LINCOLN — Wandale Robinson never stopped thinking about playing for Nebraska. Not on the day he announced his commitment to Kentucky one month ago, nor the days and weeks that followed.
Robinson kept talking about the Huskers, said his trainer and mentor, Chris Vaughn. And Nebraska kept pursuing Robinson to flip from Kentucky to NU. Robinson was set to commit to Nebraska just hours before he picked Kentucky in front of his entire high school in November.
Some apparent confusion about Robinson’s role in Nebraska’s offense — which came up in a phone call between Vaughn and Husker coach Scott Frost one day before Robinson’s initial announcement — was cleared up in recent weeks. Nebraska maintained consistent communication, which included in-home visits by running backs coach Ryan Held and offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach Troy Walters.
“They were able to make everyone comfortable about their plan for him,” said Vaughn, a former Louisville receiver who trains multiple athletes in Kentucky, including Purdue receiver Rondale Moore. “Basically, they’re going to use him in a bunch of different ways because he’s so versatile. He can play outside receiver, he can play slot receiver, he can line up in the backfield.”
Vaughn said “some things were misunderstood” in the original phone call, but Nebraska didn’t stop recruiting Robinson. Frost will conduct his in-home visit next week.
“Nebraska’s a great offense and Scott Frost is a great offensive mind,” Vaughn said. “He’s proven that. Ultimately, it’s about Wandale being happy and being where he wants to be. Nebraska’s been on his heart for awhile, and wherever he’s most happy, that’s where he’s going to be most successful at.”
Vaughn called Walters “the glue guy” in the recruiting process.
“Very upfront guy, very honest guy, very straightforward about their plans from the get-go,” Vaughn said.
Nebraska plans to use Robinson and JD Spielman on the field at the same time, Vaughn said, so they “can create mismatches for each other.”
Husker commits Nick Henrich, Wandale Robinson win Gatorade player of the year
Two members of Nebraska’s 2019 recruiting class were named Gatorade player of the year in their respective states.
Omaha Burke linebacker Nick Henrich received the honor in Nebraska, and Wandale Robinson earned the award in Kentucky. Henrich and Robinson are the Huskers’ two highest rated commits, according to the 247Sports composite, and they will both play in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas next month.
Henrich helped lead undefeated Omaha Burke to the Nebraska Class A state championship. He logged 96 tackles this season, including 19.5 for loss and four sacks. He’s the top-ranked recruitin the state and was a member of The World-Herald’s Super Six.
Henrich committed to Nebraska in July over offers from Wisconsin and Iowa, among others.
Robinson flipped his commitment from Kentucky to Nebraska on Wednesday. The standout from Frankfort (Ky.) Western Hills High School accounted for 2,698 yards of offense (1,973 rushing, 725 receiving) and 41 offensive touchdowns. He also had 119 tackles on defense with six forced fumbles and three interceptions.
Huskers land walk-on commitments from Lincoln Southwest’s Caden McCormack, York’s Noah Stafursky
Nebraska’s walk-on event Wednesday produced its first commitments less than 24 hours later.
Lincoln Southwest’s Caden McCormack announced on Twitter Thursday morning he will walk on at Nebraska. A little more than an hour later, York lineman Noah Stafursky announced he too will be a Husker walk-on.
McCormack — a 6-foot-2, 210-pound outside linebacker — unofficially visited Nebraska numerous times this season. He chose Nebraska over interest from Kansas, Boise State, Kansas State, Wyoming and a handful of FCS and Division II schools.
“I had a good talk with Coach (Scott) Frost last night, and he sold me,” McCormack said. “I walked out of his office, down to the lobby and got butterflies, so I turned back around and went to his office and told him I want to play for him.”
McCormack played on both sides of the ball for the SilverHawks. As a running back he rushed for 455 yards and four touchdowns, and at linebacker he tallied 149 total tackles, four sacks and one interception.
He’s the second player from Lincoln Southwest to join NU’s 2019 walk-on class, following kicker Dylan Jorgensen.
Stafursky, at 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds, has versatility to play guard or tackle on the offensive line, and he’s a hole-filling defensive lineman. He will begin on the offensive line at Nebraska.
“Since my first visit there it has felt like home. It’s felt like the place I wanted to be,” Stafurksy said. “I wanted that feeling of pride that comes along with being a Husker player from Nebraska.”
Stafursky said he chose to walk on at Nebraska instead of accepting a scholarship from Division II Northwest Missouri State.
“I just realized the money isn’t worth the possibility of regret,” Stafurksy said. “I didn’t want the money to keep me from seeing how far I can go.”
Stafursky’s teammate at York, Garrett Snodgrass, is a scholarship commit in Nebraska’s 2019 class.