Newest Jayhawk Has Serious Speed

Chris Robinson

In order to win at the highest level of college football, a program has to have a number of weapons in its arsenal.

Size. Strength. Discipline. These are all essential components of success. However, there's maybe one ingredient that stands out above the rest:

Speed.

Since he was hired to helm the football program at the University of Kansas in December, Turner Gill has placed on emphasis on speed. From his introductory press conference through spring practices, he's spoken frequently of its importance in all facets of the game.

That being the case, it should come as no surprise that the latest commitment to the Jayhawks' 2011 recruiting class possesses one physical skill in spades.

Chris Robinson is fast. Really, really fast.

"We've handheld him at 4.39 (seconds in the 40-yard dash)," said Scott Perry, Robinson's head coach at Lake Mary (FL) High School. "And he did a laser (time) at 4.48."

The Jayhawks have known about Robinson for a while, after Perry sent film of him to the football offices just after the first of the year. The Kansas coaches clearly liked what they saw, as shortly thereafter they began recruiting the talented 5-foot-9 athlete in earnest.

Safeties coach Robert Wimberly handled Robinson's recruitment, and the two quickly set about building a relationship.

"I think he's a good guy," Robinson said. "He's a good coach. I read his profile on the Kansas Web site, and I saw that he was a Christian. He doesn't cuss, he doesn't really yell, and he's a real cool person."

It didn't take long for an official offer to come down the pipeline, and Jayhawks defensive backs coach Vic Shealy made plans to travel to Lake Mary last week, for the Rams' annual spring game.

That Shealy would take the time to visit him, and reiterate the program's interest, made a big impression on Robinson.

"That's what sealed the deal a little bit," he said. "He could have been anywhere in Florida, or anywhere around the country watching another game, and he was at mine."

Robinson knew where he wanted to go. So last week, he called the Kansas coaches and pulled the trigger.

According to Perry, the Jayhawks are getting a defender not only with vertical speed, but with the loose hips, lateral quickness and hard-nosed mentality to be a highly successful cornerback at the next level.

"He's our best corner, a cover guy," Perry explained. "We can match him up one on one with somebody's best receiver, and he'll shut down that side."

"I prefer cornerback," added Robinson, who also will play running back, wide receiver and return kicks for the Rams. "I didn't really play running back until last year, and I've been on varsity since I was a freshman. I'm pretty good."

With his recruitment now behind him, the junior speedster will take an unofficial visit with his family to the Lawrence (Kan.) campus on June 18, to attempt to get a better feel for his future home.

But both he and his mother have long been sold on the University of Kansas has to offer – athletically and academically.

"She fell in love with the program that they're running over there," Robinson said. "I started looking into it and I did some research on the criminal justice program that they have. I really like that."

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