Gelen Robinson knew a month ago. So, too, did his mother, Shantelle Clay-Erving.
After an official visit to West Lafayette in early June, Robinson knew he was going to commit to play football at Purdue, where his father Glenn Robinson was an All-American for the Boilermakers basketball team.
Robinson verbally committed to play for Purdue on Monday afternoon.
“Obviously, I have a good family connection there,” said Robinson, who is The Times two-time defending Defensive Player of the Year and the reigning Tim Bishop Athlete of the Year. “My dad went there so I wanted to go there, too.”
Gelen's older brother, Glenn Robinson III, just finished his first season at Michigan.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Robinson had a remarkable fall, leading the Indians with 95 tackles, 47 tackles for loss, 13 sacks and 29 hurries. He then went right into wrestling where he won the 220-pound state title with a 49-0 record.
In the spring he finished second at state in both the shot put and discus.
But he will be a one-trick pony in West Lafayette.
“Just football, just football,” he said, “but maybe I'll look into track after one year. I'll have to see how I feel.”
Former L.C. player David Yancey, a 2013 grad, is also playing for new Boilers coach Darrell Hazell. Robinson said he also visited his old teammate to see how things were going.
They must've been going good.
Clay-Erving went to Purdue for a year, but returned home when she became pregnant with Glenn III. Her first choice was Illinois because the Illini was the first program to offer Gelen.
But she was happy on Monday. Very happy.
“He wanted to go where his dad went,” Clay-Erving said. “The bloodlines.”
While Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson was an All-American and all-time legend in Boilermakers history, his son saw something in his visit that made it all right.
“It was about me being my own self,” Gelen said. “It was really important they didn't recruit me because of my dad. They recruited me because of me.”