. “There’s a real young offensive lineman here. You know one of those kids who looks like a newborn moose out on an ice lake? He’s thick, tall and gangly and not grown into his body yet. Branson saw him lifting and was saying ‘Great job’ and ‘keep lifting’ and telling him he’s got to get better so he can block all night for him. That we need him. He’s good at making everybody follow his lead.”
“If he fumbles – and he doesn’t fumble much – he takes it hard because he feels like he really let our team down.”
Check out this film below. It is no wonder why every coach that sees it wants him to move in nearby, too.
“If it is not football, he’s still going to be successful in life because of his work ethic and family values,” Shramek said. “He’d be that guy you want to hire. He’s going to be that guy a lot of people want for their company. Regardless of football, he’s going to be 45 working somewhere and probably be the boss for a lot of people.”
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