AUSTIN, Texas – Before the first game of the 2019 season, the running back position group was one of the biggest question marks on the roster. The University of Texas had a slew of talented backs such as Jordan Whittington and Daniel Young, but they were kept off the field for health reasons.
Thanks in part to a strong passing game and a talented offensive line, Keaontay Ingram and quarterback-turned-running back Roschon Johnson were able to lead a pretty powerful backfield for Texas. With Sam Ehlinger returning for his senior season in 2020, Tom Herman and the Texas staff has made it their mission to build the strongest team around their centerpiece for his final year.
They’re off to a good start as the Longhorns were able to put together yet another top-notch recruiting class. This group of young athletes is headlined by 5-Star running back Bijan Robinson out of Arizona. How big his offensive role will be his freshman year is to be determined in the near future. For now, let’s take a look at what the speedy tailback brings to the team.
Here are five things to know about Texas signee, Bijan Robinson.
1. Robinson chose Texas over multiple top-tier programs
While the 2019 season did not meet the Texas Longhorns standards by any means, their talented roster and well-respected head coach were enough to attract Bijan Robinson to Austin. It wasn’t until December that the pen was put to paper, but the 5-Star speedster from Arizona chose to play for the Longhorns after receiving offers from Alabama, USC, Ohio State, and more. Robinson has made it clear that he wants to make an impact in the NCAA, and he wants to do it wearing the burnt orange.
2. Top Back
For the first time since the Mack Brown era in 2012, the Longhorns have themselves a 5-Star running back. Before Robinson, Johnathan Gray was the last running back of that caliber to commit to the school. It’s also worth noting that Robinson could be the most talented back that Ehlinger has played with throughout his entire career at Texas. He’s highlighted by his speed and finesse, but his 6 feet, 200-pound frame will certainly serve a purpose on this Texas offense in the years to come.
3. High hopes
You might wonder what it was that led Arizona-native Robinson to choose Texas over the other elite schools that gave him offers, but he said it pretty bluntly when he was interviewed back when he first committed.
“College football is better when Texas is good. Trying to get them back is my top mindset. I mean, I could go to a team… that’s already enjoying great success. But, getting Texas back to where it needs to be is my focus,” he said.
The elite playmaker from Salpointe Catholic High School in Arizona appears to have the right mindset. His focus is right where it should be. Just like Herman, Ehlinger, and everyone else in this Texas Football program, Robinson wants to put Texas back on top.
4. High school standout
In three years of varsity football at his high school in Tuscon, Arizona, Robinson rushed for at least 2,000 yards in all of the seasons and has a combined 73 rushing touchdowns in just the last two years. Here is a breakdown of Robinson’s high school statistics according to 247Sports.
2019: 126 ATT, 2235 YDS, 38 TD
2018: 170 ATT, 2400 YDS, 35 TD
2017: 189 ATT, 2023 YDS, 26 TD
While the talent of this young running back is undeniable, what you don’t see is what type of person Robinson is behind the scenes. When asked about the talented player, his high school coach could not have complimented his former player’s character more.
Dennis Bene, Robinson’s former coach from Salpointe Catholic, called Robinson “outstanding in every way, not just on the field, but as a student and a teammate; he is really happy and that is what matters to me.”
It appears that the Longhorns will be getting the full package when Robinson finally arrives in Austin and suits up in pads. His performance on the field in high school speaks for itself, but his character is something that we know Tom Herman dreams for in a player. Robinson’s going to serve as a playmaker for the Longhorns for years to come. It’s now in the hands of the Texas coaching staff to prepare the young man for in-game play.