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Jeff Sentell/DawgNation
Justin Robinson ranks as a 4-star recruit and as the nation's No. 63 WR prospect for the 2020 class. Expect that to rise.

What decision did Justin Robinson have to make before he chose Georgia?

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. The play sheet today calls for a breakdown of new receiver Justin Robinson and what he will bring to the Bulldogs. 

Justin Robinson had something to figure out before he made his college commitment this past weekend.

The Georgia or Notre Dame decision was essentially a choice which was grounded in a few key factors. Education was big. His first offers were from Boston College and Virginia.

Location was a big consideration for the Eagles Landing Christian Academy state champion.

It was going to be much easier for his family to drive from McDonough to Athens every weekend. Notre Dame had other benefits, though. It is a terrific school.

Robinson wound up visiting South Bend and UGA on back-to-back weekends. It just wasn’t set up to be that way.

Justin Robinson-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Justin Robinson committed to play for Georgia on March 2. He became the fourth public commit for the class of 2020. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

But it does sure look like that compare and contrast between both schools provided him all the final answers he needed to make this choice.

The Fighting Irish saw him as a defensive back. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder excelled on both sides of the ball last fall. He even picked off three passes in a playoff game in the secondary.

His home state Bulldogs saw him as a receiver, though.

That’s what it came down to. Georgia meant going up and getting the ball. That’s why he committed to the G.

He said in mid-February that he was projecting a late September or an October timeline for his decision. His travels over the last month clearly sped up that process.

“Georgia was like a top school for me and I know Notre Dame was,” he said. “Notre Dame wanted me to play defense and I had to decide if I wanted to play offense or defense. I chose offense and I decided to go ahead and make the commitment [on Saturday.]

Justin Robinson on what’s next for his recruiting

“It feels great,” Robinson said of the relief of choosing Georgia. “Glad to be done with it and the visiting all the other schools and just being able to focus on one school.”

Is he done visiting other schools? He considered the question and then offered up a reply.

“I think it is done,” Robinson said. “I think Georgia is probably going to be it as far as visits go.”

The measurables there are already vast for Robinson.

  • 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds
  • 4.5 speed in the 40 (that was timed at UGA)
  • 37-inch vertical leap (that was also measured at UGA)

The Georgia recruiting effort, led by receivers coach Cortez Hankton, saw some clear things they liked in his game.

“They like my speed, how aggressive I am and how I can go get the ball,” Robinson said.

He committed to his future position coach. Hankton thought that Robinson was playing him at first.

“It was to coach Hank,” Robinson said of the initial commitment. “He was excited but he was joking around saying ‘You’re not ready’ and I was like ‘Yes, sir. I am’ with that. I told him I was ready.”

Robinson called his father and talked over what he was about to do. His parents weren’t with him on the trip this past weekend. That trip to Athens was with a pair of his ELCA teammates.

He does plan to return to Athens for G-Day later this spring. He was also pleased to see Carson Beck choose UGA this weekend. 

“I watched his Hudl and overall I think he’s a great QB,” Robinson said. “He’ll be a good fit at Georgia but I’m excited that he’s committed.”

In his own words about the decision

Now that his recruiting journey has its right fit, he was able to shed some light on how it all went down. Georgia had basically been his private leader since last season.

“I’ve been up there a lot of times and I’ve felt it plenty of times,” he said. “Like this is the place. I don’t know. It was just this time I was ready.”

Robinson made a pair of visits to UGA for games last fall and it all felt right then. His immediate family was comfortable with Georgia as a logical choice at that time, too. His parents spoke glowingly of UGA last October. They felt it was an ideal place for him to continue his career in college.

But his father also really liked Notre Dame. So the recent visit to South Bend was a clear way to be sure that he was making the right decision.

“Once I got the Georgia offer, I had to go see it all up there for myself,” Justin Robinson said while looking back on his process. “They have been my leader for a while.”

He said Kirby Smart and Hankton both did a great job during his recruiting of making UGA feel like “a second home” to him and his family members. Want to hear a cool story about that time he watched an entire basketball game with Smart?

That’s what that video up top is there for, among other things.

What will the program be getting with this decision? Robinson had a clear message for DawgNation.

“I will give it my best and I won’t let them down,” he said.

Look for him to wear No. 22 in Athens. That’s the numeral he has his eye on. He’s been told that will be available for him during his time as a Bulldog.

“That’s just something I grew up wearing,” he said.

What Justin Robinson can be at Georgia

Robinson has always flashed an exemplary character in every interaction I’ve had with him. He often reminds me of current Georgia receiver J.J. Holloman.

That is some first-class company.

Justin Robinson-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Justin Robinson played both ways for a state championship team at Eagles Landing Christian Academy last fall. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Holloman and Robinson will always “yes sir” anybody – much less an older adult – until they are weak in the knees.

It was almost like they made a pact with the football gods up on top on Mt. Lombardi.

The deal was they would get one yard receiving in their football careers for every time they used proper manners or acted exactly like their parents would want them to in any social setting.

That stuff even spills over into their text messages, too. When it came time to check in for interviews, he was the 4-star who said those had to come after he had done his homework that day.

It is rather easy to appreciate the priorities he has already established in his life.

Robinson will not enroll early. Look for him to show up in that “Moving Day” tweet that drops in late May every year with the rest of the 2020 class.

He plays both ways for the Chargers and also competes in multiple sports. His other discipline is track. The 6-foot-4 junior will run the 200 and 400 in the spring.

Is he done growing? Robinson has been told that his growth plates are closed. So those visions of a future 6-foot-6 receiver for James Coley and Cortez Hankton in Athens will likely not materialize.

Robinson will be just fine if he does not grow another inch. That said, he just might carry 235 pounds like a cell phone in his back pocket when he is a college junior in 2022.

Coachspeak: ELCA’s Jonathan Gess on Justin Robinson

Robinson had approximately 750 yards receiving last fall. He caught 13 touchdown passes and came away with four interceptions while also playing cornerback and at safety.

What do folks want to know beyond that about Robinson? Well, there’s no greater source than his head coach at ELCA.

Jonathan Gess runs an impressive program. Here are three rather interesting things he had to say about his star wide receiver and cornerback.

“He probably has more upside at wide receiver but the thing I like about him as a ‘DB’ is he can change direction, he can flip his hips and he can break on the football,” Gess said. “Those are all things you have got to recruit. You got to recruit those things. You can’t coach those things and you can’t teach those things. If a kid can’t do it he can’t do it. It is a natural backyard ability and so that’s Justin, man.

“Then he’s very very intelligent. He understands the game. So a great ‘DB’ is going to understand down and distance. He is going to understand the split of a wide receiver. He is going to understand the tendencies that he has seen on film. Justin is that guy.”

What is he like off the field?

“I love Justin because he is very humble,” Gess said. “He doesn’t think much of himself or acts like he’s the best player in the world. He does what we ask him to do and comes in and works every single day. So I think that’s the best attribute I can give him. He’s a humble kid who does exactly what we ask him to do. He’ll play offense. He’ll play defense and he’ll play special teams. He’s a ‘whatever you need me to do coach’ kind of kid and I think that’s a very valuable virtue for any kid that is going to go on to the next level.”

His coach also rated his blocking ability.

“He’s a 10,” Gess said matter of factly. “You are not going to play for me if you are not going to block. We are going to block and we are going to play defense.”


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