Brashear High School head football coach Andrew Moore wasted no time expressing how he feels about his star player, Ta’Mere Robinson.
“Ta’Mere is probably the best human being on the face of this earth,” were the first words Moore spoke in his interview with Nittany Sports Now not long after Robinson announced his commitment to Penn State Friday night.
Now, there’s no indisputable way to prove that Robinson is, indeed, the “best human being on the face of this earth.”
Surely, Moore knows this, but in any case, he sees Robinson as a rare breed, both as an athlete and a human being.
Robinson’s abilities on the football field are well-known to any Penn State football fan who follows recruiting, but who he is away from the field isn’t something that can be measured by star ratings and site rankings.
“Ta’Mere is a joy to be around,” Moore said. “He’s somebody that, no matter what element he is—on the football field, in the classroom or just out in the community—he’s going to make everybody around him better.”
In the classroom, Robinson has a 3.8-grade point average.
Robinson’s community and upbringing also mean something to him, as evidenced by the fact that he held his commitment ceremony at Willie Stargell Field in Homewood, where he grew up learning football while playing for the Homewood Bulldawgs youth team.
The current Bulldawgs were practicing in the background of the celebration.
Moore described Robinson as a young man with a “kind heart.”
“A lot of people don’t know that he plans on majoring in education,” Moore said. “He wants to be a math teacher, working with kids, life after football. He just always does the right thing all the time. He’s someone who’s always smiling. He’s a joy to be around, and the thing is, he does good deeds. He has the characteristics of a good person, and they come effortlessly. He doesn’t have to try, he doesn’t have to think about it. It’s just what he does.”
Robinson’s physical talent is known to college football coaches and recruiting analysts, which is how he ended up being a four-star prospect and the No. 1 Class of 2023 player in Pennsylvania according to Rivals.
One thing that sticks out to Moore, however, is Robinson’s football IQ.
Moore said that when Robinson suffered a season-ending knee injury last October, he spent the rest of the year in the press box, on a headset talking with the coaches.
“He’s a student of the game, and he’s also very intelligent,” Moore said. “He understands football. He knows how to put himself in the right place at the right time.”
Ayodeji “Coach Blue” Young has been watching Robinson since his pee wee days.
Early on, Robinson played on the line but switched to tight end in his late-pre teen years.
“He’s bigger than the other kids, just size-wise and height-wise,” Young told NSN. “He always played tackle. Was a little, smiley, bubbly, happy little kid, but he was still the way he is now, listening.”
Young coached Robinson for two years right before he began his high school career.
“By the time he got to me on the 13-14-year-old team,” Young said. “He was ready to go. We just put him at safety so he could just patrol the field for us. And it worked out. We won the championship with him.”
“You just knew that there was potential for him to be special,” Moore said, “and he proved all of us right.”
Moore corrected himself.
“Or, you could say, he proved us wrong,” Moore said. “Because he’s better than advertised.”
One thing that made Robinson successful in his salad days, Robinson said, was his mindset on defense.
Every kid who plays football loves to score a touchdown.
But Robinson was just as excited to make a big play on the other side of the ball.
“He played defense with an offensive mindset,” Young said, “meaning that how kids have the energy to want to score a touchdown and families want to see him score a touchdown, he took that much pride in making tackles and getting interceptions and knocking down passes.”
Of course, Robinson’s play on defense is what’s made him a blue-chip recruit, and Penn State fans are hoping that he and another four-star linebacker commit, Tony Rojas, can follow in the “Linebacker U” tradition.
So what else makes Robinson so good defensively?
“His extreme athleticism allows him to be in multiple places at the same time,” Moore said. “But then, his physicality. That’s also his favorite part of the game. When you have a guy who’s going to play the game as physical as he does, they end up having a lot of success.”
Robinson’s injury could have ripped away his dream.
Now, he’s a little more than a year away from playing his first college football game.
Robinson’s ability to power through the injury is no surprise to Moore or those that know Robinson well.
“He’s been persevering since day one, coming from the humble beginnings that he’s come from, still living within the city, being a city league kid, where a lot of people think it’s tough to make it out of the inner city,” Moore said. “For him to do what he does, having a 3.8 GPA in addition to being a star athlete (is impressive). It’s like when he accomplishes new feats, it doesn’t surprise us.”
Moore was with Robinson when he first visited Beaver Stadium in October 2019, watching Penn State play Michigan in its annual White Out game.
He had had a feeling Robinson might commit to Penn State when he saw “the look in his eyes.”
Now, Robinson is ready to be a Nittany Lion, and Moore hopes Penn State fans will appreciate him.
“Enjoy him while you can,” Moore said. “It’s felt like I’ve known Tay his whole life, but it’s also flown by real fast. When you have the opportunity to have a special person in your life, hold on to them tight and cherish the moment. He’s going to make a lot of people happy. He’s going to create a lot of memories at Penn State.”
Young said that Penn State is getting an “unbreakable kid.”
“Here at Homewood Community Sports, we start them young,” he said. “In our community, football’s our thing, and he started young. His mindset is unbreakable. He’s going to come to Penn State ready to play right now as a freshman. He’s going to be unbreakable and give ya’ll an energy that you might not have experienced before. I’m telling you, get ready for the Ta’Mere, ‘Tay Tay’ Robinson experience.”