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 Wednesday's episode, Adam Carriker talks to Nebraska freshman Wan'Dale Robinson about playing multiple positions, what he likes about playing playing running back, preparing for Minnesota and the rest of the season and more.
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Here's a transcript of today's show:
Adam Carriker: 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 Nebraska freshman, the Big Ten freshman of the week, Wan’Dale Robinson. How are you doing, my man?
Wan’Dale Robinson: I’m good, how are you?
Adam Carriker: I’m good. Now, talk to me, because in our previous interview, you had just committed, and I asked you about Runza. You said you hadn’t tried it yet, but then a couple months later, you tweeted at me and said you had finally tried it. But you never said if you liked the Runza! So what did you think of the Runza when you had it?
Wan’Dale Robinson: I liked it, it was one of those days when it was really cold… I got the one with cheese.
Adam Carriker: Have you been back many times since?
Wan’Dale Robinson: I haven’t been back since the winter. That’s usually when we all go because they’re especially good and they’re cheap.
Adam Carriker: I gotcha. Talk to me about your freshman season so far. You’ve played multiple positions, wide receiver, running back, and various different spots. I’m curious about the running back position specifically, because I enjoy watching you run between the tackles. You’re a fast guy, a quick guy, but maybe not the biggest guy in the world. Talk to me about your attitude when running between the tackles. You run with no fear in there.
Wan’Dale Robinson: It’s the same way I’ve been my whole life. I’ve been a running back running between the tackles my whole life. It’s the same mentality. Just pick up yards every time you touch the ball, and want to score. That’s the mindset I have every time the ball touches my hands.
Adam Carriker: Talk to me about playing multiple positions. A lot of times, true freshmen are just trying to get lined up right and their head is spinning. They’ve been lining you up all over the place. Has that been something that has taken a little time to adjust to, or is it similar to what you did in high school?
Wan’Dale Robinson: It’s similar to what I did in high school. It got to the point in high school where I could play four different positions, and line up in four different places in one series. I could play running back, receiver, even wildcat quarterback, lining up out wide. So when I got here, it was a pretty easy transition to be able to learn all the different positions and what I have to do at each.
Adam Carriker: I’m sure you enjoy all the positions, is there one you maybe enjoy the most?
Wan’Dale Robinson: Not really. I feel like it ends up being the same once you get the ball in your hands, so just trying to make things happen is what I really like trying to do.
Adam Carriker: What’s it been like, coming in early on, making an impact, helping the team out, so early in your career here?
Wan’Dale Robinson: It’s been great. I want to do whatever I can to help the team win. Whatever Coach Frost and the other coaches tell me my role will be that weekend, that’s what I do.
Adam Carriker: Have you been confused at all? A lot of guys get confused at these multiple formations. I know it’s something you did in high school. Has there been a time where you were like, “Man, this is a lot!” Have you had a moment like that?
Wan’Dale Robinson: Not too much. A little bit during spring ball, when I was thrown into the fire, but after that it was all pretty easy. Just studying my playbook, making sure I was on the same page as the coaches and the quarterbacks and everyone else. It’s been a pretty easy transition for the most part.
Adam Carriker: Talk to me about the catch you had, Noah Vedral gets you the ball to set up that field goal. Talk about the Northwestern game, the emotions, and just making that catch at the end.
Wan’Dale Robinson: The play was a switch-rub route. The corner ran with the wide receiver, and I saw him go with him, and I was just hoping Noah would give me a chance- which he did. Just glad I could make that play. Northwestern was a really tough defense. They’re really stout up front, and it’s really hard to score points on them. Obviously, we only scored 13. They’re a good defense, but glad we were able to come out with the win.
Adam Carriker: Talk to me about the emotions. We see the field goal go through, I’m sure we’ve all seen that picture- that thing goes between the hands, I’m not sure how it didn’t get blocked. Talk about the emotion of getting that win. It’s weird, it almost felt like a must win. I know it’s weird to say at this point in the season, but it just kind of felt that way. I mean, Martinez goes down, Mo is suspended the first half of the game, JD goes down. Talk about watching the ball go through and showing the resiliency this team did on Saturday.
Wan’Dale Robinson: It was big for us. One, we were excited. We were just feeling that any time adversity strikes, we can do what we need to overcome it and come out with a win. It was a tough fought game. Everyone had to step up, and it was a next man up mentality, especially with Adrian going down.
Adam Carriker: What was Coach Frost’s message after the game?
Wan’Dale Robinson: Obviously, we can be better. He was just happy we persevered and came out with a win in that game.
Adam Carriker: What’s been his message so far this week as you guys get ready to go against an undefeated Minnesota team, who is favored by a touchdown in Vegas?
Wan’Dale Robinson: It’s a one week season at this point, with the bye next week. Give it everything that we got, throughout practice and the game. Give it all the effort that we have, knowing they’re going to rest us up the next week and get us right for the week after.
Adam Carriker: You got here early for spring ball, earlier than most freshman, but you still haven’t been here all that long. What has surprised you the most about coming to Nebraska? Whether it be college life, college football, whatever.
Wan’Dale Robinson: Just how much time everything takes. Your day is covered with school, meetings, practices, stuff like that. You really don’t have much free time like in high school. I had one class a day, my senior year, so I had a lot of free time. Getting used to that was a little different.
Adam Carriker: You mean that video that the NCAA twitter account put out, where the guy goes to practice and a game and has all this free time, you mean that wasn’t accurate?
Wan’Dale Robinson: Oh no, that was not true. That video was nowhere near a college football life.
Adam Carriker: Yeah, that’s why it got the backlash that it did. So, we talked about what surprised you the most. But what have you enjoyed the most since coming to Nebraska?
Wan’Dale Robinson: Just being around all the people here in Nebraska. Nebraska is a great place, and that’s the reason I chose to come here. Nebraskans are great, they’re going to help you win every way that you need. That goes from the citizens of Lincoln, to the coaches, to the staff, the academic staff… everyone around here just wants the best for you.
Adam Carriker: Obviously you’ve done some things well so far, but you can always get better. What’s the biggest thing you’d like to improve on and work on going forward the rest of the season?
Wan’Dale Robinson: Just being a more complete player. Run more routes, catching the ball at the receiver position a lot more. Catching out of the backfield, with screens and stuff like that. So just being a more complete route runner and football player in general.
Adam Carriker: I’ve heard a rumor that you’re one of the fastest guys on the team. I don’t think that will surprise many folks. But who are the top three fastest guys on the team, and could you rank them?
Wan’Dale Robinson: That’s tough. I would say, Rahmir Johnson, Deontai- he’s hurt, but he’s up there as well. Luke McCaffrey is right up there as well. In spring ball, he was winning a lot of sprints. We have a lot of fast guys who can really run. We haven’t lined up to see who’s the fastest, though.
Adam Carriker: Random question, I usually only ask this to linemen. Who’s the strongest on the team?
Wan’Dale Robinson: Strongest… hmm. I don’t really know too much with the linemen. I know the Davis twins are really strong. They lift down further than we do. For skill positions, Mike Williams is strong. He’s a small guy, too, but he can really move some weight.
Adam Carriker: Okay, last couple questions here. I know you said you like moving around and are comfortable with whatever the coaches ask you to do. But what would you prefer to do: catch a ball and run it in for a touchdown, or take a hand off and run it in?
Wan’Dale Robinson: Hmm…. Hand offs probably. Once you get the ball in your hands, it’s really up to you what goes on from there. You can try to make something happen even when the play breaks down… make something out of nothing. It’s those types of plays that make hand offs a lot better than catches.
Adam Carriker: Alright, man, good luck the rest of the year. Thanks for joining me! Until next time, Husker Nation, Go Big Red, and always remember…
Wan’Dale Robinson: Throw the bones!
Thanks again to the Nebraska Spine Hospital. Ladies and gentlemen, when it’s your spine, you do not want to mess around. Experience matters. That’s why you can trust the experts at Nebraska Spine Hospital, the region's only spine specific hospital. They are the best at what they do.