The Kentucky Wildcats are off to a 4-0 start in 2021, and a big key to their early success this season has been Wan’Dale Robinson, who is leading the SEC in receiving yards.
However, the Kentucky native took a detour with Nebraska before returning home to play for the Cats.
So, why did Robinson decide to start his career with Nebraska and why did he decide to leave after two seasons?
Robinson went on the newest episode of Kentucky Sports Radio’s podcast Pin It Deep where he talked about his recruitment.
From Western Hills High School in Frankfort, Robinson was down to Nebraska and Kentucky. On his announcement day, he picked the Cats, but it sounds like he was still heading to Nebraska, though it wasn’t easy for him to say that during that week.
“Halloween comes and me, my dad, and my trainer were on the phone with (Nebraska head coach Scott) Frost. This is the day before I’m announcing. They know I’m coming and there is this big misconception on how I’m being used in their offense.”
He continued, “So I’m like, alright, I don’t know what I’m going to do. At this point, Nebraska was 1, UK was 2. If I go to UK, I can’t make the wrong choice. It’s UK. I’m the hometown kid, so I know I’m going to go in there, and I’m going to play. So, I can’t go wrong.”
During that week, Robinson added that he was feeling a lot of pressure to pick Kentucky from fans and his local community.
“That whole week everybody was like, ‘are you going to UK?’ and all this stuff—-so I’m feeling that pressure like I need to go to UK to make everybody happy.”
Ultimately, he decided to back out of his commitment to Kentucky and went on to play at Nebraska, but why?
It goes back to the Cats’ 14-7 win over Vanderbilt in 2018.
“Y’all had thrown for like 20 yards and after that game, I was like, ‘I can’t do this,’” he said. “As a recruit, I’m seeing it, and I’m like, if I come there, they’re still not going to throw the ball. At the end of the day, it’s who’s behind the center, who’s calling the plays… That was it for me essentially not coming in the beginning.”
After two years at Nebraska, Robinson was not happy being a running back and was getting feedback that he would not be a running back in the NFL.
So, Mark Stoops made big changes by brining in Liam Coen to be the new offensive coordinator followed by Will Levis transferring in from Penn State.
Stoops’ message to Robinson was simple,=: “Look, you’ve done what you had to do in the Big Ten. Now it’s time to come back and do it in the SEC and actually prove yourself (to the NFL).”
So far, things are working out very well for Robinson at Kentucky, and he has very quickly become a fan favorite in the BBN.
You can listen to everything Robinson had to say on the Pin It Deep podcast here.