Casey Rogers has a straightforward way of describing Nebraska freshman Ty Robinson.
The pair serves as a key piece for the future of the Huskers' defensive line — both are freshmen (Rogers redshirted last season) — and Rogers has seen his teammate at work over the past five months.
“He’s just a big human,” Rogers says of Robinson, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds.
And Robinson is in for a bigger role over Nebraska’s final two games this fall, beginning with a trip to Maryland on Saturday. Defensive line coach Tony Tuioti said Robinson earned more snaps with a promising career debut over about 15 snaps against Wisconsin.
Steve Sipple and Parker Gabriel discuss the Nebraska defense on Nov. 19, 2019.
“I anticipate ramping up Ty’s reps, probably almost double this next game, and see what he can do for us,” Tuoiti said. “He’s continuing to show that he can do a great job for us in the run game and also in the pass game.”
Robinson was a four-star prospect coming out of Higley High (Gilbert, Arizona) but the plan was for him to redshirt from the start mostly because of the veteran depth the Huskers possess on the defensive line. Robinson, like all freshmen, also needed work in the strength and conditioning departments and has cut weight from about 315 pounds when he arrived on campus this summer. In that regard, watching and working behind the scenes for the season’s first 11 weeks were a big help.
“It’s been really good for him because he’s being more physical at the point of attack and being able to strike,” Tuioti said. “He’s got a lot stronger from the first day he came in to now and he’s just having more confidence and knowing what he’s supposed to do, then let his God-given ability go ahead and take over some plays for him.”
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Robinson is playing somewhere in the 295 or 300-pound neighborhood now and Tuoiti said the young lineman will easily put the 15 back on in good weight over the coming offseason.
His 15-ish snaps against Wisconsin involved some good and some bad, but overall he impressed given that his first collegiate action came against a physical opponent in Wisconsin.
“I was really proud of Ty Robinson,” junior defensive end Ben Stille said. “He’s made a lot of improvements over the months that he’s been here, and that was really impressive to see him hold his own in there at nose against one of the bigger O-lines in the Big Ten.”
Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander talks about improvements needed after practice on Nov. 19, 2019.
For now, Robinson is mostly a defensive tackle. Down the line, he may stay inside — other candidates after Darrion Daniels graduates this year include Damion Daniels and Keem Green — but he doesn’t have to in Tuioti’s mind.
“I think Ty has position flex and I think he has a really bright future before it’s all said and done,” he said. “He can play nose, he can play end for us. He can play 3-technique. I can put him in front of a center. He’s got size, he’s got speed and he’s got athleticism.
“It’s good to know we’re going to have him for a while.”
Robinson’s another of the young building blocks in the NU program. For now, he’s basically getting his feet wet. Down the road, he’ll be asked to be an anchor of Tuoiti’s group and Erik Chinander’s unit. Chinander said, “He’s continued to get better every day. He’s a guy that’s going to continue to get better.”
Both in the long term and the short term.
“I’m just looking forward to see what he’s going to do over the next two games,” Tuioti said.
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