Kentucky Football: Wan’Dale Robinson returns to his Kentucky home

Wan'Dale Robinson. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Wan'Dale Robinson. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Kentucky Football fans I’m sure would’ve much rather Wan’Dale Robinson honored his original commitment to Kentucky and arrived a freshman on the 2019 team, but alas he renigged and headed to Nebraska. But then homesickness set in.

In the last two seasons, Kentucky could have really used his skill set, Robinson is certainly a piece that was missing and plays multiple positions that Kentucky desperately needs. It may have taken over two years, but Kentucky finally landed their guy and he’s coming home.

Robinson announced on January 11th via social media his intentions to enter the transfer portal, and also made it known that he desired to return closer to home to be near his mother. Just four days later Robinson made it official. Kentucky fans finally will get their wish of seeing Robinson dawn the blue and white for his home state Kentucky Wildcats.

The Frankfort native and Mr. Football winner will be coming into a new style led by new offensive coordinator Liam Coen, I would imagine Coen is already salivating over the things he will be able to draw up for a player like Robinson. But first, the coach has to focus on his current team the Los Angeles Rams who are still in the NFL playoffs.

He was also the No. 1 all-purpose back in Kentucky when he graduated from Western Hills High School. In his senior season, Robinson, ran for 1,973 yards and 30 touchdowns while catching 11 for touchdowns. He also completed 8 of10 passes for 173 yards and two scores.

It’s no secret Kentucky fans were absolutely devastated when Robinson backed out on his commitment to recommit back to Nebraska a second time. Even now some Kentucky fans think Kentucky shouldn’t have gone back after him… let’s get serious though, when a kid like Robinson wants to come to play football for you, I don’t care if he called your momma fat… you take him.

Robinson told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg he wants to play in a system that will more resemble an NFL scheme. Luckily, Kentucky just went out and got a coach who may know a thing or two about that. He also mentioned he wanted an offense that can showcase his skills in the slot.

"It was about 50-50 with my mom and how I was used at Nebraska,” Robinson said. “I loved the touches and the way I got the touches. Sometimes they don’t translate to the way I want them to for the NFL."

It may also have helped that he has a lot of familiarity with potential starting quarterback Beau Allen. An Allen and Robinson combination would have college secondary’s shaking in their shoes at the mere thought of having to contain that duo. Allen thinks the world of Robinson. Back in 2018, Allen told Larry Vaught just how good he thought Robinson was.

"He is a really great player. I think he is the best player I have ever seen play in high school. He’s just unreal."

Typically when Kentucky lands transfers it’s in a situation where a player wasn’t getting playing time, or mutually both parties decided it was best to part ways.

Not in this case, Robinson came into Nebraska and played from day one starting as a true freshman. In 18 games at Nebraska, Robinson was able to amass nearly 1,500 yards rushing/receiving, and seven touchdowns, but the Cornhuskers were just 8-12 while he was there.

What he brings to Kentucky is one simple word – versatility.

The junior plays multiple positions including the receiver, running back, returner, and Wildcat quarterback.  He will line up wherever he is told to go. Sounds a bit like one Wildcat favorite Lynn Bowden.

While Kentucky fans have grown tired and weary of the jet screen and bubble screens we now have the playmaker that can execute these plays. Ah, but the best part is he creates space, finds holes, and can outjump defenders despite his 5-foot-9 frame.

Whether or not Robinson will be a football “one and done” will remain a mystery until after next season I would imagine. Robinson has caught the attention of the NFL no doubt, with a low 40-yard dash at around 4.3 it’s not a surprise as to why they would have an interest in Robinson as a prospect. Robinson no doubt will have many scouts coming to visit Kroger Field in 2021.

Kentucky Football is getting a stud who will play right away and make an immediate impact on offense, coupled with Kentucky’s returning players at the skilled positions, and arguably the best wide receiver class in the Mark Stoops era. Dare we say 2021 will be a season riddled with high expectations.