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2nd time's the charm: Hogs land Robinson out of portal

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Jaxson Robinson visited Arkansas several times before ultimately signing with Texas A&M.
Jaxson Robinson visited Arkansas several times before ultimately signing with Texas A&M. (Nick Wenger)

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It wasn't a traditional route, but Jaxson Robinson will finally play for Arkansas. The freshman wing announced his decision to transfer to the Razorbacks on Tuesday.

Many thought Robinson would end up at Arkansas out of high school. The Ada, Okla., native was initially a top-50 prospect in the 2021 class and expressed a great deal of interest in the Razorbacks, even visiting Fayetteville multiple times, but he ultimately reclassified to 2020 and signed with Texas A&M.

At 6-foot-7, Robinson has great size for a wing, particularly in head coach Eric Musselman’s system. Although he didn’t have a productive freshman campaign with the Aggies, the talent and potential is undeniable.

“We are extremely excited about Jaxson joining our program,” Musselman said. “Jaxson was high on our recruiting list while he was in high school and many Power 5 schools went after Jaxson once he entered the transfer portal. He has tremendous upside and potential. He has deep range and is a knockdown shooter. We feel as though he will really fit in well with the other players on the roster.”

He averaged just 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 9.8 minutes, but his size, talent and prior relationship were all too strong for Arkansas to pass up once he entered the portal.

Robinson was part of a trio of Team Griffin players in the 2021 class that Arkansas pursued heavily, only to see each commit to another SEC program. Trey Alexander signed with Auburn before reopening his recruitment last month, Daimion Collins is signed with Kentucky and Robinson spent a year at Texas A&M before entering the portal.

In another unique twist, Arkansas and Texas A&M have essentially traded players this offseason. The Aggies landed Ethan Henderson out of the transfer portal last month and now the Razorbacks have brought in Robinson.

Robinson will have to fight for playing time right away in a loaded backcourt, but his addition provides quality depth, size and versatility to a roster Musselman is building to truly be positionless. He joins other 6-foot-6 or taller wings Chance Moore, Au’Diese Toney and Stanley Umude, with a slew of experienced guards.

The formula for NCAA Tournament success in recent years has revolved around deeply talented backcourts with good size, scoring ability and defense. Baylor just won a national championship by perfecting it.

Arkansas is looking to do something similar. Building the roster in this way sets the stage for anyone on the court being able to handle the ball at any given time. Anyone on the roster is a capable scorer, as well as willing and able rebounders.

With the addition of Robinson, Musselman could start a massive lineup if he wanted to, with Davonte Davis (6-4), Robinson (6-7), Toney (6-7), Umude (6-7) and Jaylin Williams (6-11).

Not to say that will be the lineup moving forward, but if the matchup favors it, it could happen. The roster also opens the possibility to go small and play Umude at the five spot with a mix of size and smaller guards like KK Robinson (6-0), JD Notae (6-1) and Chris Lykes (5-7).

The possibilities are endless at this point. This roster is a far cry from the roster Musselman inherited, where Adrio Bailey started as a 6-foot-6 center.

That doesn't even factor in potentially two more additions, as the Razorbacks still have two scholarships open for the 2021-22 season. Click here to check out their current scholarship situation.