Early Entry Review: Robinson shows out in spring game

Early Entry Review

by Alyssa Britton-Harr
1 comment

Please Read: Welcome to the new-look Inside the Gators

Freshman linebacker Jaden Robinson‘s journey to play for Florida could be described as fate.

The Florida native grew up 50 miles north of Gainesville in Lake City, Florida. According to the On3 Consensus, he was a three-star prospect, the No. 75 player in Florida in the Class of 2023.

Robinson flipped his commitment from South Carolina to Florida after receiving offers from other prestigious football programs such as LSU, Notre Dame, Tennessee, and Texas A&M.

In the end, he decided to stay close to home where his family and friends could watch him live out his dream in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturdays.

“He is a family kid, comes from a big huge family, and the opportunity for them to see him every weekend playing in the swamp was the deciding factor,” said Ryan Bell, a former assistant coach at Lake City Columbia.

In addition, “Jaden believed in the culture new Florida Head Coach Billy Nappier brought in, and the tone he was setting was one of the other reasons he decided to flip to and become a Gator,” Bell said.

After a relatively quiet spring, Robinson was a disruptive force in the spring finale, recording 7 tackles, 1 sack and a pass breakup.

Always in coaching mode, Bell didn’t let a Robinson mishap in the spring game go unnoticed – and offered a corrective measure.

“He almost had a pick-six, and he dropped it, but if he had caught it, it probably would have been a touchdown in the Orange and Blue game,” Bell said.

That performance was just a preview of what he has to offer for the Gators.

“He is going to be an SEC linebacker, and Coach Nappier told him that. Jaden can be an All-SEC linebacker, within his four years at the University of Florida,” Bell said.

Adjusting to playing at a collegiate level and working with the other linebackers can be an adjustment for any athlete, primarily when the focus is to be the best while also being able to come together as a team and make plays that will provide the best outcome.

Robinson and the other linebackers do things together outside of football, and all of the teammates are his brothers, Bell said. They have like-minded goals, and he is adjusting well to being in Florida, he said.

Linebackers such as Kenneth Anyaehie, Deuce Spurlock II, Curran Webb, and Justin Pelic showed continuous support for him throughout the spring, during training, and while preparing for the upcoming season.

He has also made friends with a player on the opposite side of the ball. Over these past five months, Robinson has become close with fellow early-entry freshman wide receiver Andy Jean. “He loves being at Florida and everything about the Florida Football program,” Bell said.

Robinson has gained strength and weight during his five short months on campus. According to Coach Bell, in high school, Robinson weighed around 210-215 pounds; now, he is 227. “He looks big from a muscular standpoint, and you can see with the mass of his muscles he has toned up a lot.”

Bell said that Robinson’s strengths on the football field that allowed him to be successful during his time at Columbia will help him show out at Florida as well.

“His senior year, he had eight defensive touchdowns, and that was just knowing, his IQ of the game and knowing where to be at,” Bell said. “Jaden knows where to be to be in the right position to make plays.”

According to Bell, Robinson is successful on the field because as a student of the game, he recognizes where the ball will go and be in a position to help his teammates make plays.

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1 comment

  1. When I saw him at a UF camp as a sophomore, I thought he was on his way to Top 100 status. He moved so well, and you could tell that then linebacker's coach Christian Robinson loved him. If he was two inches taller he likely would have met or gotten close to that type of ranking. He never really hit a growth spurt height-wise, and that likely hurt him in the rankings.

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