Wandale Robinson, the newest football recruit to receive an offer from the University of Kentucky, wasn’t in the Bluegrass state when he caught wind that the sought-after offer was coming.
Robinson, a 5-foot-8 junior-to-be at Western Hills, was offered by UK on Friday morning while he was visiting a camp at the University of Georgia in Athens. He announced the news on his Twitter account.
UK offensive line coach John Schlarman called Western Hills Coach Don Miller, who then informed Robinson that he should give Schlarman a call as soon as possible.
“He was actually in a meeting with Georgia’s coaches and told the coach, ‘Coach, I’ve gotta step out for a minute and make a phone call,’” said Russell Floyd, Western Hills’ defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator. “And (the coach) goes, ‘Make a phone call? Who are you calling?’ He’s like, ‘I’ve gotta call the University of Kentucky, I think they’re getting ready to offer me.’”
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At least he’s honest.
“That’s Wandale, though,” Floyd said. “You hear of these guys who are in high school and college who were the greatest player but they’re bad kids or they think they’re better than everybody. Wandale’s very honest, very humble.”
He’s also very quick: Robinson clocked a 4.39 40-yard dash at a Rivals camp in the spring and hit similar marks at last weekend at UK on Friday at Georgia. As a sophomore he accumulated 2,014 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground. He caught 22 passes for 434 yards and three scores.
Virginia was the first Division I school to offer Robinson, who is ranked as a three-star prospect by Scout.com and projected by that service as a slot receiver in college. The Cavaliers’ coach in charge of recruiting Kentucky had been in the state the day before receiving film of Robinson from Floyd. He returned the next week just to meet the Wolverines star.
When Robinson met with UK offensive coordinator Eddie Gran last week, Gran informed him that he only had three running back scholarships remaining for the next two seasons.
“And Wandale told him, ‘Coach, if I’m coming to Kentucky I figure I’m coming as a receiver.’ And Coach Gran was like, ‘Oh, then that’s a whole other story,’” Floyd said.
Robinson understands football “more than any high school athlete I’ve ever been around,” Floyd said. “He’ll come to the sidelines and tell the offensive coordinators, ‘We need to run this play, but let’s adjust this and that’ and they’ll do it, and 99 percent of the time it works just like he thought it would.”
Having a dad who played college football might have sped up his development. Wandale is the son of Dale Robinson, who starred at Franklin County and went on to play at Western Kentucky University. Dale also was a member of the 1994-95 Flyers basketball team, the last to play in the boys’ Sweet Sixteen.
Louisville, Purdue and Cincinnati all offered Wandale last month. As of now, Floyd said, there isn’t a real favorite in his recruitment. He suspects Robinson will wait until after this season to start narrowing down his options.
“UK is your, so-to-speak, home school being from Frankfort, but you’ve also got Virginia, who was your first offer ever, so that’s a big one, too,” Floyd said. “I don’t think he’s really sat down and looked. He’s just taking it all in right now and trying to concentrate on the season.”
Western Hills opens the season at Franklin County on Aug. 18. The Wolverines will travel to Lexington Catholic for the start of district play on Oct. 6. Catholic’s Beau Allen, a class of 2020 quarterback, has also received a scholarship offer from UK.