Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings. This entry offers a whole new perspective on talented All-American RB target Branson Robinson out of Mississippi.
MADISON, Miss. -- Pickup. Messup. The powerful Mississippi tailback Branson Robinson leads songs in the church choir. Those close to him feel he can run in the low 4.4s or even a high 4.3 in the 40 one day.
This space will get to all of that, including a potential timeline adjustment.
Before we do, the efficient introduction to this Sunday read on Robinson needs a few visuals. They underscore the moments in his life that could be leading him down a certain path.
Let’s start with a rhino, a cheetah and then a boy sitting with his father in the living room watching a Herschel Walker documentary.
Reginald Robinson wanted that Walker doc to teach a specific life lesson. To expand his son’s mind.
Branson found inspiration off another path. It led him to expand his biceps, triceps and lats. He did so with overwhelming success.
Timeless comedian Bob Hope had a joke once about a player having muscles in places that other players didn’t even have places. Getting a glimpse of Robinson in full pads reminds an observer of that line.
Is he wearing pads? Or are the pads wearing him for structure and support?
That’s a real question. Robinson followed Herschel’s daily ritual of push-ups and sit-ups until he was old enough to hit the weight room in high school.
Now picture a choir robe. Clad around a strapping RB who embraces the Nick Chubb parallels from both DawgNation and recruiting analysts. Robinson even hears he could be another Mark Ingram from the Alabama staff.
There’s a retired coach in Robinson’s Germantown High School football community. He used to coach RBs over a generation ago at Alabama. He had players who could take off from outside the 8-yard line and reach the end zone.
The wise ol’ coach believes Robinson is the real deal.
“He checks all the boxes,” former Crimson Tide running backs coach Rodney Stokes said. “And then some more most don’t usually look for. The sense. The intelligence. That’s what it takes to be a great football player in the NFL. I’m going to tell you the truth here: There are no dummies in the NFL.”
There are all these vivid stories to convey. Out of all of them, that first one was the best.
This 5-foot-10 and 220-pound chunk of granite’s football story starts with those words.
“He’ll be playing what we call ‘Pickup Messup’ with the other kids and there would be like seven or eight kids on him,” his father Reginald Robinson said. “He’d be laughing because they could never get him down on the ground. They would be on his back. Some would be on his shoulders. He would never fall.”
Branson was around five or six years old.
“That’s how we got on this trajectory of this whole football deal,” his father said.
”Pickup messup” is aptly named.
“They would have a little ball,” his father said. “A couple of young kids would all get in a circle and whoever picked up the ball then tried to run with it. They would get what they called ‘get messed up’ or get tackled and they would try to tackle him. That’s what we called it from where we were from. Pickup. Messup.”
“That’s kind of the thing with that. He used to do that as a young kid growing up from time to time. I just would always notice they could never get him on the ground. It all started from there.”
If you watch his junior year highlights, it all makes sense. Robinson signing in the choir? That does not.
Reginald Robinson gives his unique view on his son
Reginald Robinson is self-employed. He’s spent his lifetime around cars and repair shops.
“When he and his older brother were younger I used to take them with me on the weekends to my auto body shops,” Reginald Robinson said. “They’d be outside moving old motors or transmissions or whatever. He could always do it. That’s kind of why I knew he was strong.”
When the boys weren’t in his way, they were picking up anything they could.
Branson Robinson was a repeat Mississippi state powerlifting champion this spring. He’s right at 415 pounds on the bench press to go along with 630 on the squat and a 715-pound deadlift.
That level of strength was forged.
“I honestly and truthfully remember we were sitting in the living room watching that Herchel Walker story,” Reginald Robinson said. “I was telling him he’s a good student. I was pushing the element of the story when Herschel Walker said he wanted to graduate at the top of his class. He decided to do that and he was successful in that endeavor.”
“I was pushing him to do that. That mantra with him. But he came up with that he wanted to transform his body. He hooked on to the point of him doing the sit-ups. Which he did. He hooked on to the point of him doing the push-ups. Which he did. He’s just been on that trajectory, man.
Then he gave it a slight pause.
“And the rest is history,” he said.
Herschel would rep out 1,000 push-ups every day. Then another 1,000-situps. Robinson did those. Well, maybe 800 or so of those sit-ups.
“He actually did all of that,” his father said. “I can actually attest to that. He actually did all of that.”
The signs started to pop. He’d walk by his son in the mirror and catch him flexing. They would laugh.
“He latched on to it,” his father said. “I never pushed him toward that. He committed himself to that. I always tell him and my other two kids the same thing. I tell them that whatever you give yourself to in this world, it will give itself back to you.”
Branson Robinson doesn’t have a curfew. He comes in at a respectable time. He prefers to be by himself and will come home soon after his Friday night games. His father describes him as a “God-fearing young man” that has been raised in church his whole life.
“He actually sings in church,” Reginald Robinson said. “I don’t know if he told you that. He sings in the choir. He actually leads songs in the choir.”
That pitch does not sound like Barry White. Especially for a young man who will order the two biggest steaks on the menu when out to dinner with family. Two steaks. Every time.
“It is actually more like BeBe and CeCe Winans kind of guy,” his father said. “That is kind of what he is.”
Branson Robinson lined up deep in the backfield certainly conveys a notion or two about a freight train, doesn't he?
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
Branson Robinson: Why UGA coach Dell McGee is “on his job”
Robinson is an Alpha recruiting target for Georgia in 2022. Ace RBs coach and recruiter Dell McGee has prioritized him going back into last fall. It was the school where Walker became a college football icon.
Branson has noticed it. That’s one of several “signs” he and his teammates picked up on. They mention the “Zeus” nickname to the Chubb comparisons to the Germantown logo and color scheme looking like not-to-distant cousins to the Georgia “Power G” in a design scheme.
Does he embrace the comparisons to Georgia’s all-time great Nick Chubb?
“Yeah I do,” Robinson said. “Look now. He’s one of the best running backs in the league. Top 3 in my opinion. Yeah, it just inspires me to get where he is at. I love the comparison. I actually think that it is a pretty good comparison as far as the power, the agility, the speed and everything.”
How ironic is it that the school which produced Walker now recruits his son so heavily? Or that a documentary that shared Walker’s rise also produced the vast muscle tone in his son?
“Never drew the connection about it,” his father said. “No, I really never thought about it. But it is interesting that you mention that. It is an astounding coincidence, isn’t it? That’s the only thing I can say about all of it.”
“It is. I had never drawn the connection between those two things. But it is true. It is very true.”
How does he view the way Georgia is recruiting his son?
“Coach McGee now,” he started off. “Now let me tell you. If Branson does know and now I don’t know which way he is leaning. We are going to start the visits this coming up week. Georgia is the first visit.”
“But with that, I must say that Coach McGee is on his job. That’s all I can say. I can say nothing more. He is on his job. He is probably recruiting him the hardest. I would say. He’s just a junior. He has to go through his senior year. We are just going to take our time. We are not going to get in no rush. We’re not going to get wide-eyed and bushy-tailed about anything. We are going to see what everybody has to offer and we are going to get in our war room and we are going to put it on the board and list the pros and cons. I’m just going to give him the best advice from a father’s standpoint that I can.”
Branson Robinson has kept Georgia as his No. 1 for that same reason. He mentioned the bond he has with both Kirby Smart and McGee.
“It is just the bond I have got,” Branson said. “Especially with Coach McGee. We just talk about certain things and stuff like that. Not [just] on and off the field. Sometimes it is about life and stuff like that. It is just the coaching staff that really pulls me toward Georgia right now.”
Reginald Robinson has a specific outlook on the timelines for his son’s recruiting. That’s a nugget DawgNation has learned that might cause fans to pump their brakes on a commitment watch early in June.
That will be chronicled in this space, but there’s a greater misconception to play “pickup messup” with first.
It is hard to believe, but Branson Robinson really is a high school running back with another season of football still left to go. He ran for 9.7 yards per carry on his way to 1,197 yards and 15 touchdowns in only eight games last season.
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
Branson Robinson: The older brother with all the speed
There are some who might look at Branson Robinson and his physique and say he’s too chiseled. The wonder is if he’s a bit too stiff. Legendary coach Vince Dooley even had those early thoughts about Walker.
Could Robinson embrace a few core strength principles? Take up yoga? Can he do anything to enhance his flexibility?
Those power lifts and massive thighs throw a dead leg in that direction. The reality is those things are a mirage. When asked what is the most underappreciated thing about Robinson, his head coach at Germantown mentions his elusiveness, his cutting ability, vision and speed.
“His speed gets lost in everything,” Tim Shramek said. “His moves and his cuts and the way he probes for an opening are all vastly underrated. I think that’s very accurate. When you watch him on film, you see that nobody can catch him. I don’t think people also give him enough credit for his feet. He’s quick. They think he’s a downhill brute who can break it. I don’t think they understand the cuts, the moves and the good decisions he can make on every run.”
“He’s a special kid. When I say he’s a special kid, I for sure ain’t lying. He’s a great person, too. This world hasn’t got enough great people like him.”
As it turns out, there’s a real speed merchant in his family.
Branson Robinson is the rhino, but his older brother Bralon is the cheetah.
Bralon Robinson is five years older than him. He graduated from Alcorn State this spring and set the Alcorn State records in the 60 meters (6.65) and the 100 (10.20) in the program. He will compete as a graduate transfer somewhere this fall in track, but also in football.
He also played receiver, cornerback, quarterback, running back and returned kicks in high school.
The oldest sibling thinks Branson’s best attribute is his vision. He also has an “I knew back then” story, too.
“A proud big brother moment for me was when he was playing Little League football and he got the handoff, reversed field and outran everyone for his first Little League touchdown,” Bralon Robinson said. “I knew then he would be special.”
He didn’t mention anything about being strong and powerful. Or bowling over tacklers.
He thinks that his younger brother is already fast. Yet he holds the belief he can get a lot faster. The best reported 40 time on Robinson has been at 4.49 seconds so far.
There’s a 40-inch vertical leap to note with Robinson, too. That’s a measure of his explosion and what his “cheetah” brother sees in his younger sibling.
“I don’t think he can break 11.00 in the 100,” Bralon Robinson. “People don’t understand breaking 11 is very good speed. I’ll tell you this, I don’t know if he can break 11 in the 100 but I think real soon Branson can run sub 4.4 in the 40. It is in him. He’s just got to work at it.”
“I don’t think he’s put a big emphasis on speed. He’s clearly fast enough for where he is at. But I think if Branson trained for a month or two on strictly speed I think he can break 4.4 within the next two or three years. I think he can go 4.38 or 4.40 in the 40 at 225 pounds as a sophomore or junior in college.”
Bralon added an insightful take about the most impressive thing his brother can do.
“People don’t know this but Branson can be a great wide receiver if he wanted to,” Bralon Robinson said. “Branson has some great route-running ability. Hopefully, he can get the chance to show that this upcoming season. He’s a great running back. Don’t get me wrong there. But he can be a great receiver, too.”
For the record, his older brother would have no issues with him choosing Georgia. He’s known that UGA has been the top school here for some time. The best reason would be the tradition of the RB position in Athens.
Want a clue in on another aspect of Branson Robinson's game? That would be his hands and route running. He's far more than a lumbering M1 Abrams out in the flats.
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
What exactly is Branson Robinson thinking right now?
Robinson is a priority target for UGA in the 2022 class. He’s a big need. Seniors James Cook and Zamir White will very likely head to the NFL after this season. It would be stunning if they did not.
Kenny McIntosh will be draft-eligible after this season. Kendall Milton will be draft-eligible after the 2022 season. Georgia only signed Lovasea’ Carroll at the RB spot in the 2021 class. It now looks like his long-term future could very likely be at cornerback in Athens.
DawgNation had an insightful 1-on-1 interview with Robinson last week before his final spring intrasquad scrimmage. Like his head coach says, he’s a young man you’d love to see as your neighbor one day.
That can all be found right here.
The bigger takeaways on a young man his mother Kristy Robinson calls “Bud” would be the following:
On McGee: “I would say he’s more like another father. I would say. Nobody is your father but we talk about things. Not things like considering football. He talks about his wife and kids. We talk about how my day went at school and how my grades are. Just certain stuff like that.”
Contenders: Robinson said Clemson and Alabama are pushing for his No. 2 spot right now. Those schools are even at Georgia’s heels for the overall lead in his recruitment.
On those other schools: “With everything I said about Georgia and the coaching staff, I can say the same about Clemson and Alabama.”
On a decision timeline: It sounds like this will be a fluid situation for this family decision. Robinson said if he feels he has found the place he might go ahead and make a decision. He’s long said he doesn’t want to waste everyone’s time when he figures out the best spot. It appears the timing of a decision could go either way. The best way to convey it in this report is just to note it as something that has not yet been resolved. Those visits will help share the long-term thinking on a decision.
Why does UGA remain his No. 1 school?: “Another thing is If you look at the top schools that I placed on my list, it is really one of the best situations I am going into. If I decide to commit there. I have no problem sitting behind someone learning my freshman year. Getting knowledge and everything. But at the same time, I want to contribute to the team. I want to show people what I got. I feel like Georgia is the best situation that I would be going into if I decide to commit there.”
There’s a picture atop his Twitter profile page of his late uncle and young niece.
“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. That is for Bryan Jerome Robinson.
“He was killed and left behind like a three-year-old daughter,” Robinson said. “That really motivated me to show everybody what I can do and to show him watching down on me what I can do and everything like that. To provide for my little cousin and everything like that. To show everyone how great he was.”
His cousin, Riley Robinson, means everything to their family.
“Now she’s just energetic and she’s always trying to get on FaceTime with me and everything,” Branson Robinson said. “She just brings me joy, man. That’s all.”
It is a Robinson thing.
“Our uncle was taken from us way too soon,” Bralon Robinson said. “So it is only right that Branson and everybody in our family carry on my uncle’s legacy. He would want that. He would definitely want that.”
This image here actually shows another side of Branson Robinson not mentioned in this piece. At a recent spring team scrimmage, when the offense scored he reveled in celebrating every touchdown in a very clever manner with his Germantown High School teammates.
Jeff Sentell, Dawgnation
Branson Robinson: Another viewpoint on a potential decision timeline
The Robinson family likes the “right pace” in which Georgia recruits Branson.
“It has a nice balance of contact with my wife and me,” Reginald Robinson said. “It is not overbearing. It is just enough that when [coach McGee] texts or calls I would answer or reply back. Some other schools it is a little bit more. It is a little nuisance. With some other schools, it is not enough. It is almost uninteresting.”
His father has a plan for his son’s process beyond that “war room” setup. It will involve a full slab of official visits and a likely gameday trip or two in the fall.
“We’re going to take every visit that is allowed,” Reginald Robinson said. “If he’s leaning to one school over the others, that is fine. I think it is in his place and in order for him to go to each one of his visits and just to see. I know everybody is going to put the best foot forward. They are going to have the best presentation. They will show them all the bells and whistles. I understand that. But let’s do go see all of that and make our best-informed decision.”
He’s expecting pristine facilities. Those will not be a key factor.
“I’ve told him we must look at the big education piece of all of it,” Reginald Robinson said. “He can go out there and get hurt on the first play. Lord forbid that happens but I am a realist. We’re going there with the intention of getting a degree to be self-sufficient after football. I have always told him from six years old to the present ‘You are more than football. Football is something you can do but that is not your identity’ and I don’t want him to get bogged down in being that as his identity. Which I don’t think he does.”
Reginald and Kristy Robinson have been as big a part of Robinson’s rise as those push-ups and sit-ups. His father seems to have a clear opinion on the timing aspect.
“If he decides after his second or his third visit that I want to go here to School X, then that is fine,” his father said. “But I am still going to say we are going to the rest of the schools and the visits that are scheduled for the following weeks.”
He’s not even certain his son should commit to that preferred school before his senior season starts.
“Before we make the final decision, we are going to go to a couple of the games and those schools,” his father said. “I am going to try to get him to narrow it down to two or three so we can see one or two games. He needs to see what that game environment like. I don’t want the first time he puts on a uniform there to be the first time he’s in that environment. I want him to go before he puts that uniform on so he can see what it feels like and what he is up against.”
The biggest smile for Branson Robinson on any practice day is when he's around his teammates. He's the definition of an All-American who can do it all, but there's a real joy there when he's around his Maverick football team.