January 6, 2008

Gerell Robinson Q&A

Rivals100 member Gerell Robinson gave ASUDevils.com his first interview following his commitment to Arizona State, which came during halftime of the televised U.S. Army All-American game on NBC Saturday.

Robinson dropped his cell phone into a puddle of water the night before the game, and it was malfunctioning on him. When he finally got it to work properly following the game, he had received nearly 50 text messages congratulating him on the decision.

ASUDevils.com: When did you decide you would announce on television during the game?

Robinson: "I didn't know until that morning before the game that I was ready to do it. I wasn't sure I knew what I wanted to do until then, so I couldn't have known earlier. I honestly felt like that's when I knew so I decided to pull the trigger."

So you hadn't told anybody before that day? No coaches or friends or family?

"I didn't tell anybody. Believe it or not the time I told my parents I was going to ASU was that morning."

What was their response?

"My mom said she was happy for me. She said she felt that was the best decision for me but she wanted me to make my own decision whether it was Notre Dame or ASU. She just wanted to see me happy."

How difficult was the decision?

"It was really tough. I was friends with a lot of the Notre Dame recruits and I've been hanging out with them. I had built a relationship with them as friends. It seemed like I was one of them but at the end of the day it was real tough because I had to look myself in the eye and make the best decision for myself and not for anyone else."

So why did you select ASU?

"It's the hometown state and the hometown school. I feel I can develop to the best of my potential under coach Yarbs (receivers coach Eric Yarber and coach (Dennis) Erickson."

You told me after your official visit to ASU late last year that until then you weren't seriously considering the Sun Devils. Was that accurate?

"Right. I would say yes."

Prior to that it seemed Oregon was the clear favorite. What happened to change that and lead you to eliminate the school from consideration?

"Every visit was a good one and it just seemed like every one I took was better than the one before. The reason I eliminated Oregon was because of the fact they didn't really have a quarterback committed by the time I was ready to make my decision. That went into my decision and also the fact they didn't have a pro-style offense. Oregon is a great place. I just didn't feel it was for me at that time."

What is your relationship like with Erickson and have you spoken with him or other coaches after your announcement?

"It's a good one. I like him a lot and that's a big reason I committed to him and his program. I haven't talked to any of the coaches. I haven't talked to anybody (coaches or media) believe it or not, since I made my announcement.
This is your first real interview?

"Yes, this is the first one. I've kind of been shying away from everything."

You've been through a lot in your recruitment and it's been going on for a few years now, really. How difficult was the process for you?

"It's tough. It all comes with it. You take the good with the bad. I wouldn't trade it for anything. It's been a rollercoaster ride, there are ups and downs but at the end of the day it's very satisfying."

Was it difficult to commit to ASU after being earlier committed to its in-state rival U of A?

"Not at all. I didn't even think about that."

What did ASU coaches say to you in the last month or so that lhelped lead you to this decision?

"To be honest, in the past couple weeks it's been a dead period so I didn't talk to any coaches. I didn't talk to anybody. I haven't done anything. I actually had time to think about it myself and that was big for me. I thought about what school would put me in the best position to go to the next league and make that big time transition and ASU was that school."

So it was more just figuring it out for yourself than anything that happened recently

"Right. It was more about me sorting through it in my own head. Coaches are going to say things to entice you to want to come to their school. That's what you have to think about. Do you really believe it or do you think they're just saying it to get a prospect. I felt like what ASU was saying, it wasn't just so they could get a prospect."

How did you end up at safety in the Army Game and how do you think it went? Did it lead you to wanting to consider playing defense in college?

"I ended up at safety because my junior year I was an All-American there as a junior and I guess that's what I was selected as. I didn't have a problem doing it. I think it went fine. As far as college goes, not really to be honest with you. As of right now, I want to play receiver."

What are your plans for the coming months now that this decision is out of the way?

"I'm going to be training at Athlete's Performance and running and lifting and be ready to compete the first time I can step out on the field. That's the only thing I can ask for, just to be given the opportunity to compete for a job."

On a scale of 1-10 how happy are you now that you've made this commitment?

It feel really good but I'll probably be totally satisfied once Feb. 6 comes around when the Letter of Intent is signed. But until then I'd say it's about an 8 or a 9."

How does it feel knowing you'll be a Sun Devil

"It's a good feeling. Hamilton has always put guys into ASU's program. To be honest with you, I thought I'd be the last one to go to ASU if you knew me and talked to my friends. It turned out to be the best situation and I'm happy with the decision I've made."

Are friends giving you a hard time about it because of that?

"Not at all. They're happy for me too. They wanted me to stay in state but they knew I had to do what I had to do whether that's staying or leaving and they respected that. But they're happy now."

How difficult was it making this decision?

"It was rough for all of us to be honest with you. It was tough but we got through it. We prayed on it and everything. Her thoughts on ASU was she liked coach Erickson and coach Yarber a lot. She felt like she could pass her so to a man who could take care of her son and develop him into a young man and that was the main thing for her."

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