Brashear linebacker Ta’Mere Robinson chooses Penn State after Nittany Lions ‘stuck with me’

Friday, July 15, 2022 | 7:49 PM

While on his official visit to Penn State, Ta’Mere Robinson had dinner with other recruits and each was asked to stand and introduce himself. Caught up in the moment, the Brashear senior admits he nearly got carried away.

“I got into talking and I almost committed,” Robinson said with a laugh Friday, remembering last month’s visit. “I said, ‘Ooh, I’ve got to stop myself.’ We left and my mom said, ‘You should have just did it.’”

Robinson agreed.

So on the way home, he called Penn State coach James Franklin and committed, telling him, “Coach, this is the place to be. I love it.” Robinson said he asked Franklin and his assistants to keep his commitment quiet so he could turn his announcement into a celebration with the Homewood community.

That took place Friday.

Robinson, a four-star prospect and Pennsylvania’s top-ranked recruit in the 2023 class, revealed his commitment to Penn State in front of a crowd of family, friends and neighbors at Willie Stargell Field, the home turf for the Homewood Bulldawgs youth football team.

The 6-foot-4, 220-pound linebacker had nearly 30 college offers and chose the Nittany Lions over finalists Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech. Robinson is still rehabbing from a torn ACL, and his three finalists were schools that supported him most during his recovery.

“There were definitely a lot of schools that shied away,” said Robinson, pointing out how Michigan hesitated when he asked just to take an official visit there. “That’s why I stuck with the schools I stuck with: Miami, Virginia Tech, Penn State. I stuck with those three schools because they stuck with me the whole way through.”

Coaches from Penn State, Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State were on the sideline at Cupples Stadium last October when Robinson injured his knee rushing the ball on a two-point conversion. Robinson said he cried that whole night, partly from the pain in his knee, but also from the fear that he’d just ruined his college dreams.

He said he called coaches in tears.

“My first thought was, it’s over,” Robinson said. “I’m not going to have any of these offers left.”

A few days later, Penn State coaches passed a cell phone around the football office, each taking time to wish Robinson a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. The video was only a minute long, but the impact on Robinson was huge.

“That was super big,” he said. “That played a big role in why I committed. It showed that they had a lot of love for me and was a good place to be.”

Robinson said the knee is improving and he hopes soon to be fully cleared. However, he said it’s still questionable whether he’ll play football this season for Brashear.

He intends to enroll early at Penn State.

Robinson’s announcement came one day after Penn State added four-star linebacker Tony Rojas, a commit from Fairfax, Va. Robinson said that was the “TNT” tandem linebacker coach Manny Diaz wanted from the 2023 class.

Rivals recently made Robinson the top-ranked recruit in Pennsylvania for 2023. The recruiting site ranked him No. 140 nationally and as the 11th-best outside linebacker prospect in the country.

“They’re getting a guy that can do everything,” Brashear coach Andrew Moore said of Robinson. “He’s going to be a leader on and off the field. He’s going to be a guy that takes control of the defense. Guys are going to follow him.”

After Robinson made his announcement, the Bulldawgs started practice in the background. The City League star said he wanted to show the neighborhood kids that it’s possible to succeed as a football player in the city.

“I wanted to come out here and show the kids it’s possible,” Robinson said. “A lot of people come and tell us you should go play in the WPIAL. No. Why would I play in the WPIAL? Me, I’m showing the reason why you don’t have to go.”

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at


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