February 18, 2009

Mammoth Miss. OL racking up scholarship offers

OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. -- Damien Robinson is just getting started with the process of choosing his college home, but the big offensive tackle already seems to realize that it might prove to be more difficult than he first imagined.

"It's kind of hard," Robinson said Tuesday morning. "Every school (that has offered a scholarship) is a good school."

Robinson, a 6-foot-8, 320-pounder from Olive Branch, Miss., already has written offers (in the order in which they were received) from Ole Miss, Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State, Arkansas, North Carolina and Alabama. A formal written offer from Tennessee appears to be imminent as well.

"Before it's over, he'll have a ton of those," Olive Branch coach Scott Samsel said. "He'll play on Sundays. He's still, like a lot of kids that size, getting comfortable with his body."

Robinson, who so far is a man of few words when it comes to talking about his recruiting, merely said the process is going "pretty good" so far, adding that he's "still working on" a list of schools he's truly interested in.

Robinson has already attended a junior day at Alabama _ "It's a pretty good school," he said _ and he's planning to attend junior days at Ole Miss and Mississippi State this spring.

"Every school pretty much has a chance at me right now," Robinson said.

Whichever school lands Robinson's signature next February will not only be getting arguably the state of Mississippi's top prospect for the class of 2010 but also a "good student and a mild-mannered kid," Samsel said. "He's sort of a model student in the halls, behavior-wise and academically. He's kind of a blue-collar guy. He comes to work every day and never complains.

"Everyone has known he had the frame. The thing he's really done is improve his strength and agility. He's worked hard at it. Those were two things he was lacking as a ninth-grader. When workouts are over with, he'll do extra things. He's just a great leader."

Samsel played Robinson at right tackle last season, as senior Aubrey Phillips, a Florida State signee, manned the left side. Robinson might move to the left side this season or he might remain at right tackle, leaving the left side to fast-rising prospect Shun Coleman.

Samsel said college coaches have indicated that they feel Robinson could be ready to contribute at the next level immediately as a right tackle, though Robinson said he believes his future is on the left side.

Robinson is expected to meet the NCAA's minimum initial-eligibility requirements.

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