STEVE HANLON: A shamrock that's 4 inches taller

2012-09-28T22:00:00Z 2013-05-06T22:45:10Z STEVE HANLON: A shamrock that's 4 inches tallerSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
September 28, 2012 10:00 pm  • 

ST. JOHN | There is a $1 million question that is yet to be answered. And no, it isn't what tonight's Powerball numbers will be — in advance. And yes, an estimated $40 million would be nice.

Lake Central's Gelen Robinson did visit last Saturday's Michigan-Notre Dame game in South Bend as a recruiting guest of the Irish. The question, though, is — was he looking harder at the Wolverines?

Remember, older brother Glenn III now makes his home in Ann Arbor.

“Well, I was there on a recruiting visit with Notre Dame,” a joyous Robinson said after Friday night's 35-12 pounding of Times No. 1 Chesterton at the Burial Grounds. “But I was watching both teams. It is a great rivalry (ND-Michigan) and it was a great atmosphere. It was awesome just to be a part of it.”

Robinson and other recruits were taken onto the field before the Irish and Wolverines did battle. Then, he had a front-row seat watching the clash. But the standout defensive end-linebacker-safety-everything would not show his hand which way he's leaning.

“I'll know when it's right,” Robinson said.

Chesterton's Trojans are wishing that No. 9 would leave for USC or any other place after the damage he did against an offense that was scoring 40 points a game before Friday's massacre. Moving the chains was akin to moving a continent against Lake Central's defense.

Robinson had three sacks, a couple of  tackles for loss and about 25 pancake hits on Chesterton blockers. He looked like a guy in a flannel shirt at a truck stop at 6 a.m.

“My team needed me,” Robinson said. “I did what I had to do.”

The reigning Times Defensive Player of the Year, the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Robinson is getting strong interest from Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue in addition to Notre Dame. Some recruiting websites say that Robinson is so muscle-bound that he looks like he plays “stiff.”

Heading into Friday's DAC clash against Chesterton, Robinson had 48 tackles, 22 TFLs, 14 hurries, three deflected passes and three forced fumbles. As stiff as a gold bullion, I'd say.

“Colleges are waiting to see if Gelen grows,” L.C. Coach Brett St. Germain said. “If he gets up to 6-4 or 6-5, he'll play defensive line. If he stays at 6-1, he'll be a linebacker. They are all waiting to see what happens.

“But they all know that he can play.”

More than 6,500 fans watched the blue defense stop what was a fast-break offense. The hits were hard and vicious. The first downs were like finding a seat in Lake Central's 1974 back-seat-of-a-Gremlin press box. One at the most. Maybe two.

After losing to Michigan City last week, the Indians showed that they belong at the top. With players like Robinson and David Yancey, they have game-changers that a lot of programs don't.

St. Germain was concerned about Robinson going both ways. Against Munster in Week 1 he also played tight end and his defensive numbers dropped. That did not happen against Chesterton.

“I told Gelen he was not coming out,” St. Germain said. “He said. 'Coach, I'm not coming out.' That's what you expect from your top-tier players and that's what we got tonight.”

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

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