Vols Offer Elite Running Back with Huge Numbers

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    (Photo via Sean Logan/Arizona Republic)

    Tennessee’s coaches were focused on the state of Arizona on the recruiting trail recently, sending out a couple offers to some 2020 prospects in that state. And one of those recruits is rated as one of the top running backs in the upcoming cycle.

    Bijan Robinson is a borderline five-star running back out of Tucson. And according to Justin Spears of The Tucson Star and ESPN Radio in Tucson, the Vols extended an offer to Robinson.

    Robinson is the No. 39 overall player and No. 6 running back in the 2020 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. He has SEC offers from Alabama and LSU and also holds offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, USC, Texas, Washington, UCLA, Michigan, Arizona, and others.

    The 6-foot, 200-pound running back has football in his blood. His uncle, Paul Robinson, played running back for Arizona in the 1960s and was drafted in the third round of the 1968 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. Robinson ran for over 1,000 yards as a rookie and was named Rookie of the Year in 1968. He totaled just under 3,000 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns in seven NFL seasons.

    As for Robinson, he might have an even higher ceiling than his uncle did in college.

    In two seasons as a starter at Salpointe Catholic, Robinson has totaled over 4,400 rushing yards and 60 touchdowns while averaging over 12 yards per carry. But he’s not just some paper tiger; Robinson’s film shows off his elite athletic ability.

    A lot of running backs are fast. Many are also tough. But not every running back has really good vision and awareness, and that’s what really stood out to me about Robinson when looking at his highlights. Robinson hits holes even as they’re closing, and he uses his superb athleticism to dip and dodge defenders with ease. He has a cutback that breaks ankles, and he’s difficult to bring down unless you gang tackle him. He has good speed and can evade defenders that way as well. But what makes him more dangerous than other running backs is his football IQ and his natural gifts as a runner.

    As a junior for Salpointe Catholic, Robinson amassed 2,400 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns on just 170 carries, giving him a 14.1 yard per carry average according to MaxPreps. He also caught 10 passes for 153 yards and a score. In his high school career, Robinson has 72 total touchdowns in 35 recorded games.

    The Vols added Eric Gray to their running back room in the 2019 class, but that was it at that position. With Ty Chandler and Tim Jordan entering their junior years in 2019 and Carlin Fils-aime going into his senior season, the Vols will likely try to add a couple backs in their 2020 cycle. Expect Robinson to be a big target for them at the position.



    Nathanael Rutherford
    Nathanael Rutherford is the managing editor and social media manager for Rocky Top Insider. Nathanael graduated from the University of Tennessee and cultivated a passion for the Vols while growing up in Knoxville a mere 10 minutes from Neyland Stadium. He's been a part of the RTI team since November of 2015 and has been the editor of RTI since June of 2017. If he's not talking or writing about Tennessee athletics, he's probably talking about Star Wars.