Free State's Jalan Robinson watches football recruitment skyrocket before signing day

Jake Rittman and Jalan Robinson celebrate after Rittman scored for Free State against Shawnee Mission West during the first quarter on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Shawnee Mission South District Stadium.

Before walking into school Monday, Free State senior Jalan Robinson received a phone call from a Mississippi State football coach.

Throughout the past week, Robinson talked “off and on” with the Mississippi State coaching staff. Nine days from the start of the February signing period for high school football players, Robinson received a scholarship offer from the SEC school.

“I was on the phone with them and I tried to act cool,” said Robinson, an all-state offensive lineman. “I tried to like not notice. But right after that, I called my mom and I called my dad and was talking about it.”

The 6-foot-5, 295-pound Robinson saw his recruitment skyrocket within the last month and it reached a new level Monday. Less than 12 hours after his Mississippi State offer, he received a scholarship offer from Nebraska on Monday night after meeting with a coach earlier in the afternoon.

In the last two weeks, Robinson has taken official visits to Western Illinois and Kansas. He landed a preferred walk-on offer from KU on Jan. 17 and received another offer from Southeast Missouri State.

“I know my family is big Cornhuskers fans,” Robinson said. “I know they are just happy about this whole thing and my dad is actually more excited about everything than I am. It’s a good process."

During his Kansas visit Saturday, he enjoyed meeting some of the new coaches and he had a chance to catch up with some of his former high school teammates.

Robinson shined on the offensive line last season for the Firebirds, earning first-team all-Sunflower League honors while helping the team to a 10-1 record. When he talks with college coaches, many of them bring up the fact that he plays basketball and how it improves footwork.

A starting forward on the basketball team, he’s tried to balance all of those practices and games with his recruitment — “a good problem to have,” he said. He missed one game to take an official visit.

“Every week I just keep getting something unexpected,” Robinson said. “At first, I was just thinking Juco and then some bigger things started coming.”

On Monday afternoon, Robinson said he planned to take official visits to Mississippi State and Nebraska in the near future.

Even with the late surge in his recruitment, he hopes to make his decision by national signing day on Feb. 7.

“I feel like once I take one of these visits and I see some place that hopefully it will just hit (me),” Robinson said. “I’ll feel it.”

Thinking about his Mississippi State offer at school all day, plus hearing from friends and family, it finally hit him when he returned home that he would have a chance to play college football at a Power Five program.

“I was just eating," Robinson said, "and I just, like, started smiling, like, ‘I’m really about to play at one of the top levels for college football.’”

by jalan robinson

by jalan robinson

Comments

Brian Wilson

Beaty should be ashamed. This kid should of received a full offer moment one!!!

3 weeks ago

Report

Brett McCabe

JUCO-U strikes again! Finding new ways to dig the hole even deeper.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Andy Godwin

Nothing more pathetic than not being able to recruit a high school player from Lawrence.

3 weeks ago

Report

Dirk Medema

Part of the roster rebuild has been built around getting preferred walk-on KS kids that end up on scholarship. It stinks that it looks like we're getting out bid on this one, but it's not over yet.

Unfortunately, we've lost a lot of quality players over the years to the other more traditional football schools around us. It even happens to other football schools occasionally, but the mantra of the day is to blame the coach.

3 weeks ago

Report

Brett McCabe

False comparison. It's clear that KU whiffed on the evaluation, used up their scholarships, and the staff is being outsmarted by other programs. This isn't the Amanti Bledsoe story, this is the story of mishandling your evaluation, poor scholarship management and exploring new avenues of ineptitude.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Clarence Haynes

Misjudged?

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Brad Avery

"He landed a preferred walk-on offer from Kansas on Jan. 17...." Another reason Beaty should be sent packing. Why do the local/Kansas kids get walk-on offers? Excuse me, but that is ridiculous. This kid is a beast. https://www.hudl.com/profile/4399082/...

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Rob Zerwekh

KU is in such a bad spot. Beaty knows he needs to win now, or he'll be selling insurance next year. So, he recruits a ton of junior college players to play immediately, instead of recruiting kids who will play three years from now (such as Robinson). Beaty's going to be fired anyway because he lacks most every skill needed to coach and manage a program. The next coach arrives, wonders why the roster is so depleted, and contacts the junior colleges. The circuit continues.

By the way, even if KU offered a full scholarship, that still wouldn't match offers from Mississippi State (SEC, NFL development) and Nebraska (hired the hottest coach in football this off-season).

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Dillon Davis

I have the same fears in regards to our roster going forward...I think this year is going to be a total waste. Beaty will get fired with a few games left in the season so that we can start our search. I can see it, most KU fans can see it coming, yet Chancellor Girod allowed it to play out and decided not to fire Zenger and Beaty. That's the most frustrating thing.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Ian Brown

How do you get full-ride scholarship offers from big-time SEC and BIG-10 schools that actually play in bowl games like Mississippi State and Nebraska, but then weaka$$ KU comes along and offers a dammed "preferred walk-on" spot? I'm not a big football guy, so in basketball terms, that sounds like the equivalent of someone getting full-ride offers from Arizona and Florida and Ohio State and other top-notch programs, but only getting offered a walk-on position from UMKC or Florida A&M or whatever basketball program is comparable to Kansas football in regards to being one of the worst programs in all of Division 1.

I'm beginning to think there may be a reason KU BASKETBALL is a perennial powerhouse who's won 13 consecutive conference championships while KU FOOTBALL is a squad of perennial pushovers being coached by a bunch of incompetent, brain dead pansies.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Jim Stauffer

To all those attacking Beaty over this deal, you need to wait and make sure you are correct in assuming this kid is the real deal and will be a starter for MSU or NU.

When KU evaluated him they decided he was PWO worthy. They may still be correct. Yet some other suitors come along and realize they have room to take the kid, which obviously KU does not since they do not have a full 25 offers to give.

It could be the kid is a beast and will be great wherever he goes, but it could also be the best decision Beaty could make with what he had available has been made.

We will know in about 3 years.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

['']

So wait...I need not question a 3-33 coach's scouting evaluation (who can't meet a single incentive in his contract to just get $100K per D1 victory and can't seem to get ONE of these wins), yet question Scott Frost at Nebraska who just went undefeated last season at Central Florida including a huge upset victory over Auburn? Yeah, I'll take the bumbling 3-33 Beaty's evaluation over Frost's. What a dumpster fire!

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Steve Corder

Exactly right!

Where is K-State in this? No offer? Great program. Great coach, right? For that matter, where are the B12 offers?

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

['']

Yeah - cuz our O-Line is just STACKED with top tier talent. Pffftttt. Beaty, repeat after me: Find one. Field one! No more PFO's or WO's

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Joe Norgay

If Girod is reading this, thanks for not doing what everyone knows you needed to do in firing Zenger and allowing an incoming AD to address the head coaching situation as he/she saw fit.

We’re going to lose 100 games in a decade, first time ever for a program, in part because of your incompetence.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

John Fitzgerald

I'm trying to stay positive until our first game. Trying, so hard.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Jacob Zutterman

My "positive" ship has done sailed. Super Positive David Beaty is the only thing bringing me smiles with anything related to football anymore

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

John Fitzgerald

SPDB is such a great guy, isn't he? Love it.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

['']

Who is our recruiting coord? Other than the Hull targets that we ended up whiffing on our recruiting targets and gets seem to be terrible. Too much reliance on this so-called Texas treasure trove of HS recruits that never materialize. Hire Reggie Mitchell back!

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Jeremy Morris

I thought we were trying to build relationships with KS high schools. I don't see how relegating KS kids to greyshirts and walk-ons are helping in this regard. I'd rather miss on a few Kansas kids and keep the scholarships in state than keep giving them to JUCOs or kids from afar where we really have no real chance of developing a pipeline.

This is especially true with big KS high schools like Free State.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Scott Newell

Nebraska football scholarship = Kansas preferred walk-on ???? Looks like the staff missed on this kid in their own backyard. Hope Beaty is on the phone today.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

['']

I hope Keegan can do an article about the sheer millions KU Football has lost under Zenger. Just compare the attendance figures of 2009 vs. 2017. The 2009 team was 5-7 but never had a home crowd less than 44,000 at Memorial Stadium. The 2017 team (except for the 37K at the K-State game) could not draw more than 35,000 fans. The OU game was a nationally televised game against a Heisman candidate (Mayfield) and only 22,000 showed up at Memorial Stadium. I can't wait to see the 25,000 fans for the Nicholls State home opener at Memorial.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Bryson Stricker

Interesting takes by everyone involved here.

Interesting that nobody mentioned that the kid has grown up and said all along his dream is to play basketall and not football.

Interesting that nobody is mentioning how this is a high risk offer. Kids who are getting offered post December 22nd are kids people are taking risk on because they weren't in the preferred market.

Interesting that all of you want Beaty to win next year, say we have no talent on the line this year but then want him to recruit players that won't be ready for 3 years.

The biggest knack I have on this is that we took so long to offer PWO. Should have done that very early last season. Need to be a step ahead with local kids gettin walk on spots.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Lawrence McGlinn

We are the worst team in D1, and we can't take a chance? What is the juco recruit success rate? That is taking a chance! If we had made the PWO offer earlier do you think he would have stayed with a scholarship from NU? We are impatient because he has set all-time records for ineptitude, and there is no indication of a change coming. It is interesting because no coach with a record like his has ever gotten a 4th year. We are in new territory!

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Maria Ungaro

This is disappointing. A 6”5 295 lb OL, who is playing basketball to improve his footwork.

Wow these are the type of players 2* / 3* players who can help mold and build this program into a winning program.

In a year he’ll prob be 315 and much quicker & stronger.

We are in a desperate state with the amount of JUCO players. I hope these guys are in the program and playing in the spring game.

It doesn’t matter where the players come from. KU football has a great tradition of taking a bunch of 2* / 3 * hungry - hardworking guys and build them into winning football players.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Jeff Coffman

You just can't make this stuff up. Wow, we see talent and extend a walk-on and boom everyone sees the talent and steals him away (or this individual was their backup solution if their top recruit went somewhere else).

I think it is very interesting how many players committed and de-committed from the football team. I know there are a lot, and I'm guessing there are a lot more on average when a coaching change is likely, but I'm surprised how many have occurred, since Beaty was retained.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report

Austin Lopez

It’s crazy how the tables have turned, I remember 2-3 years ago I made a high fuss about Beaty selling lies about going after Kansas kids and keeping them home in Kansas, and people got on my case talking about there is no highly rated players in Kansas like are you kidding me? When has Kansas ever won games with highly touted prospects? Kansas wins with hungry motivated I won’t be out worked guys. remember that Kansas blast? Don’t hear to much about that anymore do you, seems since Reggie Mitchell left Beaty said screw the Kansas pipeline.

2 weeks, 6 days ago

Report