TCU coach Gary Patterson is never one to easily heap praise on young players. Especially just two practices into spring camp.
But Patterson, who spoke to the media after the Horned Frogs' second spring practice on Sunday afternoon, was too impressed to keep the praise to himself.
Shawn Robinson, who played in six games as a true freshman, including a start in the win at Texas Tech in 2017, is the starter, Patterson said, but Justin Rogers and Michael Collins have also looked good early.
"Best first two days of spring we’ve had in two years," Patterson said of the quarterback. "All three have done a great job the first two days."
During Sunday's practice, each took turns showing off their arms. Robinson connected with receiver KaVontae Turpin over the middle that would have been six in a real game.
Robinson showed flashes of why he was such a highly-rated recruit out of DeSoto in his start against the Red Raiders on Nov. 18. He rushed for 84 yards. But he also struggled passing and only completed 6 of 17 attempts for 85 yards.
The Frogs' 27-3 win, however, is the most important statistic for Patterson.
"He's started a game and won it," he said. "He learned how to manage and prepare for a ball game. That was the best part about it. To go on the road to a place like Lubbock and be the starting quarterback is a hard to do. He threw the ball, missed a couple routes, but he found a way to win the ball game."
He learned that preparing for a game the week before is an important factor for a quarterback. He also learned that even at 225 pounds, he can't run over everyone anymore.
"He learned you need to get down. You can't run over everybody," Patterson said. "It doesn’t matter if you're 220 [pounds]. Everybody has got big guys. You’ve got to get down."
Rogers, who is the highest-rated recruit in Patterson's 18-year tenure (and arguably in the history of the Frogs' program), could earn the back-up role. But Michael Collins, who transferred from Penn, also impressed Patterson. With Rogers' recent injury, it might be prudent to redshirt him in 2018 and use Collins as Robinson's backup.
Collins, who played in limited action as a freshman at Penn, was a star at New Canaan (Conn.) High School.
"I didn’t want to look back and say, 'what if I had played at the FBS level?'" Collins told the New Canaan News. "That was really it, I wanted more of a football experience than I was getting at Penn and a chance to play against the best competition possible."