Four-star 2024 Ohio defensive end Brian Robinson had a handful of choices to choose from when reflecting on the highlight of his visit to Ohio State on Sept. 3 for the home opener against Notre Dame.
He could have picked the atmosphere itself, experiencing his hometown Buckeyes winning their season opener against Notre Dame 21-10 in front of a sold-out crowd. Or he could have selected listening to Ryan Day talk to his players or perhaps getting an opportunity to rub elbows and briefly speak with Chase Young, Joe Burrow and C.J. Stroud.
2 much is giving much is required. Thanks @OhioStateFB for the game invite & hospitality.@ryandaytime @ParkerFleming_ @R2X_Rushmen1 @CoachJimKnowles @CoachTJ_Parker @FitchFootball @FeetHipsHands @rawtalentsport1 @BCollierPPI @AllenTrieu @SWiltfong247 @CraigHaubert @Rivals_Clint pic.twitter.com/MxgVn9JP87— Brian Robinson AKA B Rob (@BRob_2323) September 4, 2022
But while all of those moments helped make Robinson’s experience in Columbus unforgettable, it wasn’t the moment that stood out to him the most. Currently residing in Youngstown and playing for Austintown Fitch High School, Robinson said seeing hometown heroes Jim Tressel and Maurice Clarett honored as part of the 20th anniversary of the 2002 national championship Ohio State team was the highlight of his night.
“It meant so much because I’ve gotten to speak with Jim Tressel personally for advice,” Robinson told Eleven Warriors. “I’ve got a list of books to read from him. Maurice Clarett is a hometown legend, so that was phenomenal to see the GOAT and see that he’s still appreciated through the ups and downs. He’s one of the marquee people my dad used in my development.”
Visiting Ohio State has always been special for Robinson. The Buckeyes were the program he primarily grew up rooting for, and he has memories of past teams that stick with him to this day.
Robinson attended one of Ohio State's recruiting camps over the summer and was eager to impress the coaches he worked out for in the morning and afternoon sessions. One of his sessions was at defensive end and the other as a tight end, making him one of only a handful of players all summer to work out at multiple positions.
If Robinson, considered the 123rd-best player nationally and the 12th-best edge prospect in 2024 per 247Sports’ composite rankings, earns an offer from OSU one day, it’s likely to be as a defensive end.
“I grew up an Ohio State fan, the only team I’ve ever liked,” Robinson said. “So (getting an offer) would be surreal. It was crazy even from the beginning. I never even imagined myself being considered to play at the college level, let alone at Ohio State. I appreciate all of my offers, but how many times do you get to meet the coaches or players of the team that you’re a fan of?”
Robinson has developed a close relationship with Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who he said he speaks with weekly. While on his visit, Robinson met with Johnson to catch up.
“I spoke with him, and he told me I looked good,” Robinson said of his conversation with Johnson. “He told me he was watching me and that he was proud of what I was doing and to keep up the good work. He always gives words of encouragement because I’ll text him every week. When he was able to call, he let me know that he couldn’t wait to show me what the brotherhood had to offer me. He really wanted me at the game. There sure were a lot of recruits at the game, so he didn’t have a lot of time, but he made sure that he gave me some of his time to talk.
“He always jokes and says, 'At the end of the day, you’re going to be a Buckeye.'”
After watching the Buckeyes’ defense limit the Fighting Irish to 10 points, Robinson was impressed with Jim Knowles’ scheme. He began to envision where he could see himself playing in that defense.
“It’s definitely going to be as a pass rusher,” Robinson said of where he believes he fits in on Ohio State’s scheme. “I think they can use me as a hybrid to rush the outside. I really love playing the run, so that’s an advantage I think I have over a lot of people that play the same position that I play. I specialize and train to pass rush, but also trying to be an amazing run defender.”
While the offer from Ohio State hasn’t found its way to Robinson yet, he’s racked up an impressive offer sheet thus far, picking up offers from Michigan, Georgia, Boston College, Houston, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Washington.
“It’s been a roller coaster, and it’s been going so fast,” Robinson said of his recruiting process. “My dad tells me just be humble, be grounded and continue to work. I’ve still got a long time and two years of football left (before I go to college).”
No one says anything when they see a groundhog. They will always talk when they see a bear #LetThemTalk @CoachTJ_Parker @FitchFootball @FeetHipsHands @rawtalentsport1 @CAT_TAKEOVER @Training_A1 @BCollierPPI @AllenTrieu @SWiltfong247 @CraigHaubert @Rivals_Clint pic.twitter.com/GneOTc2aTv— Brian Robinson AKA B Rob (@BRob_2323) September 7, 2022
Robinson visited Michigan Saturday and plans to visit games at Penn State, Kentucky, Georgia, Washington and Auburn. He hopes to revisit Ohio State as well.
“Oh yes. I’m definitely coming back to Ohio State,” Robinson said. “I’ll come to whatever game they want me to come to.”