AURORA | Ty Robinson had options for college, both in the school he chose and the sport that he plays, but he believes he’s found the best place close to home.
The extraordinarily athletic Eaglecrest multi-sport standout with the penchant for big plays has been courted by Division I football and basketball programs for quite some time and finally landed on the University of Colorado football team.
The 6-foot-4, 185-pound Robinson signed his National Letter of Intent with the Buffaloes Wednesday as part of a double-digit group of players from Aurora-area schools to sign with Division I schools on the opening day of the early signing period.
“I’m really grateful; this past year has been super crazy, so I’m just excited to make it official,” Robinson told the Sentinel. “I’m ready to get up there.”
The craziness of the coronavirus pandemic took a lot away from Robinson and his fellow seniors, but it didn’t keep him from playing his final season.
Like his fellow Eaglecrest Division I signees with whom he shared an in-person and Zoom ceremonies on Signing Day — Seyi Oladipo (who signed with Boise State) and Langston Williams (who signed with Colorado State, story here) — Robinson played on both sides of the football, but made his primary impact as a wide receiver.
In a season shortened to just six games for Eaglecrest — which missed one game due to quarantine and lost in the quarterfinals of the abbreviated Class 5A state playoffs — he finished second on the team with 263 yards and three touchdowns and earned All-Centennial League first team honors at a talent-laden position around the league.
“It was fun, but I wasn’t really satisfied,” said Robinson, who caught 73 passes for 1,525 yards and nine touchdowns in three varsity seasons. “We had a really talented team and I think we could have gone further,” he added.
Robinson committed to Colorado in August and he’s been even happier with his decision given the program’s performance in its own pandemic-altered season.
The Buffaloes — who feature one of Robinson’s former teammates in offensive lineman Jake Wiley — went 4-1, earned a top-25 ranking, came close to playing in the Pac-12 championship game and just received an invitational to play in the Alamo Bowl.
“My excitement has definitely grown,” Robinson said. “During this season, the coaches there, staff and players have been talking to me and showing me what is going on there. I really like it and it’s close to home.”
The excitement coach Karl Dorrell’s Buffaloes have for adding a player of Robinson’s caliber has also grown.
“Here is a guy who has a huge ceiling,” Colorado receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said in a statement. “He is long and rangy. He has good ball skills and can stretch the field. I see Ty making a lot of plays for the Buffaloes over the next couple of years. Ty Robinson is a long athlete who can run. He is a long strider with good speed. You don’t see people catch him too often.”
Robinson has strong family ties to Oklahoma State as both of his parents went there (including his father, Terrence, who had an NFL career), so hypothetical scenarios long existed in which he ended up in Stillwater, Oklahoma, playing for the Cowboys.
Though that dream didn’t come to fruition, his mother, Christie Fladen, is completely satisfied with the decision, especially since it will mean Robinson won’t be too far away from the family and his 11-year-old brother, Tristan, his biggest fan.
“I think CU was a good choice for Ty and at the end of the day, he made that choice on his own,” Fladen said. “His family was going to support him no matter where he went. He’ll be able to live the college life, but still be able to come home if he needs or wants to. …It does hurt our hearts a little bit (that he didn’t end up at Oklahoma State), but CU is great and the coaches will do great things with Ty.”
Fladen said she loves to watch her son play basketball more than football and she even entertained thoughts that he might see if there was room for him on the basketball team as well once he was in Boulder.
Barring that, Robinson will play his final basketball season with a tentative beginning on Jan. 25, 2021, after the Colorado High School Activities Association had to push things back from Jan. 4 after variance requests were not approved by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
On the court, Robinson’s high-flying dunks turned The Nest into chaos on many occasions and he also showed good range from the perimeter, which helped him average double figures in points in last two seasons, including a career-high 13.3 points per game last season.
With the graduation of Zion Ruckard and departure of Skylar Wilson for a prep school in California, Robinson has the chance to take his game to another level.
Courtney Oakes is Sentinel Colorado Sports Editor. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. IG: Sentinel Prep Sports