Adam Robles didn’t have the typical National Signing Day that other high school seniors enjoy.
Instead, Robles was still weighing his options, trying to decide between a preferred walk-on spot at the University of South Florida or some Division III offers he had.
In the end, the former Vanguard standout chose to attend USF, a decision he says he officially made in April but had known for some time.
“It was a real easy decision for me,” Robles said. “I had offers from some other schools, mostly Division III schools, and the opportunity came up when the new coaching staff at USF recruited me. When they recruited me they already had all the commitments and with Signing Day close, they kind of had their hands tied, so a preferred walk-on spot was the only thing they could offer me.”
Willie Taggart is entering his second season as the Bulls’ head coach, but he opted to bring on new offensive coordinator Paul Wulff in January. Wulff and the new offensive staff were the ones who began recruiting Robles.
Robles said the staff has told him that if he works hard and plays well that he has the chance to earn a scholarship.
For now though, Robles plans on simply working hard and building relationships with his teammates. He has been on campus since June 25 for freshmen workouts, waking up at 5:30 each morning.
“It was an adjustment getting up early and getting there,” said Robles, who plans to major in business. “The coaches really get on to the freshmen. But it is great, they are just trying to toughen us up and let us know what we are in for.”
The transition to college was made easier thanks to the fact that his VHS teammate Kano Dillon is also an incoming freshman at USF. On the Bulls roster as well is former North Marion star Sean Price, whose locker is right next to Robles. The trio have been hanging out quite a bit, Robles said.
“It is great to have somebody I know here with me,” Robles said. “The whole team has a very family-like atmosphere. Getting to know all the guys hasn’t been too difficult. Everyone treats you as a teammate, freshman or not.”
Robles is joined on the Bulls’ roster by a handful of other quarterbacks. He has been trying to soak up as much information as he can in meetings, as well as learning from the older guys on the team. But he also feels he has an advantage over some other incoming freshman because of the coaching staff at Vanguard, which included former head coach Alex Castaneda and Steve Rhem, an NFL vet and VHS grad.
“I can’t even describe how much coach Castaneda prepared me,” Robles said. “I never realized it in high school — how good of a coach he was — but since I’ve gotten here I have been able to pick up the coverages, grasp reads and holes in the defense faster than possibly some of the other quarterbacks. It just comes naturally now because that was the preparation that coach Castaneda has given me. All the drills that I did, it is all stuff that we do here and all stuff that I see veteran QBs do.
“Coach Rhem and coach Castaneda really prepared me well. What they taught me about the quarterback position and making reads is really valuable.”
The 6-foot-2, 185 pound QB broke his humerus in his left arm late last year, but had surgery to repair it and is now back to full health. With the injury, though, Robles was forced to miss his senior year on the baseball field, where he also was considered a college prospect. Continue Reading by Clicking Here
by David Miller | The Ocala Star Banner
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