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Huskers land DE recruit Robinson

December 20, 2018

A year in the making, Ty Robinson finally made the call Wednesday afternoon.

He’s going to be a Husker.

The heralded defensive end prospect from Gilbert, Arizona, picked Nebraska over Oregon, Alabama and USC at a National Signing Day ceremony at Higley High, delivering the Huskers a triumph for a player they’ve coveted for a long time.

Robinson made the announcement at a table at his high school flanked by his mom, an O’Neill native, and a photo of his late father, a former basketball standout at Chadron State.

Robinson is a top-of-the-board player, joining fellow 2019 NU signees like athlete Wandale Robinson (Frankfort, Kentucky), linebacker Nick Henrich (Omaha Burke) and offensive lineman Bryce Benhart (Lakeville, Minnesota) among the priority targets the Huskers were able to secure.

“We’re really excited to have Ty,” defensive line coach Mike Dawson said in a video produced by the school. “This is a guy that has family ties to the state of Nebraska and he’s a big-bodied guy with a huge frame. I know we’re going to be able to put a lot of muscle on this kid and we’ll be able to get a real big defensive lineman with a lot of athleticism.

“We’re really excited to have him.”

Robinson took longer than any of the others as he became a prized recruit by many of the country’s heavy hitters in recent months. For a while, it looked like he might verbally commit to NU as early as the spring, but instead, the Huskers battled right up until National Signing Day.

The final salvo: a visit to Higley High and Robinson’s home by all 11 coaches last week.

Robinson said that visit is what put Nebraska ahead for good.

“It was kind of tied between Oregon and Nebraska and it was really hard to choose,” he told ArizonaVarsity.com after making his announcement. “When they brought all 11 coaches down, which shut down their recruiting nationally, especially with signing day coming up, to see one kid, that really meant a lot.

“They set a record, like six hours, for a visit, which is amazing to me, because they have things to do.”

Robinson is a consensus four-star prospect, considered by 247Sports to be the No. 180 player in the nation and the No. 14 strong-side defensive end and by Rivals as the No. 146 player and the No. 13 strong-side defensive end.

“Super-athletic, he’s powerful, he’s quick,” coach Eddy Zubey told the Journal Star this fall. “He’s just a beast. He commands a double-team. It’s super-obvious on film. We move Ty around and the quarterback will point Ty out and move the running back to the other side. They run away from him. They don’t run at him.”

Robinson is a prototype for what Dawson likes up front.

“His size and athleticism is exactly what we’re looking for on the defensive front,” Dawson said. “He’s a very talented player with a lot of upside, so it’s not a surprise that a lot of schools were after him. We’re happy to have him.”

At 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, Robinson will likely be capable over the course of his career of playing any of NU’s defensive line positions. As a senior at Higley, Zubey used him inside to help thwart opposing rushing attacks, but 247Sports national analyst Blair Angulo said this week that Robinson has maintained his speed and athleticism even as he’s added significant mass over the past year.

The Huskers have a lot of returning playing time up front, but they are also clearly trying to recruit length. Robinson joins 6-8 Brant Banks and 6-4 Ethan Piper as defensive linemen in the 2018 class and this summer will join a room that includes rangy redshirt freshmen in Tate Wildeman and Casey Rogers.

Robinson is the third — and likely final — win of the day for Nebraska, which also picked up pledges from Banks and offensive lineman Jimmy Fritzsche earlier Wednesday.

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