Duce Robinson has said he wants to be able to play both baseball and football professionally. The 5-star tight end and recent USC signee could very well be drafted into the MLB this summer.

But regardless of what the future holds on the diamond, Robinson is expected to suit up for USC on the gridiron.

“The expectation is — I certainly don’t pretend to be a baseball expert — there’s a good chance Duce is going to get drafted, and potentially a good chance he gets drafted high. If that’s what happens, I think his intention is to sign a professional contract and then play college football,” coach Lincoln Riley said Saturday. “If that does not happen, I think all options are on the table in terms of potentially playing both here at SC.

Riley said their previous history of working with Kyler Murray played a role in Robinson’s comfort level with his choice. Robinson got to talk with Murray while on a recruiting visit to Oklahoma years ago.

Murray, who played quarterback for Riley when he was with the Sooners, became the first player to ever be drafted in the first round of both the NFL (No. 1, 2019) and MLB (No. 9, 2018) drafts.

“We’ll see how it evolves,” Riley said of the situation. “There’s two knowns right now. One, he’s going to play football at USC. Two, baseball is gonna be a part of his future, which is obviously really exciting.”

Versatility is the name of the game with Robinson, whose 6-foot-6 frame and skillset gives him the ability to play more than just one position in USC’s offense. He’s going to move around.

“He’s not going to be an every-down, on-the-ball tight end. We know that, no question,” Riley said. “I would imagine he’s a guy we’ll have the opportunity to move around and do some unique things with because from a matchup standpoint… you can go out recruiting for four or five years and not see that combination (of skills).”

He was a 2022 MaxPreps First Team All-American after a season that saw him record 84 receptions for 1,614 yards (19.2 average) and 14 touchdowns as a senior in the fall of 2022.

USC doesn’t really have another player like Robinson in the wideout room or the tight end room. He’s two inches taller than Lake McRee and a bit leaner. His athleticism could let him play some receiver.

Finding exactly how to use him will be something that gets evaluated throughout the summer.

“Some of that will be getting him here and finishing our evaluations of the players that are here this spring. … Seeing what the overall skill looks like and then trying to find the place where he can come in and give us the best advantages and make the biggest impact.

“I certainly don’t see him as a tight end. He’s a guy you can conceivably do a lot of things with, which has been our excitement in recruiting him.”