In this installment of The Recruiting Notebook, we meet a talented talented receiver with plenty of size and playmaking ability: Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas 4-star WR Chance Robinson.
As the Miami Hurricanes looked to build their 2024 recruiting class, they turned to a familiar school: Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas. And, while they were evaluating players at the national powerhouse program, they noticed a standout player on the offensive side of the ball: WR Chance Robinson.
A 6’2” 190lb receiver, Robinson has a combination of size and talent that teams all over the country covet. Miami was the first team to offer the standout receiver in February 2021 — following Robinson’s freshman year at Aquinas — and a plethora of teams followed. Robinson, a top level player on the renowned South Florida Express 7v7 team, earned offers from Colorado (pre-Deion), Pitt, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Georgia and others. Robinson was also a camp all-star, attending camps at Miami and FIU, and taking an unofficial visit to Florida State. He had a plan to get his name known in the world of recruiting, and it worked.
Robinson stepped up to varsity at Aquinas as a sophomore. But, with several FBS recruits ahead of him on the roster, his impact was limited. He only had 2 catches for 69 (nice) yards for the State Champion Raiders, but still, his work on individual development and skill was noted. And, with several standout performances on the 7v7 circuit, Robinson’s star kept rising in anticipation of a big step forward in 2022.
Ahead of the 2022 season, more offers came Robinson’s way, along with more school and camp visits. An unofficial visit to Miami. An offer from Florida State. A school camp at Florida State. A school camp AND unofficial visit to Miami. And, if you’re paying attention, a top 2 started to emerge.
The thing that kept the momentum going for Robinson’s recruitment was the fact that he finally stepped into a starting role for Aquinas in 2022, and helped the Raiders win their 4th consecutive FHSAA State Championship. Robinson posted 29 catches for 540 yards and 13 TDs as the #1 receiver for the 14-0 State Champion Raiders.
If you like numbers, you’ll love the 45% touchdown ratio on Robinson’s catches as a junior. And many schools like numbers, so they got connected with Robinson’s recruitment. Through the 2022 season, Robinson took another unofficial visit to FSU, an unofficial to Penn State, and his umpteenth unofficial to Miami. After the 2022 season, even more teams hopped in the fray with scholarship offers: Colorado (post-Deion hiring), UCF, Texas A&M, Florida, Alabama, Michigan, and Tennessee.
Robinson continued his unofficial visit tour early in 2023. After starting with a trip to Auburn, Robinson visited Miami 4 times in 5 weeks. That virtual residency in Coral Gables, Robinson finally pulled the trigger and committed to Miami during is unofficial on April 14th.
Even with him being committed to Miami, other teams kept recruiting the star receiver through his senior season. Penn State offered and got an official visit in June. Other OV’s were taken to Florida and Miami in the summer. Ohio State jumped in with a late scholarship offer, and got Robinson on campus for an OV late in the season. Through it all, Robinson maintained his commitment to Miami.
The star receiver stepped up again for Aquinas on the field as a senior. Robinson posted 36 catches for 511 yards and 11 touchdowns as, again, the #1 receiver for Aquinas, which finished the season 14-1 and captured their record 5th consecutive FHSAA State Championship trophy.
On the 247sports composite, Robinson is a 4-star prospect, the #25 WR nationally, #21 in the State of Florida, and #157 player overall in this class.
Robinson committed to Miami over a robust list of 35 scholarship offers from around the country, which included named finalists Ohio State, Penn State, Florida, and Ole Miss among many others.
As A Player
At 6’2” 190lbs, Robinson has the build that few receivers on the Miami roster can claim. He’s well built and could get up around the 200lb mark and keep his athleticism and quickness. He has a prototypical X receiver build, and that’s something Miami desperately needed in this class and on this roster.
Robinson is a master at beating press coverage and stacking the DB on his vertical routes. He’s also adept at using his big frame to get inside on slants and digs, putting his body between the defender and the incoming pass.
Though he’s not a speedster, Robinson has average to good speed, and can stretch plays down the field. He likely won’t be able to run away from many DBs, but he’s not a liability based on his foot speed.
Robinson is one of the better blocking receivers you’ll see coming from HS. Not only does he have good coaching on this point at Aquinas, but he’s substantially bigger than many of the defenders he was tasked with blocking, and that size played well on the field.
Robinson shows good hands and is a natural pass catcher. He’s also skilled at using his size in jump ball and fade situations, routinely winning the catches against close coverage. Aquinas is known for their high level coaching, and Robinson’s attention to detail — securing the catch, getting one (if not two) foot down — is evidence of that.
For another look at Robinson, here’s an eval from 247sports Director of Scouting Andrew Ivins:
A game changer on Friday nights that has waited his turn at one of South Florida’s top powerhouses. Looks much bigger than his 6-foot-1.5, 190-pound listing as he’s thick throughout the torso, but not necessarily in a bad way. Caught just two passes as a sophomore before bursting onto the scene as a junior totaling 540 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on 29 catches (scored every 2.2 receptions). Wins at the line of scrimmage with a fine-tuned release as the quick stabs and jabs with his feet tend to keep defensive backs guessing. Can work various numbers of the route tree, but seems to be at his best when he’s just trying to get vertical on the outside. Tracks the ball well once it’s airborne and has shown that he can twist his body in order to make a play. Understands the importance of run blocking and will latch onto would-be tacklers to steer them out of the way. Lack of verified speed markers makes it hard to paint the whole picture, but can create separation and pull away from defenders, at least at the prep level. Should be viewed as a bigger perimeter target that can move the sticks when called upon. Likely to thrive in a balanced, pro-style system with complex passing schemes that rely on timing. Strong hands could have him in the rotation sooner rather than later.
- Championship pedigree (4x State Champion in HS)
- Average speed
- Limited potential?
- Needs to diversify route tree
Note: changed this up from just a freshman-season outlook to a career outlook for each player a few years ago and we’re continuing that style this year as well.
It’s well known that Miami needs improved talent and performance at the receiver position. Robinson has the talent that’s needed on the roster, and he should be able to make an impact down the line.
Early in his career, Robinson will likely be a depth piece and maybe gain experience on specials. The amount of time he gets on offense will be both a function of his development, and Miami’s recruiting efforts — both from HS and the transfer portal — at X receiver.
Many Aquinas receivers have been major impact players in their careers at Miami. Guys like Michael Irvin, Leonard Hankerson, and Phillip Dorsett. Robinson could be the next in that line, but it will likely take a couple of years for him to develop toward his ceiling.
With Miami’s recent history at receiver in mind, if Robinson is able to push for All-Conference honors during his career, one would have to consider that a big win. And, at a minimum, he should be able to carve out a nice role for himself as a big receiver to move the chains, and potentially take the top off of opposing defenses in limited reps in the future.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.