Nebraska's Ty Robinson answers questions from the press
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Physical Tools There but Mental Side of Game Progressing for Defensive Lineman Ty Robinson

August 16, 2021

Arizona native Ty Robinson arrived in Lincoln with a lot of fanfare.

Robinson was one the Huskers’ highest-rated defensive recruits under coach Scott Frost. Fans were eager to see him play and got the chance to do so during his freshman season. Robinson had the opportunity to play in three games as a true freshman during the 2019 season. He played against Wisconsin, Maryland and Iowa and preserved his redshirt.

During his second season on campus, Robinson played in every game. He started seven of the team’s eight games becoming a main cog on the defensive line. He ended the season with 17 tackles, including two tackles for loss.

Most people watching could see the improvement in Robinson’s game. Defensive coordinator Erik Chinander also has a different vantage point.

“I think when you watch Ty last year and this is me watching film but maybe not you guys watching the football game. You guys saw a lot of good things that he did,” Chinander said. “I just saw a lot of mistakes as a young guy. A lot of times where nobody else in the stadium would know that maybe a run got popped because a young guy made a mistake. He’s done a really good job this camp of gap integrity, doing his job. Knowing when to take a shot. Knowing when he has to go play a block and he can’t get knocked out of the gap.

“Just the mental side of his game I think has grown a lot since we stopped the season last year to begin the season this year.”

There is no denying Robinson has some of the best potential on the team. It’s easy for his coaches to want to push him to achieve that potential. His peers are doing that too.

Fellow defensive lineman Ben Stille has been preaching to Robinson this offseason. He needs to be diligent and focused every day because his time at Nebraska will go by quickly. Robinson has been receptive to the message. The standard for Robinson is high.

“With his physical ability and his size there’s no question that he belongs with in the conversation with a lot of those great three-techniques in the league”, Chinander said. “Can he mentally play as well as some of those other guys do? In the Big Ten especially, even those defensive linemen, they have a great understanding of scheme and what they need to get done.”

The Big Ten is not a place where you see defensive linemen going rogue often to make plays on their own. The coaching is so good in the league that gets cleaned up pretty quickly. In high school you can get away with only using your physical tools to dominate. The transition away from that can be difficult. Using the mental side of the game is a big part of excelling at this level.

Robinson has what it takes to get that part of his game dialed in. Then he will have everything he needs to be an impact player in the Big Ten for Nebraska.

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