E.A. Sports Today

Being somewhere

Munford center Robinson quickly gaining attention as one of the top linemen in the state

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

TALLADEGA – The only thing faster than the running back who gets through a hole Jakari Robinson helped create on Munford’s offensive line is the way the Lions’ center has risen on so many recruiting lists.

As a sophomore he wasn’t even getting a look. As recently as March he had only one college offer. Today, he’s entertaining 14 mostly FCS offers, but he’s not fretting because that’s expected to grow in volume and scope as his reputation grows.

“It’s really surprised me,” Robinson said of his quick rise. “It’s not that I didn’t think I was good enough; it all happened out of nowhere.

“It’s just a crazy experience going from being nowhere to being one of the top recruits in the area, being somewhere.”

He’s going places. He’s already considered in many circles the best center in the state, an opinion championed by among others Lions coach Bill Smith, but Robinson aspires for more. Earlier this week he was recognized as a preseason second-team All-American by GridironRR.com.

“I want to be known as the best offensive lineman in Alabama,” he said. “Not just (Class) 4A, 5A, 6A; I want to be known as one of the best linemen in Alabama. When y’all talk about the best linemen, I want my name to pop up.”

Being just 6-foot-2 has kept some of the bigger schools away for now, but it’s also that size that makes him a good center.

“I think he’s the best center in the state of Alabama,” Smith said. “It’s hard to have the hip flexibility when you’re 6-6, 6-7 like (most teams) want their tackles to be and be a good center; it’s just hard to do. He has great flexibility, he’s very fast, changes direction, his football IQ is very good, he’s a great leader. At 295 pounds he moves really well. When he gets his hands on you you’re pretty much done as a linebacker or defensive lineman.”

And the more he does that, the more recruiters will want to get their hands on him.

On the cover: Munford center Jakari Robinson (R) and head coach Bill Smith talk with reporters during Friday’s Talladega County Football Coaches Preseason Media Day.

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