Blue Chip players Darius Robinson, Devin Nicholson still excited to play for Missouri

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Darius Robinson

Darius Robinson still believes he made the right decision when he picked Missouri as his college home for the next four or five years.

Robinson, who was a Detroit News Dream Team defensive end this past fall for Canton, picked Missouri over several other teams, including Michigan and Michigan State. He enrolled early and is taking several classes while being heavily involved in weight training and learning the Tigers’ playbook so he will be prepared for spring practice.

Robinson was among the majority of recruits who signed their letters of intent at the start of the early signing period in December. He is one of three players on The Detroit News Blue Chip list to sign with Missouri. Robinson is No. 18 on the list, Detroit Cass Tech linebacker Devin Nicholson is No. 39 and New Lothrop defensive back Aidan Harrison is No. 32.

More: Detroit News Blue Chip players talk best, worst of recruiting

More: Complete 2019 Detroit News Blue Chip list 1-60

Last week the NCAA hit Missouri with a postseason ban for 2019 and trimmed scholarships, amid other punishments, following an investigation that revealed academic fraud.

Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk said the school would “immediately appeal,” adding, “We are shocked and dismayed by the penalties that have been imposed today and will aggressively fight for what is right.”

News of the sanctions did not dim Robinson’s enthusiasm to play for the Tigers, who finished 8-5 (4-4 SEC East) last season.

Robinson, who had 12 TFL, including six sacks, this past season for Canton, has packed on a dozen pounds on his 6-foot-6 frame since moving to Missouri last month.

“It’s a really good program, great people around here and I’m just getting ready for spring ball, which will be here before you know it,” said Robinson. “We’re doing weight training right now and that’s going real good. I feel good, right now I’m at 274, put on 12 pounds.”

Devin Nicholson

Robinson remains committed to remain at Missouri.

“It was a little difficult down here for a minute, but it’s nothing big, to be honest, and we just hope the sanctions can be repealed,” Robinson said. “But at the end of the day we’re going to fight, compete and win games regardless of what happens.

“There’s no going back for me. I knew leaving, like walking out on Michigan and Michigan State, would be tough, but I knew coming down here that I would just be trusting the staff. I’m excited. There’s always going to be bumps in the road, but you just have to keep your head down and keep moving.”

Robinson’s toughest decision could have been leaving Canton’s basketball team since it is ranked No. 13 in the state by The Detroit News, with his best friends B. Artis White and Vinson Sigmon making up the backcourt.

“It was tough because B. Artis and Vince are probably my closest friends, but they are great basketball players and they will be fine,” Robinson said. “I left school early, even though I love basketball, but this is my dream and my craft, so I knew I had to get in the weight room so I’d be ready to go during spring ball.”

Nicholson was all over the field during his senior season, helping Cass Tech win the PSL championship. He got in on 82 tackles, including 22 TFL, grabbing four interceptions and returning two of them for TDs.

Nicholson is working out, planning to run track for Cass Tech to get ready for practice this summer at Missouri.

When asked of the bowl ban and other NCAA penalties, Nicholson said: “I’m not worked about it. I know they are still appealing it. I still plan on going to Missouri, looking forward to it. I know Missouri is the best fit for me and it just felt like home.”