Committed: Aquan Robinson


Zachary Perincheril

West Orange Mountaineers senior star Aquan Robinson has committed to play division one football at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) this coming fall. The 6’5” defensive tackle received offers from Fordham, Holy Cross, and Lafayette as well. The WOHS Pioneer sat down with Robinson to discuss his athletic and academic future.


What made you choose UMASS?

I felt like it was a great opportunity at the time because during COVID there was a lot of restrictions on traveling to go to different campuses, so I felt like UMASS was the right offer at the time, and it’s a great place for me to grow as a person and mentally, so I felt like it was a great overall pick.


Can you walk us through the recruitment process and how you narrowed your choices down? 

Well basically, I had a bunch of schools offer me at the end of junior year, so then I came with my parents and we all thought about what would be the best school for me. I wanted to play in the biggest conference possible out of all my offers, so I felt that UMASS was the right school for that. I just got a lot of phone calls from the coaches and would just go over stuff like how the school was and virtual tours. All the coaches would call me and put me in zooms with different players, and I got to meet all the people and feel like I’m at home.


Obviously, getting a scholarship is a huge deal. So how did you and your family feel when you received your first division one scholarship? 

Personally, I wasn’t so surprised because I was working so hard at the time, so I felt that it was going to come. My family was shocked. No one thought it was real at first. People kept asking me questions and it was crazy. They wanted to celebrate and stuff, but I was kind of humbled at this point because I felt like this was all going to happen. It was just like a follow the process thing.

How did you feel when you committed to your final choice?

It was crazy. It’s like I took a weight off my shoulders, kind of. Before this, I never thought this would happen, so it was crazy.

How did COVID affect your recruitment process? 

During the COVID times, I was supposed to go to a lot of camps and see a lot of different colleges, and visit places that a lot of coaches had texted me to go. But I wasn’t able to do that because everyone was in quarantine, so I kind of lost contact with a lot of coaches. Plus, I didn’t get to show my abilities at camps that would go on during that time. So it affected me a little bit, but it’s all good.


Has UMASS said how COVID will affect the upcoming season?

They’re saying that we’re going to play because they already started back up, so I think everything should be smooth. It might not be as many games as normal, though.

Obviously, living in Massachusetts is a lot different than living in West Orange. Do you think you’re prepared to live up there full time?

I feel like I’m going to be prepared. I know it gets a little bit cold up there, so I’m going to get some jackets or something. I don’t know, I’m going to have to get used to it, but I’m not afraid of new experiences.


What major do you intend to pursue?

I want to do aerospace engineering or maybe chemical engineering, but I definitely want to do engineering.


What is your plan for the future?

If I don’t make it to the league, which is the top goal, I would like to start a business. I want to make new stuff and engineer new things that’ll make the world more efficient like things to do with airplanes, medication, cars, stuff like that.


What do you think you bring to UMASS?

I feel like I bring a hardworking and experienced football player and an open-minded student that’s willing to get the work done. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity and I’m going to take full advantage of it.


Do you have any advice for other high school athletes?

I would say the offseason is a big deal and you gotta stay in the weight room. Also you gotta keep your mind straight because there’s a lot of distractions that could steer you away, like not wanting to do classwork or not showing up to practice. You gotta know that at the end of the day, there’s an outcome. It’s like, whatever you don’t do in the dark, shows up in the light. You’re better off just working harder and harder every day.