Jaden Robinson from Lake City says commitment flip to Florida was 'family decision'

Kevin Brockway
Gator Sports

Four-star Columbia linebacker Jaden Robinson said flipping his 2023 commitment from South Carolina to Florida came down to family.

“The flip was like, a family decision,” Robinson said following Columbia’s 31- 14 loss to Buchholz in Week 1 of the high school football season. “Me and my family sat down and discussed it, and everything was like a better situation for me for the Gators.”

A Lake City native, Robinson will play closer to home; it's about a 45-minute drive from The Swamp.

“All of that contributes,” Robinson said. “My family can go to the games. Like, I’m still home.”

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Columbia Tigers linebacker Jaden Robinson (5) lays a big hit on the Buchholz Bobcats running back during the opening football game of the season at Citizens Field in Gainesville FL. August 25, 2022.

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After a quiet first half in muddy conditions Thursday night at Citizens Field, Robinson displayed his bull rush ability from the outside linebacker spot in the second half. He knocked Buchholz quarterback and fellow UF commit Creed Whittemore to the ground a few times on pressures that forced incompletions.

“I was messing with him after the play,” Robinson said.

Buchholz relied heavily on the run in the first half, going to the left often away from Robinson, who was lined up on the right edge. Robinson recorded a tackle for loss in the second half.

“He got to us a couple of times,” Buchholz coach Mark Whittemore said. “He put (Creed) on his butt several times and prevented us from really, it was very difficult to throw the ball for both teams.”

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Robinson said he felt a strong bond with Florida coach Billy Napier and the rest of UF’s defensive staff. He’s looking forward to touring UF’s new $85 million Heavener Football Training Center when the recruiting dead period ends in September.

“Last time I went there they were still building it,” Robinson said. “I always liked it. I was seeing the new building but I’m ready to get after the dead period to go see it.”

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Robinson — the No. 32 linebacker nationally per 247Sports composite rankings — said his main goal before arriving at UF is to get stronger and gain weight.

His favorite food? According to his aunt, Paula G. Williams, it’s chicken and seafood.

“It will be nice to have him come close to home,” Williams said. “We will be able to have more of the family come to see him play. He’s had lots of opportunities, but he’s excited to come to Florida and whatever he decides, we’re going to ride with him wherever he goes.”