Patton Robinette: 'I want to be at Vanderbilt'

Maryville QB changed mind during orientation at North Carolina

Maryville's Patton Robinette (4) turns to hand the ball off to Shawn Prevo (22) during their game against Oak Ridge Friday, Sept. 23, 2011.

Photo by Wade Payne, copyright © 2011

Maryville's Patton Robinette (4) turns to hand the ball off to Shawn Prevo (22) during their game against Oak Ridge Friday, Sept. 23, 2011.

Patton Robinette made up his mind Saturday night.

He made it up again, for the final time, Sunday afternoon.

After declaring at 11:01 p.m. Saturday by text message that he had backed his commitment to the University of North Carolina, the 6-foot-5, 210-pound quarterback from Maryville High School left school orientation Sunday in Chapel Hill and opted to mid-term enroll instead at Vanderbilt.

"It's a great school," Robinette said of UNC. "But my heart's been set on Nashville for a while now. I think it's just where I need to be."

Classes begin Monday at Vanderbilt. Robinette will leave for Nashville early Monday morning. The North Carolina coaching staff was very understanding, he said.

"You have no idea. It was very, very difficult," he said of the decision. "I was going through orientation. It didn't feel right for me. Everybody there's unbelievably great. They were all great to me.

"But my heart wasn't in it. I think I've known that for a while. I want to be at Vanderbilt."

Since he didn't sign any letter of intent or attend any classes, Robinette will face no eligibility concerns.

The dual-threat quarterback and the 2011 Gatorade State Player of the Year committed to North Carolina in mid-June, but that was to former coach Butch Davis. Robinette remained committed — even after Davis was fired in late July in the wake of an NCAA investigation — yet explored his options in the fall and early part of December.

He visited Vanderbilt midway through the high school season. Two weeks after he led Maryville (15-0) to a second consecutive Class 6A state championship on Dec. 3, Robinette visited Iowa, the latecomer to his recruitment.

A Class AAA Mr. Football Back finalist and Elite 11 Quarterback Camp invitee, Robinette had to wait until Wednesday to meet new North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who was hired Dec. 8 from Southern Miss.

He welcomed coaches from

Iowa and Vanderbilt on Thursday. Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, offensive coordinator John Donovan, defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne all made the trip to Maryville.

Robinette expected to have his decision done Friday, given his desire to mid-term enroll. But no announcement came that day, and Robinette hopped over to North Carolina on Saturday.

"I just wanted to go and see it again," he said.

Robinette met with Fedora and his assistant coaches and even took in the North Carolina men's basketball game with Boston College. Ultimately, his heart won out.

"It was just a gradual thing, all through the day (Sunday)," he said. "I've been leaning toward Vanderbilt for a long time. It was my first (major) offer. My parents really liked North Carolina, and I liked North Carolina, too. I just feel like I need to be at Vanderbilt.

"It's a program on the rise. Great things in Nashville. School is great. The school is probably the best school in the South, if not the best school in the South. It has everything I want in a school."

Robinette is the quintessential student-athlete.

He earned a 4.5 grade-point average at Maryville and scored a perfect 36 on his ACT.

He plans to be a pre-med major at Vanderbilt.

As far as his on-field competition, Robinette enters into a depth chart that includes returning starter Jordan Rodgers, who'll be a redshirt senior, and Wyoming transfer Austyn Carta-Samuels, who will be a junior.

Rodgers led Vanderbilt to a bowl game this season. Carta-Samuels was a two-year starter at Wyoming and the 2009 Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year.

Robinette didn't get a chance to call Vanderbilt's coaches late Saturday night to give them the North Carolina news.

The call they received Sunday was more to their liking anyway.

Said Robinette: "They were excited."

Jesse Smithey is preps editor. You can contact him at 865-342-6290 or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/prepxtra

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Comments » 108

Dougb-VFL writes:

Great,another chewtoy for Smokey! VFL

atributetoLombardiwasbanned writes:

There's just no accounting for taste.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say 3*! Witch Doctor say that seems to matter with the interlopers for some reason... Witch Doctor Purdue? Memphis? Witch Doctor say the winds of change are blowing in West end! lol haha
Bones never lie.

oldster writes:

He'll get a great education and a physical pounding every season.

eaglehim2 writes:

Do you have any idea how much that education is going to be worth to that young man? Football is football but there is something much more important about going to college. We should remember that.

Olcrow writes:

Horsesazz of a coach,and a beating from big brother every year.priceless

fiji66 writes:

Is this guy related to Pat Robinette who played basketball for UT in the mid-60's?
Fiji

bbfn writes:

in response to Olcrow:

Horsesazz of a coach,and a beating from big brother every year.priceless

Robinette is a super student and I am sure a lot smarter than most of the posters here. If he had committed to UT, you would be singing his praises. Too bad UT can't attract recruits like this with Dooley. Jealousy is not attractive. You need to keep in mind that recruits read these posts, also. You may be hurting your chances with some of these kids by idiotic statements. It's a turnoff to the smarter kids.

nocleats writes:

Wonder who his coach will be after next yr?

boston5761#559459 writes:

Carta-Samuels and Robinette will at least challenge Rodgers, perhaps giving Vanderbilt a legit QB battle in spring ball for once.

boston5761#559459 writes:

in response to nocleats:

Wonder who his coach will be after next yr?

This is about Robinette, not Bray.

rtrchatt writes:

in response to Olcrow:

Horsesazz of a coach,and a beating from big brother every year.priceless

Vandy is about all UT is beating especially when you look at the UT recruiting rankings in Rivals, Scout and ESPN. All that is left are the table scraps from Bama, LSU, Fla, SC and Ga.

GiveHim6TDTennessee writes:

Glad for him. Why play in the ACC when you can get a Vandy education and play in the SEC. Good call, kid.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Does Patton like running for his life?

sambad writes:

in response to fiji66:

Is this guy related to Pat Robinette who played basketball for UT in the mid-60's?
Fiji

I've heard that he is his grandson.

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Vandy is about all UT is beating especially when you look at the UT recruiting rankings in Rivals, Scout and ESPN. All that is left are the table scraps from Bama, LSU, Fla, SC and Ga.

Who are you trying to convince? Us or yourself?

Sounds like most trolls here.........very familiar.

oldster writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Both are excellent academic institutions. Which is better for a particular student, however, depends upon what course of study the student chooses. For example, if one wanted to be a nuclear engineer, UT is better than either. As I am unaware of what Robinette wants to study, I cannot say which of the two schools he considered is the better. However, since he is extremely bright, and he is the one effected, I am happy with leaving the decision to him. Also, Nashville is a really nice town with lots to do besides study and play football. All that being said, however, from a football aspect, the decision seems bad.

oldster writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Vandy is about all UT is beating especially when you look at the UT recruiting rankings in Rivals, Scout and ESPN. All that is left are the table scraps from Bama, LSU, Fla, SC and Ga.

This is why I favored Mike Leach as coach when Dooley was hired. I know he is nutty as a fruitcake, but he won with the recruiting scaps that Texas, OU, OSU, and Texas AM left him. Realistically, that is all that the Vols are likely to get for the forseeale future. Sad, I know, but reality is often sad.

eaglehim2 writes:

in response to RockyMountainVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I am suggesting that he is interested in only good schools. I am suggesting that an education at either N.C. or Vanderbilt is better than U.T.

Weatherman writes:

He graduated early with better than a 4.0 from Maryville and wants to be a doctor. I'm a vol all the way, but neither I nor you can blame him for making the most of his education.

flatrock writes:

in response to bbfn:

Robinette is a super student and I am sure a lot smarter than most of the posters here. If he had committed to UT, you would be singing his praises. Too bad UT can't attract recruits like this with Dooley. Jealousy is not attractive. You need to keep in mind that recruits read these posts, also. You may be hurting your chances with some of these kids by idiotic statements. It's a turnoff to the smarter kids.

Congrats to Mr. Robinette and hope this works for him. Idiotic statement, bbfn. Mr. Dooley is just fine, thank you, and so is Justin Worley, the National Gatorade POY in 2011 who graduated with a 4.0 gpa and picked U.T. over Stanford.

atributetoLombardiwasbanned writes:

in response to eaglehim2:

I am suggesting that he is interested in only good schools. I am suggesting that an education at either N.C. or Vanderbilt is better than U.T.

apparently their message boards are not.

VandyisGold writes:

I can't believe you want to come play for The Thug but welcome. We need someone to add class to this team.

Weatherman writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Didn't say that at all...I have family with a UT Med. degree. Still, one cannot ingnore the fact that while Vandy is a sports punching-bag for most in the SEC, they also are a great academic university. If a local kid chooses to focus on academics...God bless him! Oh, and GBO!

Weatherman writes:

ignore...sorry for the typo...

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to Weatherman:

Didn't say that at all...I have family with a UT Med. degree. Still, one cannot ingnore the fact that while Vandy is a sports punching-bag for most in the SEC, they also are a great academic university. If a local kid chooses to focus on academics...God bless him! Oh, and GBO!

Witch Doctor hear ya. Witch Doctor say nothing wrong with him going to Vandy if he wants. Witch Doctor say this a "trolling" article as you notice they keep changing the headlines for reaction.
Witch Doctor say they got nothing this weekend "Tennessee" to talk about so........
Witch Doctor say come on KNS Witch Doctor trying hard not to put you into the "Hyams" and "Basillo" type media that reports out of hurt feelings.
Bones never lie.

Weatherman writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No worries. Semper Fi!

VandyisGold writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Couldn't agree more.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to Olcrow:

Horsesazz of a coach,and a beating from big brother every year.priceless

Vandy is Big brother in the State of Tennessee..Thats why they got the number one player in the State in the Memphis RB and now the number 1 QB in the state. As far a pounding every year, Vandy has outgained Ut for two straight years, had more first downs, and lost in overtime after giving the game away on a block punt. I hardly say a overtime win at home is a pounding. Those days left with Fulmer. UT POUNDS nobody anymore other than the UT Martins of the world. Last year Vandy had more wins in basketball and baseball..This year Vandy will have more wins in Football, Baseball, and Mens basketball, so how do you say BIG BROTHER..The same big brother that lost to Austin Peay? HILARIOUS!!!!!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

I gotta say, if it came down to Vandy or UNC undergrad (assuming we're going for an education), I'd have to go with UNC. One of the best state schools in America. Beautiful campus, etc.

Of course, if we're talking grad school, then there's no question...it's Vandy all the way. Vandy grad programs have generally lost the big money, silver spoon a-holes that populate Vandy's undergrad program like herpes.

Just my opinion. I'm sure there will be plenty of people happy to tell me how I'm wrong.

Weatherman writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Vandy is Big brother in the State of Tennessee..Thats why they got the number one player in the State in the Memphis RB and now the number 1 QB in the state. As far a pounding every year, Vandy has outgained Ut for two straight years, had more first downs, and lost in overtime after giving the game away on a block punt. I hardly say a overtime win at home is a pounding. Those days left with Fulmer. UT POUNDS nobody anymore other than the UT Martins of the world. Last year Vandy had more wins in basketball and baseball..This year Vandy will have more wins in Football, Baseball, and Mens basketball, so how do you say BIG BROTHER..The same big brother that lost to Austin Peay? HILARIOUS!!!!!

We won, you lost...nuff said.

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to eaglehim2:

Do you have any idea how much that education is going to be worth to that young man? Football is football but there is something much more important about going to college. We should remember that.

"He earned a 4.5 grade-point average at Maryville and scored a perfect 36 on his ACT."

That's a pretty good indication. A perfect 36 on his ACT! I hope everyone here understands how difficult that is. Also, if he has a 4.5 GPA, it more than likely means that he already has a good portion of his first semester college credits taken care of. If he redshirts, he'll be in med school when he starts his final year of eligibility.

VandyisGold writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Vandy is Big brother in the State of Tennessee..Thats why they got the number one player in the State in the Memphis RB and now the number 1 QB in the state. As far a pounding every year, Vandy has outgained Ut for two straight years, had more first downs, and lost in overtime after giving the game away on a block punt. I hardly say a overtime win at home is a pounding. Those days left with Fulmer. UT POUNDS nobody anymore other than the UT Martins of the world. Last year Vandy had more wins in basketball and baseball..This year Vandy will have more wins in Football, Baseball, and Mens basketball, so how do you say BIG BROTHER..The same big brother that lost to Austin Peay? HILARIOUS!!!!!

Again, please quit embarrassing yourself and Vanderbilt. You know the full story on this kid and why he didn't go to UT.

allvol8 writes:

in response to fiji66:

Is this guy related to Pat Robinette who played basketball for UT in the mid-60's?
Fiji

yes grandson

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to oldster:

Both are excellent academic institutions. Which is better for a particular student, however, depends upon what course of study the student chooses. For example, if one wanted to be a nuclear engineer, UT is better than either. As I am unaware of what Robinette wants to study, I cannot say which of the two schools he considered is the better. However, since he is extremely bright, and he is the one effected, I am happy with leaving the decision to him. Also, Nashville is a really nice town with lots to do besides study and play football. All that being said, however, from a football aspect, the decision seems bad.

You are right. Both schools (Vandy and NC) are very good schools and tough to get into. If I had a perfect 36 on my ACT score, I'd probably pick Vandy, Duke or an Ivy League School. Sounds like a very bright kid. UT probably only ranks higher than Vandy / UNC in nuclear engineering and with its Vet school. Much easier to get in UT than either one of these schools as a general rule even though UT has upgraded its academics considerbly.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

I gotta say, if it came down to Vandy or UNC undergrad (assuming we're going for an education), I'd have to go with UNC. One of the best state schools in America. Beautiful campus, etc.

Of course, if we're talking grad school, then there's no question...it's Vandy all the way. Vandy grad programs have generally lost the big money, silver spoon a-holes that populate Vandy's undergrad program like herpes.

Just my opinion. I'm sure there will be plenty of people happy to tell me how I'm wrong.

Can't go wrong with either program academically, but I think Vandy is rated a little higher in most areas. If I were the kid, I'd go to Duke and play for Cutcliffe.

Bubba_Knows writes:

in response to Weatherman:

Didn't say that at all...I have family with a UT Med. degree. Still, one cannot ingnore the fact that while Vandy is a sports punching-bag for most in the SEC, they also are a great academic university. If a local kid chooses to focus on academics...God bless him! Oh, and GBO!

Agree and you are being nice. To even mention UT Med School in the same breath as Vanderbilt or UNC is a joke. Please.

Theo writes:

in response to bbfn:

Robinette is a super student and I am sure a lot smarter than most of the posters here. If he had committed to UT, you would be singing his praises. Too bad UT can't attract recruits like this with Dooley. Jealousy is not attractive. You need to keep in mind that recruits read these posts, also. You may be hurting your chances with some of these kids by idiotic statements. It's a turnoff to the smarter kids.

Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Emory, Univ of the South. Need I go on - all better schools than Vandy.

underthehill writes:

Vandy needs him..UT don't and I'm sure he knows this..I don't see this recruit as a problem for UT but it does add to perhaps the best recruiting class in the history of Vandy.

knoxbr27 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Vandy is Big brother in the State of Tennessee..Thats why they got the number one player in the State in the Memphis RB and now the number 1 QB in the state. As far a pounding every year, Vandy has outgained Ut for two straight years, had more first downs, and lost in overtime after giving the game away on a block punt. I hardly say a overtime win at home is a pounding. Those days left with Fulmer. UT POUNDS nobody anymore other than the UT Martins of the world. Last year Vandy had more wins in basketball and baseball..This year Vandy will have more wins in Football, Baseball, and Mens basketball, so how do you say BIG BROTHER..The same big brother that lost to Austin Peay? HILARIOUS!!!!!

I seem to recall Vandy has already lost to Cleveland State and Indiana State...were those quality losses? UT is rebuilding. Vandy is supposed to be loaded.

JimmyJoe writes:

Patton this is a terrible decision... This is going to stick you and your family right in the middle of a tempest for the next four years... Your smarter than this.

Olcrow writes:

in response to fiji66:

Is this guy related to Pat Robinette who played basketball for UT in the mid-60's?
Fiji

That was his grandfather.

Olcrow writes:

in response to bbfn:

Robinette is a super student and I am sure a lot smarter than most of the posters here. If he had committed to UT, you would be singing his praises. Too bad UT can't attract recruits like this with Dooley. Jealousy is not attractive. You need to keep in mind that recruits read these posts, also. You may be hurting your chances with some of these kids by idiotic statements. It's a turnoff to the smarter kids.

I'm sorry,I thought this was a sports site.How do you think our scholar's bowl team will be this year?Got your season tickets?

Olcrow writes:

in response to rtrchatt:

Vandy is about all UT is beating especially when you look at the UT recruiting rankings in Rivals, Scout and ESPN. All that is left are the table scraps from Bama, LSU, Fla, SC and Ga.

Tell me that on signing day.

atributetoLombardiwasbanned writes:

in response to Grantlands_Red_Beans_and_Rice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Give it a rest Jeff.
I am so damn sick of you and your (fill in the blank) nonsense I could scream.
You don't like Dooley.
OK.
We get it.
SSSSHHHEEEEEEEEESSSSHHHHHH!

Olcrow writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Vandy is Big brother in the State of Tennessee..Thats why they got the number one player in the State in the Memphis RB and now the number 1 QB in the state. As far a pounding every year, Vandy has outgained Ut for two straight years, had more first downs, and lost in overtime after giving the game away on a block punt. I hardly say a overtime win at home is a pounding. Those days left with Fulmer. UT POUNDS nobody anymore other than the UT Martins of the world. Last year Vandy had more wins in basketball and baseball..This year Vandy will have more wins in Football, Baseball, and Mens basketball, so how do you say BIG BROTHER..The same big brother that lost to Austin Peay? HILARIOUS!!!!!

72-28-5 all time now that's hilarious! Handicapped.

Dougb-VFL writes:

in response to Olcrow:

72-28-5 all time now that's hilarious! Handicapped.

This comment from professionalhandicapper shows how inactive his brain is.Who cares if the dores outgained us as long as they don't outscore us we will be adding to that lopsided record you just brought up! Vandy will always be looking up at UT sports and never be able to flip that all time record around. VFL (P.S. beware of hurricane Cuonzo little brother)

snuffysmiff writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

Vandy is Big brother in the State of Tennessee..Thats why they got the number one player in the State in the Memphis RB and now the number 1 QB in the state. As far a pounding every year, Vandy has outgained Ut for two straight years, had more first downs, and lost in overtime after giving the game away on a block punt. I hardly say a overtime win at home is a pounding. Those days left with Fulmer. UT POUNDS nobody anymore other than the UT Martins of the world. Last year Vandy had more wins in basketball and baseball..This year Vandy will have more wins in Football, Baseball, and Mens basketball, so how do you say BIG BROTHER..The same big brother that lost to Austin Peay? HILARIOUS!!!!!

As usual you are trying to rewrite history. UT outgained Vandy 290yds-283yds on Nov. 19th. There was NO blocked punt by either team in this game. There was a blocked FG by Vandy but another player besides the blocker ran into the kicker if that's what you are thinking about and are confused. It was up to Vandy to still stop UT on 4th down and they didn't get it done, and the game was tied with a UT TD.
Rodgers then throws ANOTHER INT (one of three) on Vandy's next possession and the game ends in a tie in regulation.

stratocaster54 writes:

in response to lakindofguy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Because it says "Go Vols dot com" not "go local HS dot com". Unless the kid was thinking about UT, I don't see that it's relevant either. Of course, I don't live in K-town anymore (but I did go to UT). Maybe you locals care. JMTCW

snuffysmiff writes:

in response to Dougb-VFL:

This comment from professionalhandicapper shows how inactive his brain is.Who cares if the dores outgained us as long as they don't outscore us we will be adding to that lopsided record you just brought up! Vandy will always be looking up at UT sports and never be able to flip that all time record around. VFL (P.S. beware of hurricane Cuonzo little brother)

Vandy didn't outgain UT this year. UT had 290 yds, Vandy had 283, and they both had 17 first downs.

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