When it comes to athletic talents in the Class of 2007, Cincinnati, Ohio's Bill Walker is on another level altogether. Just a notch below, however, is New Jersey's next skywalker, 6-foot-6 200 lbs. junior Jeff Robinson from St. Patrick's in Elizabeth. Rivals.com spoke with Robinson for a recruiting update this week.
Robinson had a great September, putting on an athletic show at Rick Barrett's Gym Rats Midnight Madness, then playing well enough at the Hoop Group's Fall Jamfest to earn All Tournament honors. Robinson has always had special athletic ability, but he has been working hard on other aspects of his game, and the results are impressive. His defensive intensity and perimeter shooting are two areas that have improved markedly since the end of the 2005 high school season.
Colleges are already lined up to take a crack at the #68 ranked player in the Class of 2007.
"Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Miami, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Seton Hall, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Cincinnati, Marquette, Syracuse, Florida, and Florida State have all offered," Robinson said. "North Carolina is recruiting me too, but they haven't offered yet."
With Robinson's improved shooting stroke and startling leaping ability, he reminds many of former North Carolina recruit J.R. Smith, another Jersey product who by-passed UNC and took his game straight to the NBA. Robinson has the tools to make the same kind of leap that Smith made as a prospect between his junior and senior year of high school, and playing at high profile St. Patrick's should garner him plenty of national attention, especially now that 6-foot-9 center Derrick Caracter has transferred to Notre Dame Academy in Massachusetts.
"I wish he would have stayed, but he did what he had to do," Robinson said. "Everyone will have to step up and play hard."
Robinson's role is likely to expand significantly with Caracter's departure, especially in the paint. He averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds per game last season.
Robinson will take an unofficial visit to Seton Hall on October 21st. He hopes to visit Syracuse the following week. He said that a trip to Georgia is a possibility as well this fall.