Texas football should pursue 4-Star WF CB commit Antonio Robinson

Dave Clawson Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Dave Clawson Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive back recruiting has come to the forefront of late for the Texas football program on the trail as a recent hot stretch for this coaching staff has lifted up the 2023 class. Texas now has a trio of blue-chip defensive back commits in the 2023 class after having a real hot stretch on the recruiting trail this summer.

Head coach Steve Sarkisian has to be happy with the job his defensive staff is doing on the recruiting trail for the Longhorns 2023 class. And that specifically looks to be the case in the defensive backfield, where that aforementioned trio of blue-chip DB commits lead the way.

Texas has landed the likes of the elite five-star Westgate (LA) safety Derek Williams, five-star South Oak Cliff cornerback Malik Muhammad, and four-star Arlington-Seguin safety Jamel Johnson in the 2023 class thus far. And there are a couple more targets in sight for the defensive back class for the Longhorns.

That duo of priority secondary targets remaining for the Longhorns 2023 class down the stretch this summer is the five-star Arlington-Martin cornerback Javien Toviano and four-star Woodlawn (LA) cornerback Jordan Matthews.

This leaves the question of numbers in the Longhorns 2023 class in the secondary. It looks like Texas is planning on taking five DBs in the 2023 class. But if Texas misses out on either Matthews or Toviano, how would this staff plan on filling out the 2023 class in the secondary?

There aren’t really any clear backup options for the Longhorns secondary in the 2023 class at the moment. With only rough a half-dozen offers for the Longhorns 2023 class in the secondary remaining uncommitted at this point of the recruiting cycle, Texas might have to dig deep here.

And I do believe that cornerbacks coach Terry Joseph and the Longhorns need to start finding some other options at the position now. It’s definitely not set in stone that Texas is going to land commitments from both Toviano and Matthews.

That’s why I believe the possibility of Texas continuing to pursue someone like the recent Wake Forest Demon Deacons commit and four-star Highlands (KY) cornerback Antonio Robinson would be a good move. The 5-foot-10 and 180-pound Robinson just transferred from Florida Christian School in Miami to play his senior season at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas, KY.

And Robinson surprised some when he announced his commitment back on June 24 to Wake Forest over other schools that offered him such as the Pitt Panthers, Kentucky Wildcats, LSU Tigers, and Texas, among others.

Texas football should continue to zone in on 4-Star Wake Forest CB commit Antonio Robinson

Yet, the possibility still remains that Texas could kick the tires on trying to flip Robinson from Wake Forest if the need arises in the 2023 secondary class.

Robinson is one of those defensive backs that really has some tremendous high school film. And he brings some pretty special physical traits to the table, including some flat-out track speed and the versatility to play on both sides of the ball.

This is a high-IQ DB that we’re talking about as Robinson got reps in past seasons at quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back. It will be interesting to see if that is the case again at Highlands this fall.

At the next level, Robinson could be a contributor on defense and special teams. His elusiveness and quick change of direction in the open field, combined with his apparent field vision, make him a real weapon as a returner.

But the insane versatility and potency that Robinson flashes on film don’t stop with his utility on offense and special teams. He does multiple things well playing as a defensive back in pass coverage, pass rushing, and defending the run.

His aforementioned high IQ of Robinson allows him to anticipate plays well at the line of scrimmage and time the snap well to blow up plays in the backfield. That’s where he can be really impactful rushing the passer from the cornerback position or stuffing the run when he’s called upon to line up in the box.

It’s also this type of utility on defense that gives Robinson the scheme versatility to fit in at either the cornerback or star position in the Texas scheme.

Moreover, Robinson clearly has his timing down in pass coverage that, when combined with his speed to keep up with opposing wideouts, can be lethal at corner. Robinson tallied up nearly 10 pass breakups and two picks during his junior season in high school. And both of his picks were good examples of how good his timing is on jumping routes and how fundamentally sound he is in pass coverage.

There are a lot of tools that Robinson possesses that will make him an impactful defensive back at the Power Five level. The main concern I would have for Robinson as a fit for the Texas defense would be his length. At 5-foot-10, Robinson doesn’t have the exact ideal frame for Texas at the cornerback position.

Texas is usually looking for corners with longer wingspans and with a height of at least 5-foot-11 or 6-foot (i.e. Malik Muhammad and Terrance Brooks). Yet, Robinson could still grow another couple of inches in height in the next year or so. That would be something to watch heading into his senior season of high school football.

All in all, Robinson profiles as a really underrated potential find for the Longhorns in the secondary if things don’t work out with Toviano and/or Matthews. If the Longhorns are looking to have five defensive backs signed in the 2023 class, and they miss on one of those two priority corners, ramping up the communication with Robinson this fall would be a great move.

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Texas currently holds commits from 20 recruits in the 2023 class. According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2023 Texas recruiting class ranks at No. 5 in the nation and in the top spot in the Big 12.