Florida four-star freshman WR James Robinson enrolls, practices with Gators

By Adam Silverstein
August 4, 2017
Florida four-star freshman WR James Robinson enrolls, practices with Gators

Image Credit: Lakeland Ledger

Though he was unable to join his classmates at the start of the Summer B semester, Florida Gators freshman wide receiver James Robinson made it just in time as he enrolled at Florida for the fall semester and joined the Gators on the practice field Friday.

Robinson, whose scholarship offer and initial admittance were subjects of much controversy, faced a qualification review by the NCAA Clearinghouse before he could enroll in school and therefore be eligible to practice. That process seemingly concluded Friday as Florida tweeted out a picture of Robinson walking onto the field in a jersey with shells and a helmet with the caption, “All is good.”

Robinson (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) was the 116th ranked prospect in the nation this year and second-highest rated signee in the Gators’ Class of 2017.

UF had denied admission for Robinson two days before National Signing Day, and head coach Jim McElwain immediately sprung into action, first trying to find a spot for Robinson by reportedly contacting as many as 18 other program. Simultaneously, McElwain petitioned the school to admit Robinson, asking the school not to prevent him from getting an education due to a questionable academic issue and poor decision in the winter.

Robinson had narrowed his recruitment to Florida, Ohio State and Oklahoma in the last month of the recruiting cycle with most signs pointing to him committing to the Gators. However, an official visit he took to see the Buckeyes not only got his OSU scholarship offer pulled but 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 paid $250 in fines and the charge did not go on his record as marijuana is basically decriminalized in the state of Ohio).

Due in part to those circumstances, Florida admissions pulled its scholarship offer to Robinson, according to multiple reports at the time. Two sources confirmed to OnlyGators.com at that time that he would not be a member of the 2017 class.

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.” In the end, Robinson was part of a massive signing day haul for the Gators, which vaulted them to No. 10 in the 247Sports Composite team rankings after they signed the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 recruits in their class.

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