HONOLULU — Five-star tight end Duce Robinson was a late arrival to the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii on Monday, coming in a day after the rest of the players who will take part in their final high school football game Friday (6 p.m. PT on NFL Network).
Robinson had a good reason for his timing, though — he was taking part in a workout with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium last weekend.
That, in a nutshell, paints the portrait of Robinson as a two-sport prospect — the highest-ranked uncommitted five-star talent in the 2023 college football recruiting class, but also a legit enough professional baseball prospect that Major League teams are bringing him in for workouts and meetings still six months before the July draft.
“It was a lot of fun. We didn’t do much, it had rained and everything, but we were able to hit on the field, which was a lot of fun, did some mobility testing. It was super nice to be able to talk to a lot of those super high-level guys, super high up in the organization, get to know them and just be able to talk to them,” Robinson said of his Dodgers workout, noting he was one of about 15 prospects there.
“That was my first workout, but I’ve done a bunch of visits with teams, and in the future we plan on doing a bunch of workouts.”
The future and what it fully holds for Robinson remains one key question.
Many have wondered what he’ll choose if he gets selected early in that MLB First-Year Player Draft in July, but for now, Robinson still hopes that it doesn’t have to be a choice between his two sports pursuits.
“I mean, hopefully I can get drafted and technically play college football still. It would just be [as] as a walk-on because once you sign a professional contract you can’t go on scholarship anymore. But the goal is to hopefully sign professional and still be able to play college football,” he told TrojanSports.com this week in Hawaii after one of the Polynesian Bowl practices.
“We’re still trying to figure out [how that would work schedule-wise], but hopefully we’ll be able to figure out a way, work it out with both sides to where we could figure out what days I need to go with football, what days I need to go with baseball. Honestly, kind of the same way it would be if I played both in college — it would just most likely be in different locations.”
The location — at least as it pertains to college football — remains the other big unknown.
Asked if it was down to Georgia, USC and Texas, long believed to be the top contenders in his recruitment, Robinson said yes but that he still has interest in Oregon and Alabama as well.
He maintains that even internally he doesn’t know what his choice will be.
“No sir, not yet. Still trying to sort everything out, just figure out the best location for me and figure everything out,” Robinson said.
He hasn’t been able to take any recent visits to any of those schools and is tentatively hopeful that he might get somewhere — anywhere — before his expected final decision on Feb. 1.
“We haven’t been able to go anywhere yet just with the scheduling and everything. We’re going to see with the way basketball shakes out — hopefully we’ll be able to get somewhere over the next couple of weeks before signing day. But we’ll have to see,” he said.
Is there a preference for where he’d like to go if time allows?
“Anywhere that’s possible,” he said.
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