From the beginning of his football career, Carmel (Ind.) defensive end Beau Robbins has been building toward being a top recruit. Now a four-star prospect per the 247Sports Composite, he holds scholarships from 14 schools, including Michigan State. Those who saw Robbins play youth ball had an inkling this was a strong possibility.
“He was kind of a legend growing up because he was so big,” Carmel head coach John Hebert said. “As a fifth- and sixth-grader, he looked like a high school player. He played on a community team which played in our stadium and when we would see him we would always joke about how long legged he was and he had big feet and height so people would talk about him being a can’t miss kind of guy.”
Now 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, Robbins may not tower over his teammates and opponents as much as he once did, but he still has the desired measurables colleges look for. However, physical size is only a small part of what has made him a top recruit.
“I think he’s great instinctually, as a football player,” Hebert said. “He’s really smart. He’s a 3.9 in the classroom, but that doesn’t really capture the real depth of his intelligence. He understands the game really clearly, understands angles very well, and he’s a very good athlete especially in the specialized skill of playing the edge. I really believe he is an elite edge player.”
Hebert adds that Robbins also nis quite strong even though he is still relatively lean. Then in addition to all of that, he loves football.
“He’s happiest when he’s got a helmet on and he’s playing,” Hebert said.
Michigan State does not have a player from Indiana on its roster, but is aiming to change that with Robbins. It will be a battle as Robbins has major programs courting him, but the Spartans are right in the thick of the race along with in-state Indiana.
“I think Indiana and Michigan State appear to be the two,” said Hebert, “and I think he wants to know more about Arkansas. He talked about going down there and visiting. He played on the basketball team and he’s now running track and he’s not the kind of kid that sits around thinking about and discussing recruiting to a great degree, but we have had a lot of conversations about what to do next and how to narrow things down.”
The Hoosiers recruit their home-state vigorously and that always includes the Indianapolis area schools such as Carmel. Hebert said the Hoosiers have done a great job recruiting Robbins.
As for Michigan State, the Spartans have long had Robbins’ attention.
“Michigan State has always been up there,” Hebert said. “Obviously the success and longevity of the status they’ve achieved year in and year out. The big rebound they had this year maybe solidified that. I think Mark Dantonio is one of those elite coaches. He is a defensive oriented coach, a tough coach, and it just appears Beau really likes the level Michigan State plays at. He wants to play on a big stage, compete for championships, and Michigan State has done that often.”
Robbins visited Michigan State last fall for their home game against Western Michigan.
Spartans offer Missouri speedster
Michigan State offered Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge safety Martez Manuel on Tuesday. Manuel (6-1, 178 pounds) also played wide receiver, but won the state championship in the 300-meter hurdles last spring and is posting excellent track results again this year.
The Spartans were Manuel’s first FBS scholarship offer. Iowa State followed Thursday.
Manuel said he would look to visit East Lansing this summer.
Illinois lineman offered, hopes to visit
Michigan State also offered Springfield (Ill.) Sacred Heart Griffin offensive lineman Nick Broeker early this week. The Spartans now join a race for the 6-5, 270-pound junior which includes Kentucky, Illinois, Minnesota, and more.
Broeker has not set a visit date to Michigan State yet, but said he hoped it would be in May.
Spartans assistant Terry Samuel was at the school Tuesday.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.