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. 

"Ty’s our kind of kid," Husker coach Scott Frost said Wednesday afternoon. "I think he’s a Nebraska type of a kid. Helps that his grandpa is from O’Neill, Nebraska. That certainly didn’t hurt. I went to kindergarten and first grade in O’Neill, so we had a lot to talk about. Ty had a ton of choices and a lot of places to go. 

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." 

That visit sealed the deal and provided a memorable night for the staff, too. 

"There was some cornhole going on, some ping pong, a little bit of basketball, a bonfire and a camel," Frost told reporters Wednesday, drawing a laugh. "And a dog that can go get waters out of the fridge on command for you .That was a fun night and it ended up paying off for us." 

For the record, Frost said the camel's name was Calvin. 

Robinson is the kind of prospect who the Huskers think can be a water-carrier up front for years to come. He's 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.

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.

"Coach Dawson deserves a ton of credit for that," Frost said of this year's group. "I don’t know that I’ve seen one coach work as hard for one player as Coach Dawson did to get Ty. Not just Ty but Mosai, Brant Banks out of Houston. Ethan Piper who I don’t think gets the credit he deserves out of Norfolk. We needed to add to the depth and talent level on the defensive line and Coach Dawson did a great job." 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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