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May 4, 2012

Robinson to show speed at Challenge

MORE: Five-Star Challenge | Underclassmen Challenge

When he received offers from both Alabama and Auburn, Earnest Robinson knew he was a legitimate in-state prospect.

At 6 feet 3 and a shade over 200 pounds, the size was there to indicate he had some measurables that were advantageous to being a football player.

And despite offers from other SEC schools such as Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Tennessee, it wasn't until his invitation to the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge that the Pinson Valley (Ala.) High receiver realized he was a nationally relevant player.

"I was surprised," Robinson said. "When my coach told me I was invited I was really stunned. I didn't know people outside of Alabama really knew who I was and then I got an invitation to a camp like that is incredible."

The invitation-only camp and 7-on-7 event will take place from June 22-24 at Lakewood Stadium in Atlanta. It will feature 100 of the nation's top prospects and Robinson will be there for it all.

But just being there will not be enough. Robinson is ready to compete and show people that they really do not know anything about him.

That mission starts with disrupting any misconceptions about his speed. His Rivals.com profile page lists him as having a 4.81 time in the 40 yard dash. It is a time that Robinson said has dramatically improved.

"I got a lot faster over the last year," he said. "I have breakaway speed now and I have always has good hands. I think putting them both together makes me a much better player."

For those that haven't seen, or followed, Robinson, he said not to worry because those that did may not know what is about to be put on display.

"It is safe to say that people might not know anything about me," he said. "My speed is great. My hands are great. I don't have a goal going out there but to go after the best."

With his increase in speed, Robinson said that he has also put in a concerted effort to improve his route running.

"It was a little sloppy before," he said. "I know that if I am going to shake a corner at the next level I have to run better routes and I have been really putting in the effort there.

"If I can keep sharpening how I get in and out, plus my speed, I will be tough to stop."

Robinson, the No. 11 receiver and No. 101 overall ranked player in the Class of 2013, said that he has not looked at the roster for the event, nor will he, and that it doesn't matter who is at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge because his focus will be on getting better and turning skeptics into believers.

"I know there will be some competitors out there," he said. "I am sure we all want to compete so I don't need to look at who will be there. I am not the type to single someone out because I will have to be better than whoever is put in front of me."

Mike Farrell's take

Robinson is a big and physical receiver with strong hands, but how fast is he and is he a crisp route runner? He'll need to be very fast and run precise routes to shake some of the top cornerbacks at the event and that will be his challenge. He'll have the size advantage over every corner and safety he faces and that should help him in the red zone, but can he be a deep threat and spread the field for his team? He's on the cusp of the Rivals100 right now and a top performance could push him further. He is one of three Auburn commitments that will be trying to show there's another program in the state of Alabama that can recruit.



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