EDITOR’S NOTE: Opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of The Daily Independent. This piece originally appeared in The State Journal (Frankfort).
While many University of Kentucky fans are sad that junior wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft, consider us among those who are happy for the Frankfort native for making his childhood dream to play football at the professional level a reality.
Robinson, a 2019 graduate of Western Hills High School and the 2018 recipient of Kentucky’s Mr. Football award, made the video announcement via Twitter on Wednesday, which was also his 21st birthday.
The star player began his collegiate career at the University of Nebraska where he played two years and was underutilized as a receiver. During his freshman season for the Huskers, Robinson was one of four national finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the most versatile player in college football and presented by the Louisville Sports Commission.
Robinson transferred to UK last season to be closer to his family, who he said was the reason why he plays the game.
“To this coaching staff, thank you for allowing me to come in and showcase what I envisioned myself doing throughout my whole college career,” he said in the video. “The relationships I have made throughout this whole year was the greatest part about returning home.”
In his lone season for the Wildcats, Robinson emerged as the school’s top wide receiver and rewrote the record book by becoming the first Kentucky player to catch more than 100 passes with 104 receptions for 1,334 yards.
He saved one of his best games for last. In UK’s 20-17 Citrus Bowl victory over Iowa, Robinson hauled in 10 receptions for 170 yards, which included a 52-yard catch-and-run play that set the Wildcats up at the Hawkeyes’ 2-yard line for what became the game-winning touchdown. For his efforts, he was named the bowl’s most valuable player.
For those who question how he will measure up against defensive backs in the NFL, consider this. Throughout his high school and collegiate career, Robinson was never the tallest or biggest player on the field, but he more than makes up for it in hard work and heart — two attributes that can’t be taught. No matter how hard he gets hit, he always seems to pop back up, dust himself off and get ready for the next play.
Robinson is a class act and role model both on and off the field.
In a post on his Facebook page, his father, Dale Robinson, said, “It’s the dream. He wants every kid in Frankfort to know that dreams do come true. Don’t let anybody tell you different.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.