Duce Robinson: What’s up next for the priority 5-star Georgia recruiting target?
Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This rep has the latest with 5-star TE Duce Robinson. He ranks as the nation’s No. 1 TE and the No. 17 overall prospect for 2023 on the 247Sports Composite ratings.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Duce Robinson shrugged his shoulders Tuesday night after the Under Armour All-American Game.
He remains the biggest remaining target for Georgia in the 2023 signing class. The 5-star recruit out of Arizona left Camping World Stadium with a few big days in mind.
In short, he’s thinking about:
- “First I am fixing to go home, you know? Play some basketball. Get myself back into basketball shape. If I’m able to take some visits. Hopefully, I will be able to take some visits.”
- His upcoming 18th birthday weekend comes in two weeks. He will turn 18.
- He also has a trip to Hawaii planned for that weekend of the 19th. That’s for the Polynesian Bowl.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Robinson said on Tuesday night that he may or may not sign on February 1 on the Wednesday of the traditional signing period.
He had a great experience this week in Orlando. The DawgNation reader will be able to learn, in subsequent stories this week, just how he feels about the ‘Dawgs.
The big thing he said at the Under Armour All-American Media Day event back on December 29 was that he notices a closeness among the 2023 signees at Georgia. He saw that on his visits. He saw that with the team when he took his official visit for the Kent State game back when nobody had an idea what the 2022 season had in store for this roster.
Well, that was the same thing in Orlando. He’s fully convinced that there is something different about the guys on the way to play for Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs.
“I’ve been able to meet a lot of their commits that I might have known before,” he said. “Through mutual friends and everything. But now being able to be around them. To be able to talk to them. To interact with them. They are really building something special.”
We got the feeling this week that relationships are key criteria for Robinson. He described himself as a “relationship person” this week in Orlando.
He did check out the Peach Bowl classic against Ohio State.
“It was insane,” he said.
He had his eye on all the bowl games over the week in Orlando, including the two semifinal thrillers.
“To see Georgia pull that off,” he said. “To be able to pull that off? It was crazy.”
What does the timeline feel like here?
“I think I will probably take it to February 1,” he said. “Even if I figure out where I want to go before then I don’t really see any need to announce it until I can put that pen on paper. You know?”
Could he take it to March or April? Maybe baseball season?
“I’m really not sure,” he said. “I guess we will have to find out.”
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Duce Robinson: The big things to know about his recruiting at this time
Alabama. Georgia. Southern California. Texas. Oregon.
It feels like those schools are the ones with any remaining hope of signing Robinson in February. The pulse of Alabama and Oregon might be the faintest.
After gathering a lot of insight for a few more days in Orlando this week, it does feel like the ‘Dawgs have a robust chance here.
What would be the reason he would eventually choose Georgia?
“The culture,” he said. “I think they have built a great culture. The guys love each other. You can even just see it here. Those guys are all together. Walking around the hotel together. Taking pictures together. I think they have really got something special with their culture over there.”
Here are a few basic things he said about his recruitment this week that stick out:
- Robinson played largely at receiver for his high school team this fall. He had 84 catches for 1,614 yards and 14 TDs this fall. He averaged 19.2 yards per catch and returned punts for his high school team, too. That’s an eye-opener at that size.
- The schools he has centered on right now all have given him a plan that will allow him to play tight end and flex out at receiver. “I want to be a playmaker,” he said. “However they call me. Or whatever they may call me. Do you know? Tight end? Receiver? I just want to make plays. I want to score touchdowns. I want to win games. I think we have narrowed it down to a select few schools that will give me the best chance to make plays and hopefully everything works out for the best.”
- He feels he has narrowed his scope to schools that have a track record of playing talented athletes in both baseball and football. “We’re trying to find the school where I can get developed in both sports. To be a major athlete in both sports.”
- Robinson, to be very clear, aspires to play pro baseball and pro football one day. He’s a toolsy centerfielder and the ‘Dawgs already have a strong plan in place for Robinson on the diamond.
- “They actually offered me baseball before football. Coach [Scott] Stickland and I have a very good relationship. We text a bunch. So we have a good relationship over there.”
- He’s about to start basketball season at Pinnacle High School in Arizona. That’s a time element to consider here along with the Polynesian Bowl. It makes it hard to figure out if he will be able to see Georgia, Texas and USC again. But that is his preference to make the effort to try and do so.
- He said that Alabama, Georgia, Texas and USC are the schools he has trimmed his outlook down to. Those were the schools he took his official visits to check out during the season. Oregon was also a school he brought up.
- The offense under Steve Sarkisian is the lure with Texas. He brought up the explosive plays he has seen from the Longhorns and also a strong connection with 5-star QB signee Arch Manning. “I think playing for that program would be a lot of fun,” he said.
- He said that he texts consistently with Manning once or twice per week. It is normally about life, but he will also ask him once in a while about where he is at in the process. “Anytime we are together we really enjoy spending time together and I think it would be a lot of fun to catch passes from him.”
- Robinson looks back on that Kent State official visit as something that “really boosted” Georgia. That was the groundswell of that “culture” perception he has about the ‘Dawgs. “Those guys are selfless,” he said of Georgia. “They are not playing for themselves. They are playing for each other.”
- He took an official visit to USC back in June but has not been back yet since. That said, the interest had not waned. “I still love USC,” he said. “That’s probably the class I am closest with in terms of relationships I have with guys. I have been super close to coach [Lincoln] Riley since his time at OU. It would be a lot of fun to play for him. USC is still really high on my list.”
- Alabama? Well, he did drop that “Alabama is Alabama” line that is all so frequent when top prospects discuss the Tide. He made it clear that former Georgia QB Joe Cox, the tight ends coach in Tuscaloosa, has done a strong job recruiting him up to this point. He liked the “proven path” of pipelining guys to the NFL. “It’s a factory,” he said.
Check out his senior highlight film below:
Have you subscribed to the DawgNation YouTube channel yet? If so, you will be able to see special 1-on-1 content with 2023 commits CJ Allen, AJ Harris and Jamaal Jarrett.
One other intriguing thing we learned about Duce Robinson at The Under Armour All-American Game
Robinson was a very gracious and well-polished interview subject this week. It was welcomed to see him speak so freely at the event about his outlook.
His recruitment reminds an observer of the days when there were eight or 10 reporters around every 5-star at the All-American events because they had yet to sign.
That’s not the case in this NIL era and the early signing period world. But Robinson was candid this week when another undecided 5-star prospect at the event (5-star CB Cormani McClain) declined all interviews with a tough decision up ahead.
He knows what to say and to say it in a way that directly answers every question and yet at the same time always gives life to each program he’s still considering.
Yet Georgia signee Justyn Rhett did share his read on things right now for the ‘Dawgs with Robinson.
“I’ve been talking to him a lot,” Rhett said. “All I can say is that it looks good. It just looks good I think for Georgia. It sounds real good for Georgia right now. That’s all I can really say.”
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