USC football, MLB or
DUCE ROBINSON made his first college football scholarship offer prior to he even knew how to buckle shoulder pads.Never having played take on football, he attended a 7-on-7 tournament prior to his freshman year at Pinnacle(Arizona) High School. In spite of his inexperience, his natural capability and huge size(6-foot-4, 200 pounds as a 14-year-old)gave Arizona State coaches all they needed to see to offer him an opportunity to play football at the next level.At that time, Robinson already had a scholarship offer to play baseball at seasonal power Arizona.In the four years given that, Robinson has grown to 6-foot-6, 235 pounds and has actually seen his deal list expand at a comparable clip. Not only is he the No. 1 tight end in the class of 2023, he’s a top-100 MLB draft prospect with the potential of earning a seven-figure reward in July’s draft. He’s only the fifth individual to ever play in the Under Armour All-America Video game in both football and baseball.Add it all up and Robinson is the most appealing college football hire in the nation. He devoted to USC last week but has been compared to Aaron Judge by an MLB bench coach. Obviously, USC’s football coach, Lincoln Riley, was at Oklahoma when Kyler Murray was a top-10 MLB draft choice however played another season with the Sooners and emerged as a Heisman winner and top general NFL choice en route to a nine-figure contract with the Arizona Cardinals.For Robinson, playing 2 sports is all he has actually ever understood. Beyond Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson proving two-sport stardom is possible, there’s a
compensation that hits much closer to home. His father, Dominic, played pass receiver at Florida State under Bobby Bowden beginning in 2001 and likewise well balanced baseball under famous coach Mike Martin. It’s a big reason why Duce Robinson isn’t ready to answer the”Football or baseball?”concern right now.”He was my motivation, and you constantly hear stories about what your parents did, particularly when you’re young,” Robinson said. “But when you’re a young kid playing catch, running routes or swinging a bat with him, you hear the stories and think,’I might do that and I might do that better than him.’So my goal given that I can remember was to follow in his footsteps and ideally be better than he was.”As an outcome, the concern that emerged with that preliminary 7-on-7 tourney continues to persist for Robinson. Football or baseball? MLB draft or two-sport college stardom? Judge or Murray?AS THE NO. 40 football hire
in the country, Robinson has a rare mix of size, speed and a capability to draw in passes that make him a matchup problem on any level. Over the previous 2 seasons, he had 144 receptions
for 2,586 backyards and 22 goals. He broke Peak’s single-season records for catches (84 )and receiving yards (1,614) in 2022. He landed deals from a few of the leading programs in the game– back-to-back nationwide champion Georgia, Texas, Alabama and Oregon amongst them– however on March 30 committed to USC to play under among the very best offending minds in the country in Riley.Welcome to the
household, @Ducerobinson2 pic.twitter.com/VKnqZO56CI!.?.!— USC Football (@uscfb)March 31, 2023 The two of them had built a connection dating back to when Riley was Oklahoma’s coach. Not just did Robinson feel comfortable with him, his staff and the Trojans’offense, but he knew Riley had been in this circumstance prior to with a player
who wished to pursue both football and baseball.”He had Kyler Murray and it
was recently,”Robinson said.”Coach Riley has actually done this prior to with a guy at a very high level and he’s all-in on it. He knows what works, what doesn’t work and it was most likely harder to balance it with a quarterback, because it’s such a special position.” Murray was the very first player to play in the Under Armour All-America Game in both baseball and football in 2014. Since then, four other individuals have actually achieved the accomplishment: Philadelphia Eagles pass receiver A.J. Brown, Kansas City Chiefs receiver Jerrion Ealy, Samford outfielder Maurice Hampton Jr. and Robinson.Robinson plans on coming to USC in June, relocating, participating in summertime workouts and getting ready for his freshman season.A few years ago, he and his mom fulfilled Murray on a recruiting check out at Oklahoma. They sat down with the first person to be a first-round pick in both the MLB and NFL drafts for 20 to 30 minutes, discussing what it was like to play both sports. And how attainable it was with a coach like Riley.ROBINSON’S HOUSEHOLD HAS heard of him being compared to New york city Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who signed expertly out of high school in 2007. Texas Rangers bench coach Donnie Ecker, who has actually worked with
and mentored Robinson over the past couple of years, compared him to another former MVP. “Aaron Judge is perhaps the only other person we can comp to have the efficiency of Duce’s bat path and his plate discipline, “Ecker stated.”And to know that he’s just a child when it comes to what he’s going to become. I believe Aaron Judge is the closest compensation I have at this age.”ESPN baseball analyst Kiley McDaniel has Robinson, noted as an outfielder, as the No. 84 draft prospect this summertime. He is described as still being raw, but scouts think his unusual physical tools, which can’t be taught, will assist him be successful in the sport.’The Codes’ Possibility Review Duce Robinson
(’23)Pinnacle HS (AZ)@Ducerobinson2 ACG22// 1.978 OPS, 2B, 3B, 4 BB; All-ACG Team #ACSelect|#MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/SrS1DfKfT2!.?.!— Area Code Baseball (@ACBaseballGames )January 6, 2023 Whether Robinson is picked in the first round, fifth round or much later on in the MLB draft depends on a variety of aspects– how he performs
this spring, what his contract needs are, whether groups think he wants to go to college and more. Robinson’s choices and the draft’s financial slotting system make forecasting his status with any certainty this early exceptionally difficult.He wishes to show to MLB scouts
that his capacity deserves assigning a high draft choice. Major league teams want him to get associates on the baseball field at their level, and Robinson intend on continuing his currently rigid workout routine, practicing his method, taking part in the MLB integrate and exercising with groups privately.Most baseball players
picked in the draft will spend three to five years in a minors system, climbing the ranks to hopefully one day make The Program.”We’re just attempting to prepare yourself for the draft today. We’re all set for whatever and ideally I get prepared extremely, “Robinson said. “And after that the objective from there would be to play college football and hopefully be able to sign an expert baseball contract so I might
play both that method. “While it isn’t likely, there is a situation in which no MLB group picks him in the draft, or he could be a late choice. If that circumstance plays out, the family thinks they have the leverage because of Robinson’s commitment to USC. Playing three years of football and baseball for the Trojans could set him up for success for the future if he can continue to develop his talents.THE NCAA enables student-athletes to play college football after being drafted by a major league organization. If he signs an agreement with an expert baseball team, he won’t have college eligibility in baseball, which is great with Robinson as long as he has his chance at an MLB contract.College football is already a full-time task for athletes trying to handle their schedules, classes, workouts and team responsibilities. Including the commitment of being a professional athlete in
another sport is a difficulty Robinson welcomes.” The first couple years in the minor leagues, they’re super versatile with those men, where the major leagues it normally leaks into football season a bit,”Robinson said. “But, baseball would be in the summer season and after that football is throughout the fall. So, the strategy right now is to continue to play football for as long as possible and baseball
for as long as possible.”Robinson’s mom, Mary Beth, swam competitively at Florida. Dominic was an extremely touted prospect coming out of high school in the exact same recruiting class as Matt Leinart and Larry Fitzgerald. He was a two-sport professional athlete, playing both football and baseball his freshman year.
Under Bowden, he moved from protective back to wide receiver, where he recorded 680 getting lawns and 2 touchdowns from 2002 to’ 04. As soon as his college career was over, he signed with the then-St. Louis Rams after the 2005 NFL draft.Robinson states he believes he, too, can play both sports for as long as his body is willing to let him. He doesn’t predict needing to choose between the 2 as long as someone will let him play both at the greatest levels.Dominic remembers the pressure he felt when he was going through the recruiting process, playing football at the highest level and balancing baseball as well. He stated he hasn’t put any pressure on his child to recreate his own career, motivating him to experience everything for himself, make his own choices and create his own path. “He’s very driven, he’s goal-oriented and his goal was to be an expert sports player,”Dominic stated.” Going to college for a sport was one of the actions on that path, however he knows what it takes to get to what his supreme goal is.” Duce Robinson grew up thinking that playing 2 sports at the highest levels were obtainable because his dad, Dominic, played Department I football and baseball at Florida State. Thanks to the Robinson household AT AN EARLY age, Duce stood a head above his peers and was amongst the fastest kids, whether it was at recess or on a field. Dominic stated jokingly that his kid had biceps prior to he could even walk.The Robinsons lived in Dallas, but Dominic worked as an assistant football coach at the University of West Georgia, so he would take a trip to and from Texas, which indicated he would begrudgingly miss out on some essential events for Duce and his more youthful bro, Dyson.One moment that particularly stood out in Dominic’s mind was when 5-year-old Duce informed him he made the McKinney Little League All-Star team, which was composted mainly of 7-year-olds. Dominic broke down in tears not just because he wasn’t present for the accomplishment, but since he knew at that moment his boy was unique.”We were definitely not expecting him to become one ofthe very best athletes in the nation, but we knew that he had that level of engagement,”the daddy said.Dominic operated in college athletics for most of Duce’s childhood. The household moved to Des Moines, Iowa, when he took an assistant training job at Drake University in 2014. He left college athletics to begin 3D Performance, a training facility and program that deals with professional athletes at all levels in baseball, then moved the household to Phoenix in 2016. There is where Dominic fulfilled then-Arizona baseball coach Jay Johnson. Johnson had offered scholarships to a few of Dominic’s other 3D players, however viewing Duce’s skills and size as an eighth-grade outfielder playing along with high school
upperclassmen convinced him to use Duce his first scholarship.Dominic developed a connection with Ecker, the Rangers’ bench coach, through mutual connections five years back. Ecker, 37, has actually since become a huge sibling of sorts to Duce, dealing with his on-field mechanics and directing him through the mental side of the game. In spite of being around major league players his entire
life, he says Duce currently thinks and works like a significant leaguer.Editor’s Picks 2 Related”I’m around 18-to-35-year-old baseball players every day, and I’m working with Duce at 7:30 p.m. in Surprise, Arizona, in a cage when it’s raining outside,”Ecker said. “After he’s had school, weights, he drove an hour to get there and I search in his eyes. I just know this person is different and he’s not somebody I’m going to bet versus.” Johnson wasn’t the only coach to be wowed by Duce’s capabilities. Upon seeing Duce at the 7-on-7 competition for the very first time, Dana Zupke, who has actually been Peak High School’s football coach for the past 18 seasons, understood a player of his quality would not occur every year.Still, regardless of Duce’s natural talent, not every element of football came easy to him. He had some shortcomings early on in his profession– even learning to catch the ball took
time. It was Duce’s work principles and attention to information that stood apart to him.In Zupke’s eyes, there was one driving force. “What keeps coming up is,’My dad played both in college and I wish to resemble my father.’That’s what I hear probably more than anything, “Zupke said. “There’s ambition there and I understand he wants to play both expertly. However I think it really boils down to his sense of household and identity, and I believe he wishes to emulate somebody that he appreciates and respects the most probably in this world, which is Dominic.”IN SOME WAYS, the next couple of months will be familiar for Robinson– a minimum of when it comes to his routine: training, running, lifting, batting practice 4 to 5 times a week and continuing to establish his fundamentals.Balancing both sports, which he has done the previous couple of years, has actually come naturally. Knowing his daddy played both sports normalized it for him. It’s what he grew up with and all he’s known. He’s seen movie and studied Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, both of whom reached stardom in the NFL and MLB.” Deion was unbelievable at both sports, but Bo Jackson was the offending guy,”Robinson stated.
“He was an outfielder, also, so I have actually always looked up to him a bit more than Deion. But, obviously, Deion is a super big motivation also.”Robinson says he thinks he can make it to both the NFL and MLB and wants to try for as long
as coaches and companies will let him.
The NFL doesn’t permit professional athletes to go into the draft until they’re 3 years removed from high school, which provides him his timeline for football, but his MLB path will largely depend on his development in the minor leagues.His course in both sports could likewise be impacted by the outcomes of the MLB draft. If he’s chosen in the very first couple of rounds, would the perk cash suffice to get him to pick baseball over football? Would an MLB company try to persuade him to stick with baseball and spurn college? Does he end up being a two-sport college professional athlete with his dream of the pros still in front of him?The next couple of months can identify how the next couple of years will play out and how rapidly he reaches his objectives.
He can’t anticipate whatever that’ll take place, how long he’ll have to grind it out in the minors, or what his NFL draft stock might look like in 2026 or 2027. Right now, Robinson is focused just on today and what’s in front of him. As his summertime of modification techniques, as he prepares to take his abilities to two new levels, Dominic can’t assist however consider that little kid telling his daddy he made his all-star team. “This will be a busy summer and it will start to get real when he reports to his school in June, “Dominic said.”He’ll do that while also preparing
to end up being a major league baseball player. That’s a youth dream and it’s simply something that … I can’t believe that he’s doing it. “How cool is that? “