While Texas patiently waits for Skyline’s Ra’Shaad Samples to make his decision I figured I’d get caught up on the recruitment of a possible alternative should Samples go elsewhere or if the staff wants to add one more weapon to the wide receiver armament.
We’re all pretty familiar with West Mesquite’s Eldridge Massington, now let’s get familiar with Fort Worth Southwest’s Robbie Rhodes. The record setting pass catcher is definitely a Texas level take, though due to a family illness he’s understandably put recruiting on the backburner for the most part.
I caught up with Robbie’s coach Lanny Trammell to get the latest on the 6’ 180 lb playmaker.
Eric Nahlin: Hey Coach, thanks for taking the time. I know Robbie’s been dealing with a family illness. I don’t want to put you on the spot so you don’t have to talk about that if you don’t want to.
Coach Trammell: Well actually there’s good news to report. His father has been responding well to his new treatment.
EN: I’m not even sure what the illness is.
CT: It’s some form of cancer, I’m not sure exactly which one, there are so many, but he wasn’t taking to the first medicine they gave him but now he seems to be doing better with the latest medication. It is curable I’m told.
EN: Man that’s great to hear. I feel for Robbie with his schedule and youth having to deal with seeing his father fighting for his life has to be incredibly tough.
CT: As great an athlete Robbie is, he’s a better kid and he’s handled this well, like a man.
EN: Let’s talk about him as an athlete, he looks very explosive.
CT: He’s a tremendous athlete. Just one of those raw athletes. He’s starting to do things that amaze me whether it’s running the court and finishing with a dunk or… well let me tell you what he did at the TCU track meet the other day. This was relayed to me by one of our coaches. A bunch of the athletes were just goofing off and killing time by doing the scissor technique to high jump. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with that…
EN: Yes sir, I’ve seen the old clips.
CT: Well they started off with the bar at 5’8” and a couple of them cleared it. Then they moved it up again and Robbie cleared it. Then they moved it one more time and Robbie cleared that too. The coach told me the bar was at 6’4”! He said by that time the whole meet just stopped and was watching Robbie. EN: I hear he dabbles in football too.
CT: [laughing] Yes, he plays a little football too.
EN: What’s he like as a receiver? From the highlights I’ve seen he looks like a natural out there; very explosive too.
CT: That he is. He’s a great route runner and has the ability to set up defenders. He makes tough catches look easy and easy catches look effortless.
EN: Where’s he at with recruiting?
CT: He has offers from Baylor and Texas Tech. Texas was showing quite a bit of interest in him there for a while, but Robbie’s been sort of taking his time with the process because of everything that’s been going on.
EN: He would definitely excel in that Kendall Wright role at Baylor.
CT: Yeah but that’s the kind of stuff I stay out of. It’s Robbie’s decision to make. If he asked my advice I would just tell him to find an offense similar to ours that likes to throw the ball around.
EN: You mentioned he was taking his time. Does he even have favorites at this point?
CT: Not really a favorite. He likes the two schools that have offered him, but like I said he wants to take his time. This is going to be hard for him. Knowing Robbie he’s going to have a tough time calling coaches and letting them know he’s going somewhere else. He’s that type of kid, he doesn’t want to disappoint.
EN: I’m guessing you weren’t disappointed when scored 8 td’s in a game this year?
CT: [laughing] No, no I wasn’t. That was a big game for us against Arlington Heights and he told the team he wasn’t going to let us lose, and he sure didn’t. He won all kinds of awards for that performance.
EN: Yeah 8 td’s will do that. Coach I really appreciate the in depth look at Robbie’s situation. I’m happy to hear his dad is doing better. Thank you, sir.
CT: No problem, any time.