All year round, former Husker and NFL veteran Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In the "Carriker Chronicles" video series, he breaks down the latest NU news, upcoming opponents, player updates and recruiting information, and he offers his insight into the X's and O's and more.
On Monday's episode, Adam Carriker talks to Nebraska football commit Wandale Robinson about picking the Huskers, what coach had the biggest role in his recruitment, expectations for his NU career and more.
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Here's a transcript of today's show:
Adam: Welcome to the Carriker Chronicles, the people’s show, where we check the pulse of Husker Nation, brought to you by Nebraska Spine Hospital.
Today, I am joined by the Gatorade player of the year in the state of Kentucky. He’s a top 100 recruit. People were pretty excited when he committed to Nebraska. He may or may not have broke the Internet, Mr. Wandale Robinson. How you doing, my friend?
Wandale: I’m good. How are you?
Adam: I’m good, man. So you probably don’t wanna answer this question, and I’m gonna ask you one question about it and then we’re gonna briefly move on just because people are going to be curious. People in Nebraska wanna hear what you have to say, and then we’ll move on to other topics.
So it’s a two part question. All right, so you’d originally committed to Kentucky. Now, I understand there was some sort of miscommunication with the Nebraska coaching staff. The first part of my question is was what was that miscommunication? And the second part to that question—and then we will move on—was what made you ultimately make the best decision you’ve ever made in your entire life and decide to come play football for Nebraska?
Wandale: Well, first it was a just miscommunication really with how they wanted to use me and J.D. just since we were both kind of similar, similar in size and the position that we play. And ultimately I just had to follow—and part of why I committed UK too was I felt a little bit of pressure being hometown and being from the home state and a lot of pressure from just kind of like my friends and people around the state. But ultimately I just had to follow my heart, and I knew that my heart was in Nebraska whenever I commit to UK. And that was why and ultimately I made the decision to flip to Nebraska.
Adam: Now, what excites you the most about playing for the Huskers?
Wandale: Really getting to play in that offense with Coach Frost, and I know what he has to do, know what he can do with a type of guys like me, the history that he has. Really just being able to be a part of the great tradition that Nebraska has with being arguably one of the greatest college football programs ever. And so being able to play for a program like that means the world.
Adam: Now, you said there was some miscommunication on how they planned on using you and J.D. Without going into too much detail, how do they plan on using you in this Scott Frost offense?
Wandale: Being able to play both running back and receiver, that’s something that they felt like they didn’t really have this year was a guy that could do both at equal level and play both at a very high level. So being able to do a lot of different things on offense just getting the ball and space letting me do what I do.
Adam: All right, when do you plan on arriving on campus? Will you be here in January? Will you be here in the summer? When are you coming to Lincoln?
Wandale: I’ll be there in January.
Adam: All right, awesome. Are you excited about going through winter condition, spring ball and getting kind of that jump and head start on next season?
Wandale: Oh yeah, definitely. That’s really the big that I wanted to make sure that I got was, was to make sure that I knew and learned everything. So that way once it came time for fall camp and once we started games, I was moving at full speed. I wasn’t second guessing myself on anything. I wouldn’t be able to play so. And then being able to get in that strength and weight room and being able to be in those strength classes with them and things like that. So that will be really big to get a head start on everything.
Adam: Now, you came here to Nebraska. You toured the facilities, the strength and conditioning, the rehab, the training center, the academic facilities. You saw the whole nine yards. What stuck out to you the most?
Wandale: Well, since I was there for the game, probably the game and the atmosphere. I’ve never been to a place that has an atmosphere like Nebraska with the fans and just how hyped up it is and things like that. Knowing that they saw it every game and that’s really what stood out to me was really the atmosphere out there.
Adam: Have you ever—I’ve gotta ask this—have you ever had a runza?
Wandale: A what?
Adam: Okay, so the answers now. So when you get here, it’s food straight from the table of heaven. All right, as soon as you get here, get a workout in, get your protein shake in, wait a couple hours and go get a runza. All right, I’m just giving you that recommendation. If you get a chance for a cheap meal, Valentino’s pizza isn’t half bad either. Obviously, you gotta eat healthy along the way. But I like asking people if they’ve ever had a runza cause a lot of people, who’ve never had it before and then have it for the first time, I think their head explodes. All right, so you’ll have to let me know how that goes when you have your first runza. Sound good?
Wandale: Yeah, I got you.
Adam: All right, so which coach made the biggest impact in your recruitment?
Wandale: Probably coach Held. He’s was really on me, even when I committed to UK. He was just really on me about the impact I could really have out there and the different things that I can do and just the versatility that I would bring to their offense and just kind of take them to a whole other level. And so, really just him preaching that to me every day got me out there.
Adam: Now, what current Huskers that are on the team have you met and which ones made an impression on you the most?
Wandale: Cam Taylor, that was my host whenever I was there and really he was just like, “I can already tell you good things are gonna happen here. We’re gonna win, and everything’s gonna get turned around out here.” And really we just hit it off from the moment that we met. We talked even when I committed to UK. We would still talk just as friends, and once I committed to Nebraska, then he’s like, “Now, it’s just go time. It’s ready. Time to put in the work and do the things that we need to do to win ball games next year.
Adam: Have you had an opportunity to meet some of the other current Husker commits, and if you have, which ones have you gotten to know a little bit?
Wandale: I got to meet—well, I was on my official with Bryce Benhart, an offensive lineman committed from Minnesota.
Wandale: And we’re all in a group chat and so we’ve all gotten pretty close and just talking every day. Jamie Nance is kind of who, that’s who I’ll be rooming with next year, so that’s who I’ve gotten pretty good with so.
Adam: Now, you are. You’re a pretty versatile player. So what would you say your biggest strengths as a player are? Catching the ball? Running with the ball? What would you say your biggest strengths are and what parts of your game need the most amount of improvement as well?
Wandale: I feel like I run the ball and catch the ball like kind of at an equal level, and that’s like what I pride myself on is being able to do both just as good and really just me getting the ball in space. And that’s the big thing with me and being able to make a lot of plays and make a lot of people miss.
And really what I feel like I need to work on the most is the route running concepts and things like that. Recognizing coverages and which I’m trying to work on now right now in training and just trying to simulate things. So really that’s just the big thing to work on.
Adam: Is there a player—former Husker, college, pro, NFL player—that you would liken your game to? Who are you similar to in your playing style?
Wandale: I would probably say Ameer Abdullah would be the close one. He was able to do a lot of different things, obviously play running back and be able to catch the ball out of backfield and things like that, which I kind of see myself doing some similar things. I feel like I feel a little bit more sheeper than he did but that would be the kind of guy that I model after.
Adam: I’m curious. What role does Zach Duval, head strength and conditioning coach—you mentioned getting in the weight room, working with the strength staff for a little bit when you get here. What role does head strength and conditioning coach Zach Duval play in recruiting a player. Have you spoken with him? What are the types of things that he said to you? And in my experience man, you’ll probably spend as much or more time with the strength and conditioning staff as you will the football coaches throughout your career, so I’m kind of curious how that process was with you and Zach.
Wandale: I really—I met him the first time whenever I was out on my official. That was the first time I talked to him. Just by talking to him, I knew that he was really serious about making sure that the players were eating right and doing the right things to make sure they got bigger, faster and stronger. And really, whenever I’m looking into a place, I check to see the degree I’m gonna be around the strength coach the most, and they’re the ones that are gonna be the ones developing you within the weight room and making sure that you’re getting bigger, faster, stronger, like I said. So he played a pretty big role. We didn’t really talk, but I had, just everything I had remembered from our official visit. I knew that he would make sure that I was good from that aspect of things.
Adam: All right, now tell Husker fans, tell Husker Nation something about yourself that most people do not know.
Wandale: Well, like you all —my first name is Charles. That’s actually my first name and Wandale’s my middle name. That’s probably something that you all don’t know.
Adam: Okay, so what makes you go by Wandale versus Charles?
Wandale: So I am the fourth Charles in my family. My dad’s Charles. His dad’s Charles, and his dad’s Charles. But we all different middle names.
Wandale: My middle name came from my grandmother. Her name is Wanda, and my dad’s middle name is Dale. So they just combined those two names.
Adam: That’s kind of cool. I did not know that. That is very cool. My middle name is Eugene, and now, you know why I go by Adam. All right, so do you have a message you’d like to share. You’re gonna be here soon. You’re gonna be in January. You’re gonna be signing. Do you have a message you’d like to share with Husker Nation before you arrive here on campus?
Wandale: Just be ready for the fall. I’m coming to make a lot of plays and right in Memorial Stadium, and just make sure that we win ball games and hopefully win the Big Ten Championship and obviously get into the College Football Playoff and just some big things after that so.
Adam: All right, Husker Nation, so tune in all week. All right, it’s Monday. Tomorrow, I’m gonna be sharing a recruiting story of my own personal experience that I’ve never shared before. Wednesday, I’m gonna have another interview. I’ll keep that as a surprise. Thursday, I will give my reaction to the early national signing day. And Fast Friday, we’ll just see what happens. You never know what’s going to happen on Fast Friday. All right, until tomorrow and until next time Husker Nation—and this guy’s an offensive guy, and I’m gonna let him do it. That’s all right. Welcome to Nebraska, Wandale. Until next time Husker Nation, go Big Red and always remember—
Wandale: throw the bones
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