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March 28, 2012

Robinson finds peace with choice

MORE NOTRE DAME: Read IrishIllustrated.com

Corey Robinson is unsure what he will do next fall when Notre Dame travels to Ireland for its game against Navy, a historical rival.

Recent developments will make that matchup a touch different for the wide receiver from San Antonio, Texas. His father, former Spurs center David Robinson, started his growth, quite literally, into a Hall of Fame basketball player at the Naval Academy.

The younger Robinson always grew up rooting for the Midshipmen. Now he will be pitted against them after giving Notre Dame a verbal commitment.

"It's gonna be interesting at the Robinson household," said Corey Robinson, who called head coach Brian Kelly with the news Tuesday night. "Let's just say that. I might have to wear my blue and gold shirt under my Irish stuff."

Robinson didn't waste much time becoming the ninth Notre Dame commitment.

Back in January the 6-foot-4, 195-pound prospect burst onto the scene with a strong performance at the U.S. Army National Combine, which features top underclassmen from across the country. Barely a month later Notre Dame became his first scholarship offer when cornerbacks coach Kerry Cooks left a voicemail with the football offices.

[ MORE IRISH: Crossing the lines: ND recruiting on a roll ]

Other offers flowed in with Iowa the next day followed by Kansas, Navy, North Carolina and Wake Forest. Air Force, Baylor, Duke, Northwestern, Rice, Stanford and Vanderbilt expressed interest.

All along Robinson knew the Irish would be near the forefront.

"It's always been at the top of my list," he said. "Every list I made, Notre Dame would be at the very top. Logically, I felt like this was the place for me. On paper it looked great and when I went there it was even better. I didn't think it could be better. It was amazing."

That visit occurred last weekend when the coaching staff hosted its junior day, an event that attracted 20-some prospects from across the country.

Robinson and his father spent a couple days on campus. During that time they talked with current players, recruits already committed and took part in the usual slate of tours and meetings that make up an unofficial visit.

"The guys were just telling me you can expect challenging academics," Robinson said. "It's very nurturing there. They're gonna help you whenever you need with the tutors and stuff. That was really reassuring because I want to go into something like pre-med, so it's not gonna be easy. I got to meet a lot of guys that had some ties where I've been before like Manti Te'o. I've been to Hawaii a couple times.

"I got to talk to them about the weather change, stuff like that that doesn't seem that big to a lot of people but to me, a Texas boy, that Indiana weather is a little daunting."

Robinson left campus Saturday with a thought he'd just visited his college of choice. He returned to Texas for a little offseason competition at the Dallas NIKE Football Training Camp then decided to compare Notre Dame against another option. He and his father visited Wake Forest on Tuesday.

Before they boarded a plane back home Robinson put in a call to Cooks then spoke with Kelly, delivering a commitment that had been in the works for at least couple days.

"There was something about it. I can't explain it," Robinson said. "Me and my dad and my mom, we were just praying about it. We just felt that the Lord gave us a lot of peace when we went on that campus, peace about Notre Dame.

"I did not see a reason to wait if I had that peace about it."



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