Robb thriving as redshirt at Nebraska

Peyton Robb (Photo/Nebraska Athletic Communications)

Peyton Robb competes with the same mindset every time he steps on the wrestling mat.

"If I'm not scoring points," he said, "I'm wasting my time."

Robb hasn't wasted much time during his redshirt season at the University of Nebraska.

He's compiled a 22-3 record in open tournaments at 157 pounds. He's used an aggressive, attacking style to score bonus points in a majority of his wins. He's recorded three pins, five technical falls and five major decisions.

Robb is a physical, hard-nosed wrestler who can launch an opponent to their back in the blink of an eye. He has won championships at three tournaments this season.

"I am always looking for ways to score points," he said. "I'm an offensive wrestler and my mentality is to keep pushing the pace when I'm out there."

Peyton Robb won three state titles at Owatonna High School (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)

Robb arrived in Lincoln with excellent credentials. He won three Minnesota state high school titles for Owatonna High School while compiling a career record of 155-6.

He was ranked No. 2 nationally at 160 pounds by InterMat and was listed No. 26 on the list of top pound-for-pound wrestlers in the Class of 2018.

He also was an All-American at USA Wrestling's Cadet and Junior Nationals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. He won a Junior Nationals Greco title in 2017.

Robb initially signed with South Dakota State, but asked for his release from the school when SDSU coach Chris Bono left to take over as the head coach at Wisconsin.

Once he was released from his commitment to South Dakota State, Robb said he talked with Minnesota and Nebraska before eventually landing in Lincoln.

"When I came to the University of Nebraska for a visit, I really liked the personalities of the coaches and what they had to offer," he said. "Plus, they have some of the best wrestlers in the country and the world to train with at Nebraska. It's a great place for me to learn and improve. It's about as good as it gets."

Robb said he is happy with his decision.

"Nebraska has a very strong program," he said "Everyone on the team is very close. It's like a family here. It's been great to be a part of this program."

Robb spends his afternoons training in one of the strongest middleweight rooms in the world.

Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion Jordan Burroughs is among the wrestlers Robb has trained with in practice. Burroughs won two NCAA titles for the Huskers and has continued to train at Nebraska while competing internationally.

"I've wrestled with Jordan quite a bit," Robb said. "Jordan has helped me a lot and given me some pointers. He will tell you what you are doing wrong and what you need to do to improve. He's a great guy who I've learned a lot from."

Robb also has worked with world silver and bronze medalist James Green, another former Husker who still trains in Lincoln.

Robb is in the same weight class with Nebraska senior standout Tyler Berger, who placed third at the NCAA tournament in 2018. Berger is ranked No. 2 nationally this season at 157.

"Tyler's had a big impact on me," Robb said. "He always seems to be super driven in practice and in his matches. He will really wear on a guy with his pace and his conditioning. He wants to dominate his opponents."

Nebraska has a veteran and proven coaching staff that includes head coach Mark Manning, associate head coach Bryan Snyder and assistant coach Kendric Maple.

"Coach Manning and Coach Snyder are really good motivators and leaders. They've taught me a lot," Robb said. "Coach Maple brings a lot to the table in terms of his technique. He's taught us a lot in top and bottom wrestling."

The Husker coaches have been impressed with their talented newcomer.

"Peyton is a great young man with high character," Manning said. "He's a perfect fit for Nebraska. Peyton is not afraid of hard work and he challenges himself in every practice. He's going to be a superstar here."

Robb said he is majoring in nutrition, exercise and health science at Nebraska. He wants to eventually become a coach.

Before that, he still has four years of college eligibility remaining.

"It's gone pretty well overall," Robb said. "It's been an adjustment wrestling against some tough competition in the room. But the transition to college has gone really well."

Taking a year to adapt and acclimate to the NCAA Division I level also has been beneficial for Robb.

"I am focusing on getting better and becoming the best wrestler that I can be," he said. "Redshirting has helped me a ton. When I first came in here, I struggled and got whooped up on quite a bit. And now I can see the improvement that I've made in practice starting to pay off in my matches."

Craig Sesker has written about wrestling for more than three decades. He's covered three Olympic Games and is a two-time national wrestling writer of the year.

This story also appears in the Feb. 8 issue of The Guillotine. The Guillotine has been covering wrestling in Minnesota since 1971. Its mission is to report and promote wrestling at all levels -- from youth and high school wrestling to college and international level wrestling. Subscribe to The Guillotine.


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