By LARRY VAUGHT
Vince Marrow has taught me the value of never breaking off a relationship. It would have to be easy at times for him to be upset when a recruit doesn’t pick Kentucky, but the UK recruiting coordinator understands that athletes make choices for various reasons.
That’s how he managed to get Xavier Peters and Ahmad Wagner to Kentucky when both players decided to transfer after originally saying no to Kentucky.
He’s also explained to me how he’s happy when a player who didn’t pick Kentucky still has success at the school he did choose because he likes to see young men succeed.
Those thoughts popped into my mind when I saw that former Western Hills standout Wan’Dale Robinson was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for his play in Nebraskaa’s 42-38 win over Illinois last week.
Remember Robinson broke some UK fans’ hearts — and angered many more — when he flipped his commitment from UK to Nebraska because he decided the Cornhuskers were the better fit for his offensive skills.
He got 22 of his 27 touches in the second half last week after Nebraska fell behind by two touchdowns. He ended the game with 186 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. After having just eight carries the first three games, he ran 19 times for 89 yards with all but one run coming in the second half.
The 5-10, 190-pound Robinson goes into Saturday’s home game against No. 4 Ohio State as the Big Ten freshman leader in all-purpose yards (102.3 yards per game) and co-leader in receptions (4.3) per game.
Robinson is as dynamic as Kentucky junior Lynn Bowden and can run the football, catch passes or return kicks and with his speed is a threat to break a big play at any time — just like Bowden.
With UK’s returning players, it’s hard to imagine Robinson getting 27 touches in a game midway of his freshman year if he was at Kentucky. Instead, he seems to have picked an offense that was right for him and while not everyone will agree, I’m happy to see a former Kentucky Mr. Football and Paul Hornung Award winner doing well just like I am if a player from Ohio, New Jersey, or anywhere else comes to Kentucky and does well.