UNION — Rutgers football is on the doorstep of a massive revival, and on Wednesday, Union’s Ahmirr Robinson officially became part of the first recruiting class under Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano’s second term.
Robinson, Union’s lethal 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver, has been verbally committed to Rutgers since this past May. At the time of his non-binding verbal, Rutgers was under the direction of Chris Ash, but Ash was fired in October and Rutgers then hired former head coach Greg Schiano in late November. However, Robinson remained committed to the Scarlet Knights throughout the process, and officially put pen to paper on the National Letter of Intent Wednesday morning — the first day of the NCAA’s early signing period.
Rutgers was the first school to offer Robinson, who held 10 total offers, including ones from Boston College, Buffalo, and Appalachian State.
“I just stood strong with Rutgers because that’s the place that I really wanted to go,” Robinson told TAPinto Union Wednesday, shortly after signing in the library at Union High. “Rutgers was my first offer, but I had some interest before that, and it just gradually picked up over time. The process, it worked. I just kept with the process, stayed focused, and did what I did on the field. Everything just fell into place.”
"As a freshman, we just saw so much potential in him," said Athletic Director Linda Ionta. "We just tried to guide him. Back then, we all said that when he was a senior, schools will be knocking down the door to sign him."
Robinson further deepens Union’s pipeline to Piscataway. Rutgers currently starts former Farmer Mike Tverdov, a redshirt sophomore, on the defensive line, and Union head coach Lou Grasso, Jr., played at Rutgers in the 1990s. Robinson now joins that list of Farmers who went on to play at Rutgers, and will figure to make an immediate impact based on how he was shaped by his four years in Union.
Prior to his freshman year, Robinson moved to Union from Plainfield, and said he was welcomed with open arms upon arrival. After winning a starting spot as a sophomore, Robinson instantly began to generate Division I recruiting interest. As Robinson continued to grow more skilled over his junior and senior season, so did his Union team.
That culminated in the Farmers starting off this season 12-0 and winning a state championship for the first time in 26 years.
“I moved to Union from Plainfield, and once I got here, I was welcomed with open arms,” he said. “We built a great relationship over time, and that’s what led to the state championship this year.
“It went by fast,” he added. “I really don’t remember a lot of things from my sophomore or freshman year, but it just went by fast. I’m very grateful for it because it built character in me and built character in me as a man. It’s great to be in this position.”
Robinson will go from championship Union team to a struggling Rutgers program, but all signs indicate that Rutgers is on the upswing and perhaps has a chance to make national noise during Robinson upcoming collegiate career.
Rutgers has struggled immensely since joining becoming a Power Five upon joining Big Ten Conference in 2014, but upon Schiano’s hire, the Scarlet Knights instantly skyrocketed into college football prominence, almost overnight. Originally, Robinson was the crown jewel of a relatively smaller Scarlet Knights recruiting class of 2020. But with Schiano’s hire has come a massive recruiting jolt, and Robinson is now among the best players in a much deeper Rutgers class of commits that is currently ranked 58th-best in the country per 24/7 sports (it was 102nd before Schiano’s hire).
Robinson will now join his fellow recruits in the mission to rebuild Rutgers back to the level of national . Other significant Rutgers commits from New Jersey that signed on Wednesday included nine other New Jersey players.
“The working mentality that I have, I know that the other recruits in the 2020 recruiting class have them too,” Robinson said.
“I’m just going to do my best like I did here, and graduate better as a player and as a person… It’s just surreal that it’s over and I’m just ready for the next step.”
Though he is yet to play under Schiano, Robinson took an official visit to Rutgers last week and met the Knights’ coach there. Robinson is excited to start playing for Schiano and Rutgers, and the feelings are mutual in Piscataway.
“I talked to coach Schiano — he’s a good coach,” said Robinson. “I really don’t have experience with him on the field yet, but from what I can see, he’s a great man and great person who cares about the players. I’m excited to play for him.”