Ta’Mere Robinson’s first game at Beaver Stadium was a big one.
In October of 2019, Robinson, a freshman in high school, went to Penn State’s annual Whiteout game, this one against rival Michigan.
It was his first college game, and the most famous moment of the night happened before the first play when the noise of Penn State’s crowd forced Michigan to call a time out. The clip has become somewhat legendary in the years since.
— Joe Smeltzer (@joesmeltzer775) July 16, 2022
That game made Robinson want to be a Nittany Lion, and he told his mother, Carla when he got back home.
“I’m like, ‘this is the best thing ever,” Robinson said. “I went home, I said ‘Mom, if I get this offer, I’m going to commit.'”
Robinson got that offer in April of 2020.
Twenty-six months later, Robinson, a four-star from Brashear High School in Pittsburgh and the No. 1 Class of 2023 recruit in Pennsylvania according to Rivals, took his official visit to Penn State, and by the end of the visit, officially decided he wanted to commit there.
He almost committed while introducing himself at a dinner with other visiting recruits.
“I got into talking and I almost committed,” Robinson said. “I said, ‘Ooh, I’ve got to stop myself.’ We left and my mom said, ‘You should have just did it.’”
Robinson saved his announcement for a beautiful midsummer Friday night at Willie Stargell Field in Homewood.
It was the place where, as a member of the Homewood Bulldawgs youth team, Robinson learned about the game he’d like to make millions from one day and the place he officially announced his plans to make Penn State home.
— ᴛᴀᴅᴅᴇʀ ③ (@TaMereRobinson3) July 15, 2022
He picked coach James Franklin’s program over Miami and Virginia Tech.
Keeping the big news private was challenging, but in the end, worth it for the 17-year-old.
“It was hard to keep the secret,” Robinson told reporters after his commitment. “It was definitely hard. I probably told a few people, but just people I trust.”
Robinson said he told only Franklin, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and associate head coach Terry Smith from Penn State’s coaching staff, along with family and confidants such as current NFL players and former WPIAL stars Damar Hamlin and Miles Sanders, the latter of which Robinson hopes to follow as a Penn State great.
Although he knew what his decision was, there were still a lot of nerves for Robinson while he was revealing it to the crowd of supporters and reporters.
“I was talking, and as I’m talking, I’m like, ‘I know this decision is the right decision and I can’t wait to tell them,'” he said. “But I was just trying to figure out what to say. I was going off the top of the head. I wasn’t reading off anything. I was trying to figure out what to say.”
Here’s a video of the announcement. Robison is the 19th commit in Penn State’s 2023 class. The class ranking is now No. 3 in the country according to @247Sports. https://t.co/OtVKasv4B8 pic.twitter.com/3cN74FbFXY
— Joe Smeltzer (@joesmeltzer775) July 15, 2022
He figured it out, and the night was everything Robinson wanted it to be.
“Ever since I started getting recruited,” Robinson said, “I’m like ‘I can’t wait until the day I commit, I just want to see how it’s going to be.’ When it happened, seeing all these people out here, I’m like ‘this is mad love’ when I see how many people support me. I appreciate everyone who came out to this.”
A lot has changed for Robinson since his youth days at Homewood Field, and even since last fall when a serious knee injury could have wrecked his football career.
On an October night at Cupples Stadium, coaches from Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State were on hand to see what Robinson could do.
On a two-point conversion, Robinson ran the ball and blew out his knee.
After getting hurt, he remembers looking to his right and seeing all five coaches standing there.
The injury gave Robinson an abundance of agony
“I literally cried the whole night,” Robinson said. “My knee was hurting, obviously, but then again, I’m like, ‘this is painful, but I don’t know how my future is going to be now.'”
After the injury schools gave up recruiting Robinson.
Michigan was interested in him before the injury, but that interest waned.
But the three schools that Robinson narrowed his choice down to all stuck with him, and Robinson will forever be grateful for that.
And he won’t soon forget the ones that “shied away.”
“When we play Michigan,” Robinson said, “it’s going to be real personal. Ohio State, too.”
Now, Robinson’s knee is in good enough shape to where he expects to be fully cleared soon, but he isn’t sure if he’ll play high school football this season.
One thing he knows for sure, however, is that Penn State is where he wants to be in 2023, and he plans on enrolling early this coming winter.
“I’m excited to be a part of the family now,” he said, “and I’m ready to work.”