It’s no secret how important Wan’Dale Robinson was to the Kentucky Wildcats last season. However, the All-SEC performer is off to the NFL now, and he's left some big shoes to fill.
The good news is the Cats may have found someone to at least lighten the blow that the wide receiver room is taking following the loss of Mr. Robinson. And that someone is another Mr. Robinson.
Tayvion Robinson is a senior wide receiver transfer from the Virginia Tech Hokies. The former 4-star recruit announced his transfer to Lexington in mid-December and since then, he’s been working on getting comfortable with Kentucky’s star quarterback, Will Levis.
“The first thing getting here was adjusting and learning the offense,” Robinson said in a recent interview. “Getting reps with Will (Levis) and getting the chemistry down, so I can get better every day.”
Robinson amassed 113 receptions for 1,555 yards and nine touchdowns during his three seasons in Blacksburg. The 5-foot-10 do-it-all senior also rushed the ball 29 times for 227 yards, while averaging over 11 yards per punt return. Those are impressive stats—stats that are only expected to get better with Levis throwing him the ball.
“It’s been fun. He’s a very good thrower of the ball,” Robinson said of Levis. “He’s strong and he’s smart. He can probably make every throw on the field. Honestly, with us, it’s just getting chemistry down day by day during the spring and making sure we execute at a high level.”
Obviously, asking Tayvion Robinson to come in and replace Wan’Dale Robinson’s production is completely unfair, but Tayvion seems more than ready to take on his new role. Plus, with an all-around more talented wide receiver room, the Cats don't necessarily need Tayvion to replace Wan’Dale’s numbers—they just need a true number one option for Levis.
Despite not expecting Robinson to set a new single-season receiving yards record like Wan’Dale Robinson did in his sole season in Lexington, Levis still see some similarities between the two.
“They’re very similar in just their feel in those choice routes, seeing the defense, and knowing when the right opportunities are to sit it down, break in, break out,” Levis said. “Just the more we do it and more we talk about it, the better we’ll be when the season comes with us being on the same page.”
Let’s hope the reality lives up to the lofty expectations. We’ll get our first taste of the connection between Levis and Robinson on Saturday for UK’s Spring Game.