As the scheduled Aug. 7 start to Nebraska's preseason camp approaches, Husker Extra is counting down the 30 most intriguing players on the roster.
This isn’t best player or most important. As a list based on intrigue, it skews a bit toward youth and new players, but there will be plenty of established contributors, too.
No. 8, Wan'Dale Robinson, WR, soph.
Robinson looked toward the heavens and pounded his chest.
It was last September in Champaign, Illinois. About 6½ minutes remained in Nebraska's game against Illinois when Robinson looked up to the sky and pounded his fists on his jersey number. He wanted this one bad. Ninety seconds earlier, the cat-quick rookie had scored the touchdown that gave his team a 42-38 lead, its first of the game.
Bottom line, Robinson emerged in a big way that night. His team leaned on him hard during the second half and he responded like, well, a future star. He ended the season with 40 receptions for 443 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 340 yards and three scores.
Let's be real, even bigger things are expected from Robinson this season, if there is a season.
"His football intelligence blows me away, just talking to him and how easily he picks things up," Nebraska offensive coordinator and receivers coach Matt Lubick said earlier this week on the "Husker Sports Nightly" radio program. "He can learn on video. You tell him one thing, and he can go out and do it with not a lot of reps."
Although Robinson is a true sophomore, he's already a leader both vocally and by example.
"That's going to be huge for our whole offense," Lubick said.
At 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Robinson packs a punch when going into contact. But he endured quite a pounding last season. So look for Nebraska coaches to be mindful of how much they give him the ball, and in what sort of situations. In that regard, Husker fans no doubt are excited about the arrival of what appears to be a talented set of true freshman receivers, not to mention 6-4, 225-pound juco transfer Omar Manning.
Manning and Robinson in the same lineup. Yeah, that seems intriguing.