For TCU QB Shawn Robinson, 'making plays' the only thing that matters

Quarterback Shawn Robinson warms up at the TCU spring football game Saturday, April 7, 2018.
Quarterback Shawn Robinson warms up at the TCU spring football game Saturday, April 7, 2018.

Shawn Robinson isn't taking anything for granted.

Sure, everyone including his head coach fully expects him to be TCU's starting quarterback when the season begins Sept. 1 against Southern.

But Robinson, who started one game last fall as a true freshman, still has the rookie mentality as TCU's spring practice concluded Tuesday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

"Obviously, I’m in competition so I’m just trying to make the most of my opportunity," Robinson said, as he and fellow quarterbacks Michael Collins and Grayson Muehlstein spoke to the media after the 15th and final spring practice.

TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson assesses spring camp after the 15th and final practice on Tuesday, April 10, at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

That was after coach Gary Patterson, of course, held a 30-minute post-practice meeting in the middle of the field before his players scattered for the final month of the school year.

Patterson conceded that Robinson will be atop the depth chart right now, but Robinson isn't assuming anything, at least not publicly.

"My expectation coming here was to be the quarterback, but right now I can’t worry about that," he said. "I just have to worry about what I can control and get better as a player.

Ultimately, they’ll choose who they want to play. If they don’t choose me, I’m just going to keep working like I’m working."

The biggest reason to expect Robinson to be the guy is also the biggest reason to have skepticism.

In his lone start at Texas Tech on Nov. 18, he showed both why he was such a highly-regarded dual threat recruit from DeSoto and the perils of a young quarterback.

He led the Frogs on a 10-play, 63-yard touchdown drive and rushed for 68 yards in the process. He completed 1 of 2 passes for no yards on the drive.

From there, the Red Raiders defense forced him to throw more and the results weren't' pretty. He completed just 6 of 17 attempts for 85 yards and finished the game with a team-high 84 yard on 10 carries.

"It showed me a lot," Robinson said. "That I need to hit the weight room, be more accurate, everything. I'm glad I got to play that game. It showed a lot, exposed a lot. I’m glad it happened so I know what I need to work on."

And it also showed him with eye-popping clarity that he can't run over every defender like he did in high school.

Patterson, who made that point multiple times since, said Robinson probably was unavailable the next couple of games, including the Big 12 Championship because he was banged up so much.

"Everybody is big and fast and strong so I have to be smart and learn how to get down," he said.

TCU coach Gary Patterson entered the stands during the Horned Frogs' spring game on Saturday.

But Patterson was happy his QB in waiting was able to go through a week of preparation and learn what it takes to start a game in the Big 12.

"It's one thing to be the backup and prepare and it’s another thing to be the starter and prepare," Patterson said. "He also learned he can’t run over everybody on the field. He learned how to taking care of your body on and off the field is a big deal."

Passing accuracy has understandably been a point of emphasis for Robinson this spring. His passing ability has to be effective enough to keep defenses honest.

"My focus has been to just to get better at the little things and learn from each mistake I make every day," he said. "I feel different [from last fall] just from working out and getting stronger and faster with my teammates.

"I’m trying my hardest to make it my offense. Being a quarterback you need to be a leader. I'm working on stepping up and being more of a vocal leader and a better passer."

Every time he was asked by a reporter about being the starter, Robinson serenely gave them a variation of the same answer.

"I'm not worried about that," he said. "I feel like I can make plays. That’s all that matters, really, is making plays."

He needn't worry.

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