Greeting Zone Readers.
Here’s hoping everyone’s week is going well and, most importantly, safely.
There’s plenty to get to so here’s what’s on the top of my mind in this week’s “Zone Read.”
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood
Bijan isn’t the only freak athlete in Arizona with the last name of Robinson.
Pinnacle High sophomore Duce Robinson is pulling off the sports trifecta in the north Valley.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound four-star tight end, who will likely be used as a more traditional wide receiver in Dana Zupke’s re-designed offense this season, already holds a slew of offers – including Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Florida State, and several others.
However, his true calling at the next level may be in baseball. A ridiculously gifted skill-set on the diamond, Robinson plays center field and pitches. His ability to track down balls in the gap is uncanny and pro scouts are already monitoring his high-end potential in the sport.
2023 OF Duce Robinson (@2020Pinnacle)- physical specimen with good athleticism. Strength through contact, when he connects it’s loud. Aggressive pull approach. Deceptive speed on the bases, stealing some bags. Development should be followed closely. @prepbaseball @Ducerobinson2 pic.twitter.com/RTvV0IPFmo
— PBR Arizona (@PBRArizona) September 5, 2020
As you can see, he doesn’t lack bat speed at the plate, either.
Fast forward to the present and you’ll find Robinson playing his third sport: hoops.
“I have been playing basketball for as long as I can remember,” Robinson said to the “Zone Read.” “I have always loved it.”
He’s averaging about seven points and six rebounds a game for the ‘Neers who are 5-2 in region play.
“I am so happy to be out there with all my teammates this year, especially after the season had originally been canceled,” he continued. “This year we have had to deal with a lot of adversity but everyone on this team is crazy special and we have been able to overcome that. We definitively have a chance to make a late playoff run this year.”
High school is Robinson’s top priority now but when he does decide on a college, Florida State may well be the leader in the clubhouse. Duce’s dad, Dominic Robinson, was one of the Noles’ top football recruits in the early 2000’s playing both wide receiver and defensive back for the legend, Bobby Bowden.
— 3D SPORTS PERFORMANCE (@3DRobinson) February 12, 2021
The apple doesn’t fall from the tree, so to speak, as Dominic trains his son and several other athletes at 3D Sports Performance. The elder Robinson is the founder and director.
Naturally, Duce has to have a “favorite sport,” right?
“Honestly, I love whichever sport I’m playing at the moment,” he explained. “Whichever season I am in, I miss the other two sports but I am so happy to make that sport the priority.”
Robinson’s biggest priority is in the classroom.
He holds a 4.25 GPA.
Well done, Mr. Robinson.
Some Helpful Hints
Speaking of recruiting, another standout Arizona prospect is Tucson Salpointe 2022 quarterback and “Zone Read” favorite Treyson Bourguet who is coming off another big season for the Lancers.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder threw 14 touchdowns in just eight games in the 2020 in his first full year as the starter. He led Salpointe to the Open Division Playoffs for the second consecutive season.
The one-time Arizona commit has re-opened his recruitment after Kevin Sumlin was fired in mid-December.
Can’t wait to continue to showcase my passing abilities against the best DBs in the nation during these @Battle and @RedZone7v7Elite tournaments! If you didn’t believe in me before, I’ll continue to prove you wrong 😄🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/CMcYhtIGD7
— Treyson Bourguet (@treysonbourguet) February 23, 2021
Last week “Zone Read” unveiled our exclusive interview with Bijan Robinson, Bourguet’s backfield mate for the second half of the 2019 season.
The two remain close and Robinson has even helped guide and mentor his former quarterback through the highs and lows of the recruiting courtship.
“We stay in touch all the time,” Robinson said. “When I went back to Arizona I was at his house the day I got there. We talk all the time. I know he de-committed to Arizona but I told him to keep his options open. Even keep Arizona as an option. You never know what they can still do for you. I told him to keep focused on his last year and finish out high school strong.”
Bourguet currently holds offers from Columbia, Idaho and Vanderbilt but expect his list to grow this spring and as we move closer to the 2021 season.
A Different Kind of Recruitment
Between the pandemic and the NCAA’s tranfer portal, high school and college football continues to evolve through unchartered waters where anything is possible and nothing seems out of the realm of possibility.
Case in point, former Hamilton star Tyler Shough who waited patiently behind eventual AP NFL Offesnive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert at Oregon before eventually transferring out after a relatively solid first season starting for the Ducks.
— Tyler Shough (@tylershough2) February 22, 2021
This week he not only announced his new school but explained to Sports360AZ head honcho Brad Cesmat just how chaotic things got after he announced he was, essentially, a college football free-agent.
“It was crazy,” Shough said to Cesmat. “As soon as I put my name in the transfer portal and colleges could obviously legally talk to you and recruit you, it was nuts. I probably had about a hundred phone calls within the first couple days with different coaches, different people trying to talk to me about my situation. All over the Pac-12, Big-12. Some SEC schools, Big Ten schools. Obviously, it was a great opportunity.”
“It was obviously a great learning process. I’m not a high school kid anymore so, obviously, I know a lot about the recruiting process and how colleges and coaches work. You can kind of see through all of the salesmanship that coaches like to put out at you.”
I’d recommend any one going through the recruiting process or expecting to go through it, to check out Shough’s full interview here.