When Glenelg offensive lineman David Robbins decided to visit Florida State last month, he just wanted to see what a national championship football program looked like from the inside. He left Tallahassee, Fla., thinking that he might be able to play there.
Four days after his March 20 visit, the junior got an offer from Seminoles coach Jimbo Fisher. Last week, Robbins accepted.
“If you had asked me a week before the visit, I would have said we were just going down there for the trip. I had no expectations really,” Robbins said. “I absolutely fell in love with the place while I was there.”
Robbins, just over 6 feet 4 and 295 pounds, had already visited about a dozen top Football Bowl Subdivision schools, including spring trips to Alabama, Auburn and Ohio State, but he couldn't get past the way he felt about Florida State.
“As soon as I got the Florida State offer, it was like I kind of wanted to get out and see more schools, but at the same time, there was this feeling that this is absolutely where I belong,” he said. “There was really no doubt in my mind. I don't see myself going anywhere else, so I decided there's no sense in waiting, I might as well commit now.”
Robbins said the committment is also a huge weight off his shoulders, and now he can enjoy his senior season in the fall without dealing with recruiting.
“All the recruiting gets really stressful,” he said. “Constantly being in touch with coaches and going on visits takes time away from trying to be in high school and getting good grades. There's a big relief, and there's also a sense of excitement to be a part of such a crazy good program like that.”
The Seminoles finished last season 14-0 after defeating Auburn, 34-31, in the Bowl Championship Series title game.
Robbins, an All-Metro first-team selection this past fall, is rated a three-star offensive guard and the preseason No. 14 overall player in the state by Rivals.com. He is ranked as the No. 30 offensive lineman in the country.
Glenelg coach Butch Schaffer has no doubt the Seminoles are a good fit for Robbins. He said he saw that potential from Robbins' freshman year.
“He's got the ability, the talent, the size and the determination,” Schaffer said. “He works extremely hard and is dedicated to improving every day. He's got an unmatched work ethic. He's a football junkie. He loves the game, and that's what he wants to do.”
Extremely athletic for his size, Robbins led the way for a Glenelg team that rushed for nearly 3,000 yards last fall and won its first Howard County championship in a decade.
As a freshman, Robbins said, he didn't think he had a chance to play major college football. He picked up interest from some smaller Division I programs in his sophomore year, then his recruitment took off this winter, and he attended the U.S. Army combine in January.
Robbins said he was impressed with everything about Florida State, even beyond the football program. He especially liked the “small-town feel and sense of community” that he likened to the Glenelg area. He also loves the South and plans to live there after college.
On his visit, he spent about two hours with offensive line coach Rick Trickett and about 30 minutes with Fisher, the head coach.
“I got to know both coaches on that one visit,” Robbins said. “If I didn't spend that time with the coaches, I probably wouldn't be committed. I felt like I really clicked with them.
“Coach Trickett's coaching style, I can see it turning a lot of people off, but it absolutely made me want to play for him, because I like having someone kick me in the butt, making me work harder, pushing me.
“My biggest thing is I definitely want to play at the next level after college, and that was a big factor in the decision. I think better than any coach in the whole country, Coach Trickett's the guy that can get me there if I have the talent, and I obviously think I do.”