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Lure of being part of history keeps St. Thomas football recruits close to home

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 12/17/20, 1:30PM CST


Youth football foes Jordan Titus and Savion Robinson are coming back home to St. Paul, among at least 11 Minnesota high school stars expected to be part of the Tommies' Division I baptism.

Jordan Titus, left, and Savion Robinson stood for a portrait on Dec. 12 at O’Shaughnessy Stadium on the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Photo: Aaron Lavinsky * aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

Jordan Titus and Savion Robinson didn't exactly become tight growing up playing youth football in St. Paul. But they played against each other often enough that a friendship evolved around their love for the game.

"We competed against each other all through youth football," recalled Titus, a stalwart senior two-way lineman at Hutchinson. "He played for West Side Boosters. I played for Frogtown. We actually played each other for the league championship in eighth grade."

Titus left St. Paul before his freshman year when his father's job mandated a move to Hutchinson. Playing in that football-mad community, Titus parlayed his 6-1, 285-pound physique and uncommon explosiveness into a sterling high school career and collegiate opportunities from programs like Minnesota State Mankato, Minnesota Duluth and Sioux Falls.

Robinson, a product of the youth organization that spawned Jalen Suggs, Terry Lockett and Kaden Johnson, followed their path to Minnehaha Academy. A fleet-of-foot wide receiver, Robinson, playing for SMB, caught the game-winning touchdown pass in the 2019 Class 4A state semifinals, lifting the Wolfpack over Titus' Hutchinson team.

"I talked to him after the game," Robinson said, adding with a laugh, "He never tackled me, though. That would have hurt."

Robinson, too, garnered more than a few offers to play college football after high school, from Division I FCS schools such as North Dakota and South Dakota State and Division II Minnesota Duluth, Bemidji St. and the University of Mary (N.D.).

But for both, one name jumped out as they pondered their college futures:

The University of St. Thomas, set to become the second Division I football program in the state.

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