Image Credit: Lakeland Ledger
Just two days after reportedly denying admission to four-star wide receiver James Robinson (Lakeland, FL), the Florida Gators ultimately decided to sign the pass catcher with a late decision coming on National Signing Day.
Robinson, the 114th ranked player in the nation, had narrowed his recruitment down to UF, Ohio State and Oklahoma in the last month. However, an official visit he took to see the Buckeyes not only got his OSU scholarship offer pulled but has now put a wrench in his entire recruitment.
While at Ohio State, Robinson was partying off campus with some Buckeyes when the group — reportedly three or four individuals — was caught with marijuana. Robinson was he only person in the group cited and charged with misdemeanor possession (he will pay $250 in fines and the charge will not go on his record as marijuana is basically decriminalized in the state of Ohio).
Due in part to those circumstances, Florida apparently also pulled its scholarship offer to Robinson, according to multiple outlets. Two sources later confirmed to OnlyGators.com that he would not be a member of the program. In response to this development, head coach Jim McElwain, who was counting on Robinson to be one of the top-rated members of his recruiting class, apparently contacted as many as 18 college coaches in hopes of finding a spot for the player.
Robinson cancelled his planned 1 p.m. announcement on signing day and instead looked like he would make a decision well after the fact. Instead, just moments before McElwain took the podium to announce his signing day class, the Gators announced that Robinson would be part of the program.
McElwain claimed at his press conference that there was a lot of “misinformation” out there about Robinson and that it “blows me away.”
The decision netted Florida the second-highest rated prospect in its class and now has the Gators in the top 10 of the 247Sports Composite team rankings as they added the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 recruits in their class all on signing day.
Four-star Daquon Green (Tampa, FL) is also in the class as a wideout, and three-star athlete Kadarius Toney (Eight Mile, AL) may eventually transition to that position after starting at quarterback.