Defensive End, Class of 2023
McDonogh School, Owings Mills, MD
Since the beginning of the open evaluation period, McDonogh (Md.) four-star defensive end Mason Robinson saw four schools in-person: Virginia Tech, Penn State, Pittsburgh and South Carolina. Each provided a bit of clarity and information for him to process.
Robinson, Rivals.com’s No. 22 weakside defensive end nationally, said he hasn’t formally come up with a top list, but he’s close. He has one official visit set in the coming weeks, and though he has 22 scholarship offers, he’s only giving a handful a serious look.
“Honestly, I’m still looking for the same thing, a home, the right coaches, the right feel, a place that feels like home, that I can bond and become a family,” he said. “I’m still trying to stick to my plan, finding a school that fits me. I’ve got a top three, four or five right now that I’m really looking for. I think I have a pretty good plan, and my parents are helping me with that, too.”
Robinson spent April 16 at Virginia Tech’s spring game. The trip marked his third to Blacksburg, but provided a different perspective than the others.
“It was nice to see the returning players like Bruce Smith, Tyrod Taylor, the Fuller brothers, who are like superstars in Maryland,” Robinson said. “After the game, I was at a restaurant, and it felt like we were at a VT rave. They said, ‘you’re a recruit here.’ They said Coach Pry is making a big impact, that it was a huge game. That stadium was rocking, fans jumping and going crazy. I finally got to see Coach (JC) Price coach. I thought the D-line looked good. They do need some help, but they’re improving, and I can see Coach Pry implement his new ideas and ways and improving on everything.”
Price and Tyler Bowen have shared recruiting duties for the Hokies. Both have established a good relationship with Robinson, who said he likes what he’s seen with each coach.
“Coach Price is a funny guy, very charismatic,” Robinson said. “He tells jokes every time you see him. One time he said he got a cast on his hand and said he got bit by a horse. He’s a really cool person. I like the way he coaches. I was up there for junior day, and he was breaking down film with me, telling me what he looks at, how he stunts, and how they play defense. It seems like they get after it.”
“To be honest, Virginia Tech is a great school, a great institution, and they’re improving their program,” Robinson said. “They’re still in the works, in rebuilding, and that’s obvious. (Pry) is trying to bring his own staff in there and do different things, but you can tell they’re all bonding together. You can’t tell it’s a new staff because they’re all clicking. They’re new, and it can be hard to start with a new coach, but it seems like they’re doing a good job.”
On April 9, Robinson made a return trip to Penn State for spring practice. The visit allowed him a look on and off the field, including before and after that practice.
“One thing I really picked up that was cool, after practice, people normally leave and everybody just stayed, working on their craft,” Robinson said. “The D-line was working on their hands, their get-off. Even Deion Barnes, who’s a GA, they were just putting in extra work. That’s a culture right there, something I’d like to be part of. It was nice. I got to see Coach Scott coach for the first time. He’s really technical. He fine tunes small stuff, things that can help in the long run.”
On March 19, Robinson was at Pittsburgh, also for spring practice. He said the Panthers impressed with their work ethic, as well as the culture.
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