If there ever was a doubt a new age might be dawning for Penn State football, it became more apparent on Thursday night when four-star running back Andre Robinson of Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt made a trip to University Park to watch the Nittany Lions' basketball game with Ohio State and to make a verbal commitment to James Franklin and his coaching staff.
One of the top programs in the state, Bishop McDevitt has rarely sent recruits to the Nittany Lions over the last couple of decades. But Robinson is a good one for Penn State to reconnect through.
Rated the fourth-best running back in the country by 247Sports.com and the reigning Pennsylvania Class AAA player of the year, the 5-foot-9, 205-pound Robinson rushed for 2,279 yards and 29 touchdowns as a junior, leading McDevitt to a 14-2 record and a spot in the PIAA Class AAA championship game against Archbishop Wood and fellow Penn State recruits Jake Cooper and Ryan Bates. The season put him in elite company - the Eagles' LeSean McCoy is the only other Crusader back ever to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season.
Robinson has been a starter since he was a freshman and enters his senior season with 4,219 yards and 63 scores on the ground. He also has 46 career receptions.
Robinson's other top schools were Ohio State, Rutgers, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Maryland, according to Pennlive.com. Robinson was scheduled to make a visit to Ohio State next month, but also was scheduled to make a return trip to Penn State after traveling to University Park on Monday, when Cooper and Great Valley defensive end Ryan Buchholz both committed to the Lions.
"I had a great time," Robinson told the Mirror after the visit. "It was good to get to know Coach Franklin and the rest of the staff better. I look forward to building a relationship with them."
Robinson is the seventh class of 2015 recruit to verbally commit to the Nittany Lions and the second running back, joining Whitehall's Saquon Barkley. The Lions also have been involved with Central Bucks South's Josh Adams, who could play a couple of positions at the next level.