University Park might have well as been a world away from Detroit, as far as Allen Robinson was concerned, until his friend and quarterback Rob Bolden showed him where it was.
"I never really thought about Penn State. I read about the flashier teams like Florida and Michigan,'' Robinson said. "Once Rob committed there, I realized it was a great program.''
Robinson himself fell in love with Penn State on its own merits, and, after getting a scholarship offer from the Nittany Lions on Saturday morning, the Orchard Park, Mich., St. Mary's Prep wide receiver decided on Monday night that he would attend Penn State, too.
"I really liked Penn State from the get-go. I just wanted to talk to my family and high school coach to be sure. My coach [George Porritt] has had a lot of players go DI. He said he was 110 percent sure this was the right decision for me,'' the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Robinson, who is the seventh recruit in a 2011 class expected to be around 15, said. "[Bolden's being there] played a little bit into the decision, but, when I went to camp there, I really loved the campus. Rob being there was just a little bit extra.''
Despite some injury issues - he was battling a nagging hamstring the final two games - Robinson caught 44 passes for 770 yards and 10 touchdowns in a primarily run-centered offense this season as the Eaglets finished state runners-up.
He also returned 10 punts, taking three back for touchdowns. Two of those came in the first six minutes of the same playoff game.
Robinson's only offers before Penn State's were from Toledo, Buffalo, Minnesota and Central Michigan, while schools like Wisconsin, Michigan State, Illinois and Purdue were keeping tabs on him as well. Porritt, though, felt Penn State was getting a diamond in the rough, and that Nittany Lion fans shouldn't be concerned with the lack of many big offers.
"I think they were coming. He's sort of a late-bloomer,'' Porritt said. "He's going to be a good one. I have no doubt about that.''
Porritt said Robinson didn't play football his sophomore year, undergoing some back problems as a growth spurt took him from shorter than 5-8 to his current height.
"He has tremendous hands, maybe the top hands we've ever had. He's very explosive, he has a high vertical leap. He's a tough kid. He could play either offense or defense, I feel,'' said Porritt, noting that Robinson had 33 tackles and two interceptions this season. "Speed is something he's got to work on, but he's a great player.''
"I'm big, I'm a pretty good route runner, and possession receiver. I run like a 4.5, and I really like to go up and get the ball,'' said Robinson, whose favorite player to watch is Randy Moss.
Robinson, who was recruited by Ron Vanderlinden, also plays basketball at St. Mary's and has some football genes: His cousin is record-setting Illinois State quarterback and Canadian Football League all-star Kevin Glenn. It was from watching Glenn that Robinson said he got interested in football.
Robinson didn't take an official visit to Penn State but has been there twice, attending football camp and the Blue-White Game in the spring.
"They liked him, and he loved the place,'' Porritt said. "I think that's really where he always wanted to go.''
Penn State will have a couple of official visitors on campus this weekend, including Philadelphia defensive end Deion Barnes and Arizona 6-5, 275-pound offensive tackle Ryan Nowicki.
Nowicki is originally from Illinois, but Penn State is the only college not on the west coast that's getting an official visit. He was at USC last week and is heading to Oregon State and Washington later this month.