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Running Back Roderick Robinson II Announces Commitment to UCLA Football

The San Diego ball-carrier becomes the third member of the Bruins' upcoming recruiting class and second skill position commit.

The Bruins have added another piece to their future backfield.

Class of 2023 running back Roderick Robinson II committed to UCLA football, the Lincoln High School (CA) prospect announced Thursday morning live on CBS Sports HQ. Robinson listed the Bruins as one of his top six finalists back on May 7, and he ultimately chose the blue and gold over Arizona, Auburn, Cal, Oregon and Tennessee three weeks later.

"Being close to home wasn't too big of a factor for me, but it's right up the road," Robinson said on CBS Sports HQ. "I feel like I have a great relationship with (running backs) coach (DeShaun) Foster and coach (Chip) Kelly. Coach Foster, he's been to the NFL at my position, so I feel like he knows what it takes to get to the NFL at my position, and coach Kelly has been to the highest level – he's won Rose Bowls, he's been to national championships."

Robinson previously had Miami (FL), Texas A&M, USC and Stanford as semifinalists earlier in the offseason, and he was also sitting on offers from Colorado, Duke, Florida State, Oregon State, Syracuse, Utah, Washington State and more.

Robinson came to Westwood for an official visit on May 13 alongside four other 2023 targets, but he was the only offensive player in the bunch. Robinson had taken unofficial visits to Tennessee, Auburn, Arizona, Stanford and USC earlier in the offseason, as well as an unofficial to UCLA on March 31.

Possibility of Robinson's commitment started to trickle in May 16, with Foster tweeting out a potentially celebratory GIF without context.

Director of Player Personnel Ethan Young posted his signature "BOOM!" a few hours later, which he does when the program receives a verbal commitment. Those tweets came just a few days after Robinson was in town for his official visit, and he moved his commitment date up from August to May a few days after that.

Robinson is a three-star recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite, Rivals and ESPN. Rivals has the 6-foot-1, 230-pound prospect ranked No. 21 in California and No. 22 among running backs, while the 247Sports Composite has him at No. 25 in-state and No. 28 at his position. 247Sports and On3, meanwhile, have Robinson pegged as a four-star recruit.

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Every major site has Robinson ranked as the top uncommitted running back in California, and most have him ranked No. 1 overall ahead of Washington commit Tybo Rogers.

Robinson burst onto the scene for the Lincoln Hornets in 2021, rushing for 1,273 yards and 17 touchdowns on 185 carries across 11 games while playing through a high ankle sprain. His stature has made him primarily a power back, although he did record 52 receiving yards on six catches and line up in the slot a handful of times.

The end of February and beginning of March marked another jumping off point for Robinson's recruitment even beyond his gaudy high school numbers – the San Diego prospect picked up invites to the Rivals Camp and Under Armour Next Camp, earning running back MVP honors at the former.

UCLA has Zach Charbonnet set to be the workhorse out of the backfield in 2022, but he is expected to leave for the NFL Draft next offseason. That will leave a redshirt senior Keegan Jones, a redshirt sophomore Deshun Murrell and a sophomore Tomarion Harden as the returners in the position group come 2023, now with Robinson added as reinforcements.

Robinson's size seems to fit the profile the Bruins had so much success with in 2021, as both Charbonnet and Brittain Brown were 6-foot-1 when they led the most productive ground attack in the Pac-12. Robinson has weight on both of them as a high schooler, so either he could lose some to fit into their mold or take on a new role as a bona fide power back.

UCLA's 2023 recruiting class jumped from No. 64 to No. 49 in the 247Sports Composite as a result of Robinson's commitment, and it also moved up from No. 8 to No. 7 in the Pac-12. Receiver Grant Gray and safety/linebacker hybrid Ty Lee became the first additions to Kelly's upcoming recruiting class earlier this spring.

Linebacker target and consensus four-star Tre Edwards is announcing his commitment Friday, and there are several hints towards him picking the Bruins as well. Should he join Robinson in bolstering UCLA's upcoming recruiting class, it could climb as high as No. 39 in the country and No. 4 in the conference by the end of the week.

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