LITTLE ROCK — Not so long ago Jaxson Robinson was a priority 2021 recruiting target for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and after recently entering the transfer portal following his freshman season at Texas A&M the sharpshooter has committed to the Hogs.
Robinson (6-7 wing, native of Ada, Okla.) pledged to Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman on Monday, according to a source, before formally announcing it via Twitter on Tuesday. He chose the Hogs over Oregon and Penn State.
Robinson — the composite national No. 67 / 4-star prospect in 2021 before re-classifying to 2020 — originally picked the Aggies over Arkansas, Oklahoma, and TCU in late January of 2020, a decision that came just a couple of weeks after Robinson made his third visit to Fayetteville as he attended the Arkansas-TA&M game at Bud Walton Arena. His commitment to A&M was the first step in the aforementioned move to re-classify from 2021 to 2020, and after one season in College Station, Texas, the talented wing has decided on a fresh start with the Razorbacks.
“We are extremely excited about Jaxson joining our program,” Musselman said via media release. “Jaxson was high on our recruiting list while he was in high school and many Power 5 schools went after Jaxson once he entered the transfer portal. He has tremendous upside and potential. He has deep range and is a knockdown shooter. We feel as though he will really fit in well with the other players on the roster.”
In 14 games at A&M in 2020-21, Robinson started 4 times and averaged 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 9.7 minutes per game while shooting 35.5 from the field, including 8-of-28 from 3 for 28.6%. He was a perfect 3-of-3 from inside the arc on the season with the remainder of his attempts coming from distance.
Robinson becomes Arkansas’ fourth Division 1 transfer addition in the 2021 recruiting class, joining Pitt junior-transfer Au’Diese Toney, Miami senior-transfer Chris Lykes, and South Dakota senior-transfer Stanley Umude — all who committed and signed with the Hogs in April.
Due to the covid-19 pandemic exceptions made by the NCAA, college players will receive an extra year of eligibility with all first-time transfers and senior-graduate transfers having immediate eligibility, meaning Robinson will have all four seasons to play beginning in ’21-22.
It’s an interesting scenario that technically gives Arkansas five freshmen for the upcoming season: Jaxson Robinson, 2021 signee Chance Moore (6-5 wing, McEachern School in Georgia), and the trio of 2020 signees — Davonte “Devo” Davis, Khalen “KK” Robinson, and Jaylin Williams — who were freshmen at Arkansas in ’20-21 but will reclaim their freshman status in ’21-22.
Following one of his visits to Arkansas in August 2019, Jaxson Robinson said he was pleased with his experience.
“I loved every part of it,” he said. “The experience the coaching staff has at every level is impressive. The campus and facilities are unreal. I wasn’t expecting what I saw today at Arkansas. It was a whole lot different than what I thought it would be like.”
Musselman has landed a total of 14 transfers (5 in the 2019 recruiting class, 5 in 2020, and 4 so far in 2021) and 6 high school prospects (4 in 2020, one signed in 2021, and one committed in 2022) spanning parts of five recruiting cycles overlapping his two seasons as head coach at Arkansas.
With ESPN Top 100 high school prospect Moore (6-5 wing, McEachern School in Georgia) already signed in the November early period combined with the portal haul of Toney, Lykes, Umude, and Jaxson Robinson, the Hogs still have two scholarship vacancies they can fill to reach the maximum 13 scholarship players for the ’21-22 season. That includes the recent transfer-portal departures of junior guard Desi Sills, junior forward Ethan Henderson, junior forward Abayomi “Baybe” Iyiola as well as 2021 junior-college signee Akol Mawein getting a release from his letter of intent and freshman Moses Moody declaring for the 2021 NBA Draft, but there may be additional roster attrition via the transfer portal or pro ball pursuits.
Jaxson Robinson fits the mold of big, versatile guards that Musselman covets. His ability as an efficient volume 3-point shooter will help floor spacing while challenging defenses to stay attached, and his height and length on the perimeter should give him a chance to defend multiple positions.