USC football head coach Lincoln Riley is heralded has one of the top offensive minds in the sport today, college and NFL. He makes magic happen and unlocks the full potential of most of his top athletes. He now has another tantalizing weapon to wield this fall after landing a commitment from 5-star tight end and potential MLB draft prospect Duce Robinson.
Although there remain concerns about the recruit’s long-term devotion to football, Riley is already penciling him and planning on how to best utilize the 6-foot-6 talent in the Trojans offense. And it may not be exactly what fans expect.
“I don’t see him (strictly) as a tight end,” Riley told Antonio Morales of The Athletic. Robinson is comfortable lining up at wide receiver, but perhaps his new coach has something even more unconventional in mind. Versatility is treasured at every level and certainly by an innovator like Riley.
USC football did not squeeze a lot of offensive production out of the tight end position last season, so Robinson is an especially exciting addition. He recorded 84 receptions for a whopping 1,614 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2022-23 for Pinnacle High School in Phoenix, Arizona. Riley is not just a quarterback guru, with Baltimore Ravens star tight end Mark Andrews also being a prized pupil while at Oklahoma. Maybe another top recruit can yield similar results.
Of course, there is still the baseball diamond-sized elephant in the room regarding the two-sport star. It would not be the first time Lincoln Riley dealt with that sort of dilemma, as Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was selected in the first round of the 2018 MLB Draft. Obviously, he chose the gridiron.
The Trojans cannot be caught up with future speculation. They can only focus on Duce Robinson the football player and hope he is one of the reasons they finally climb back to the college football mountaintop.
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