- Greg Ostendorf, SEC reporter
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PINSON, Ala. -- The last notable wide receiver to come from the state of Alabama and play in the Under Armour All-America Game was Julio Jones, the former Crimson Tide star who is now with the Atlanta Falcons.
Pinson, Ala., wide receiver Earnest Robinson is hoping to follow in Jones' footsteps.
"I want to be just like him -- big, physical, more athletic," Robinson said of Jones. "I want to be right behind him."
On Wednesday, Robinson took the first step toward reaching that goal when the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game came to Pinson Valley High School to present the ESPN 300 member with his official game jersey.
"It means a lot to me," Robinson said. "I've watched it on TV, but I didn't know it was going to be just like this. I'm very excited. Coming from Pinson Valley High School, the only player who has been an All-American, I'm just excited."
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound wide receiver says he's big and physical like Jones but that he also has the hands of another former UA All-American, Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green.
Ironically, Robinson didn't even play receiver until his ninth-grade year. He was a quarterback growing up, and he started out at safety when he got to high school before his coach realized his potential on offense.
"He told me he was a quarterback," Pinson Valley head coach Matt Glover said. "I watched his throw, and there was a lot of work to do.
"In ninth grade, we had him playing scout team receiver, and he never dropped a ball. I finally said, 'We're going to try him at receiver.' About Game 6, I moved him over to receiver, and he stayed there the rest of the year."
It didn't take long for college coaches to notice. By his sophomore year, Robinson was already getting scholarship offers from some of the top programs in the country.
"I was just speechless," he said.
Although Robinson looked up to Jones growing up, and even more so when he made the transition to wide receiver, he has decided to take a different route for college and committed to Auburn in February.
In Tuscaloosa, Jones made his mark as a freshman, and Robinson is hoping to do the same when he gets to Auburn.
"Me and [head coach Gene] Chizik were talking, and he said I've got a real chance to play as a freshman," Robinson said. "Emory Blake is leaving, and he needs somebody to go get the ball and be an impact player, to do everything."
Robinson's high school coach said he believes his senior receiver has the talent and the ability to do that as long as he keeps his head on straight.
"He just has the ability to make plays," Glover said. "He's a playmaker. He catches the ball. He's got great hands. I think his best attribute is body control. He's got great body control. He goes up over defenders and catches the ball."
Before he gets to Auburn, Robinson is looking forward to spending a week in Orlando for the Under Armour Game, where he'll compete against some of the top cornerbacks in the nation.
"I can't wait," he said.
Auburn commit Earnest Robinson has a tough act to follow in Julio Jones, the last Under Armour All-American receiver from Alabama, but the ESPN 300 member "can't wait" to show what he can do.