The Bruins added another slice to their future backfield.
Class of 2023 running back Roderick Robinson II is committed to UCLA football, the Lincoln High School (CA) prospect announced Thursday morning live at CBS Sports HQ. Robinson listed the Bruins as one of his top six finalists back on May 7, and a week later he finally settled on blue and gold over Arizona, Auburn, Cal, Oregon and Tennessee.
Robinson had previously had Miami (FL), Texas A&M, USC and Stanford as semifinalists in the offseason, and he’s also sat on bids from Colorado, Duke, Florida State, Oregon State, Syracuse, Utah, Washington State and others.
Robinson arrived at Westwood on May 13 along with four other 2023 targets for an official visit, but he was the only offensive player in the bunch. Robinson had made unofficial visits to Tennessee, Auburn, Arizona, Stanford and USC earlier in the offseason, as well as an unofficial visit to UCLA on March 31.
The possibility of Robinson’s signing began to trickle on May 16 when running backs coach DeShaun Foster tweeted a potentially celebratory GIF out of context.
Director of Player Personnel Ethan Young posted his signature “BOOM!” a few hours later, which he does when the program gets a verbal acceptance. Those tweets came just days after Robinson was in town for his official visit, and he pushed his engagement date from August to May a few days later.
According to 247Sports Composite, Rivals and ESPN, Robinson is a three-star recruit. Rivals has the 6-foot-1, 230-pound prospect ranked 21st in California and 22nd among running backs, while the 247Sports Composite has him ranked 25th in the state and 28th in position. 247Sports and On3, meanwhile, have pinned Robinson as a four-star recruit.
All major sites rank Robinson as the top untied running back in California, and most have ranked him No. 1 overall ahead of Washington’s Tybo Rogers.
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Robinson stormed onto the scene for the Lincoln Hornets in 2021, rushing for 1,273 yards and 17 touchdowns on 185 carries in 11 games while playing through a high ankle sprain. His stature has made him primarily a power back, though he recorded 52 receiving yards on six catches and lined up in the slot a couple of times.
Late February and early March marked another stepping stone for Robinson’s recruitment, even beyond his swanky high school numbers – the San Diego prospect accepted invitations to Rivals Camp and Under Armor Next Camp, earning running back MVP honors at the former.
UCLA has Zach Charbonnet as a workhorse outside of the backfield in 2022, but he’s expected to leave for the NFL draft next offseason. That leaves a redshirt senior Keegan Jones, a redshirt sophomore Deshun Murrell, and a sophomore Tomarion Harden as returnees in the 2023 position group, now with Robinson as a reinforcement.
Robinson’s height seems to fit the profile the Bruins have had so much success with in 2021, as both Charbonnet and Brittain Brown were 6-foot-1 when they led the most prolific ground attack in the Pac-12. Robinson has weight on both as a high schooler, so he could either lose some to fit in with their form or take on a new role as a true powerback.
UCLA’s 2023 recruiting class rose from 64th to 49th on the 247Sports Composite due to Robinson’s dedication and also rose from 8th to 7th in the Pac-12. Receiver Grant Gray and safety/linebacker hybrid Ty Lee became the first additions to Coach Chip Kelly’s upcoming recruit class earlier this spring.
Linebacker target and consensus four-star Tre Edwards announces his signing Friday, and there are multiple clues that he’s also picking the Bruins. Should he join Robinson to bolster UCLA’s upcoming recruiting class, it could climb to No. 39 in the country and No. 4 in the conference by the end of the week.
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