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May 18, 2012

Robinson twins will pull double duty in college

MORE: Robinsons dominate B2G Showcase

They are twin brothers who excel at football and basketball and plan to play both sports at the same college.

The story of Tyrell and Tyree Robinson is a special one, a rare one, and something that is so unique it might not come around again for a long time.

The Robinsons are not just talented at football and basketball, they're two of the top prospects in the country at both sports and because of that they believe it's likely - not just a pipe dream so often espoused by two-sport high school stars - to play both in college.

"My brother and I have been playing both sports for a long time," Tyree Robinson said. "We're very competitive at both sports, we get after it in whatever sport we play. I just want to try it. We know it's going to be hard but we want to try it."

In the Rivals.com football rankings, Tyree Robinson is the sixth-best athlete and No. 124 prospect in the 2013 class. Tyrell Robinson is the No. 20 athlete and No. 228 overall. In basketball, Tyree is No. 71 and Tyrell is No. 121.

In football, Tyrell (6 feet 4, 185 pounds) will play both outside linebacker and defensive end at Lincoln High School, and is being recruited as an outside linebacker. Tyree (6-4, 180) primarily is being recruited as a defensive back.

Tyree Robinson said college coaches seem to understand and accept that it's a package deal and a two-sport deal. Some programs have pushed them toward one sport but both brothers said that really isn't being seriously considered.

"We're trying to be great in both sports," Tyrell Robinson said. "It's a really good feeling. We like the pressure, we like to compete at all times in both sports so we're ready for the challenge."

Something else intriguing about the Robinson brothers is the question of just how good are they in football? Offseason events in Southern California are plentiful, but they rarely show up at 7-on-7 events or even at elite camps.

That subject might have been resolved a couple weekends ago when the Robinson brothers worked out at the B2G Underclassmen Showcase in San Diego.

B2G co-founder Henry Bell, not one to unnecessarily hype prospects, sent this text message:

"Saw the Robinson twins for the first time in (San Diego)," Bell said. "They are arguably the best athletes in the state if not the West Coast."

So, they're good. Really good.

But where are the brothers going?

That's a good question and one neither can answer yet.

Tyrell Robinson said he and his brother have at least 30 offers and that they have "locked down" the entire West Coast. Notre Dame, Georgia, Missouri and many other offers are blanketing the country.

Visits to Washington, Oregon and Notre Dame could happen this summer and while neither brother would say there are surefire favorites, those three schools continued to pop up when they discuss schools of high interest.

Oklahoma has shown continued interest in them and San Diego State has been involved the longest since Tyrell Robinson said he got an offer from the Aztecs his freshman year. If the brothers decide to stay home, San Diego State could be the dark horse.

It seems that so many programs are involved - especially Pac-12 schools - that it's still difficult to determine if the Robinson brothers have a grasp on the complexity of their pending commitment.

Decision time is also being debated.

Something could happen prior to football season but Tyrell Robinson added he and his brother have decided not to make a commitment until both have agreed they've found the right place, and that place must be the perfect school for both football and basketball.

"We're twins," Tyrell Robinson said. "We came out together and we're going (to college) together.

"I have a lot of favorites so I haven't really trimmed it down to like five or 10 schools yet but I'm trying to. I'm getting through high school first and then we'll probably make the decision, but we have another year left to figure it out. We really like the whole West Coast. There really are a lot of schools."

Playing together was not always the plan. Early on, the Robinson brothers were so competitive, so cutthroat in sports that they wanted to attend opposing schools.

Over time, though, both Tyrell and Tyree realized instead of competing against each other they should combine forces, be unstoppable on the football field and the basketball court together.

They're good alone. They could be special as a pair.

"Playing with my brother is great," Tyree Robinson said. "He makes things a little easier for me because I know what he can do in both sports. In basketball, he can find me on the court and in football it's great playing with him so it's always exciting playing with my brother.

"Growing up it was always a battle and I said, 'Whatever school you go to I'm going to play against you,' but we realized going to school together it's tough to compete against us. We thought about it and we decided that's the best decision. We want to play together."



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