Posted: 11:15 am Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
By Matt Porter
When Devonte Robinson signed with West Virginia in 2012, he became the first FBS player from Village Academy, a program currently entering its fifth varsity season. His No. 1 jersey was retired in a signing day ceremony at his high school.
But after a rocky season with the Mountaineers, Robinson is looking for a new jersey to wear.
After leaving West Virginia in February, the 6-foot-2, 184-pound wide receiver is now at Dodge (Kan.) Community College. Village coach Don Hanna said Robinson’s departure from Morgantown, W. Va. stemmed from “a mixture of things.”
“He was up there struggling with the cold, struggling with the team not doing well. He had no one to turn to. He started to feel like this wasn’t for him,” Hanna said.
A West Virginia source said the school had no problems with Robinson and was surprised by his decision to leave. Hanna said Robinson plans to play this season at Dodge and sign with an FBS after earning an associate’s degree from Dodge in the spring of 2014.
Last season the ‘Eers started 5-0 but lost their next five, finishing 7-6 with a 24-point loss to Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
Robinson, who played in four games and did not record a statistic, was the third area player in his signing class to leave the Mountaineers. Last November, freshman receiver Travares Copeland (Treasure Coast) transferred to North Carolina State. Former Palm Beach Gardens running back Roshard Burney signed, but did not qualify. He then redshirted at Garden City (Kan.) CC and plans to play this fall.
All three players were recruited by Robert Gillespie, who in March left WVU to coach running backs for new Tennessee head coach Butch Jones. The ‘Eers quickly replaced him with Glades Central and West Virginia alum Jajuan Seider, formerly of Marshall.
Twelve of West Virginia’s 27 football signees in last year’s class were from Florida. This season, WVU is targeting Dwyer receivers Johnnie Dixon and Clint Stephens and safety Shawn Boone, and has interest in Village Academy defensive end Kevin Bronson and Tre’Quan Smith, and Jensen Beach linebacker Xavier Preston.
Recruiting notes: Hanna said Bronson has narrowed down his college choices to a top five: Arkansas, Rutgers, UCF, USF and Miami. He plans to decide after the season … Hanna said Smith is solid on his commitment to UCF, but recruiters, including Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and Marshall, have not backed off. Smith will visit Virginia Tech this weekend … Hanna expects senior receiver Wesley Michel, who has a Robert Morris offer, to pick up more this fall.
Note: an earlier version of this article said Robinson signed with Butler (Kan.) CC. He is at Dodge, a different Kansas junior college.