Less than three weeks ago, Bill O’Brien raved about the character of incoming freshman Neiko Robinson and his family, who drove the defensive back all the way from Florida to State College.
Robinson, however, is now no longer with the team, O’Brien announced at a press conference Tuesday.
The Penn State coach said that the three-star recruit is no longer in the program and won’t be with the Nittany Lions in the future, either.
“Neiko’s not here,” O’Brien said. “What I’m going to tell you on that is [his departure] is between Neiko and myself.”
But, the Lions’ coach still praised Robinson even after his departure.
O’Brien emphasized that it wasn’t a disciplinary issue with the Florida native that led to his departure.
“Neiko is a fantastic kid,” O’Brien said. “It had nothing to do with discipline. Nothing. This kid is a fantastic kid. It just didn’t work out here at Penn State. He will end up somewhere, but he won’t be at Penn State.”
The safety arrived in the summer later than the other players’ June enrollment date.
O’Brien said on August 8 that Robinson’s late arrival stemmed from “all the clearinghouse and NCAA deals.” The NCAA eligibility center, formerly known as the NCAA clearinghouse, handles the academic eligibility of incoming freshmen.
And despite concerns about his size, O’Brien liked Robinson’s athleticism and attitude in early August.
“What a great kid. What a fantastic kid,” O’Brien said at the team’s media day. “He’s athletic. He’s got to put some weight on. He’s got a long way to go to be able to play for us, but we’re sure glad that he made it here. We’re happy to have him. Good, bright-eyed kid.”