Robinson and Collins will split first-team reps as the first fall camp practice starts today.
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“To be honest with you, the quarterback competition was a lot closer than what you thought it was in the spring,” Patterson said.
Added Cumbie: “They’ll rotate days [with the first-team] until one guy asserts himself or the time comes to kind of anoint this guy as the starter and allocate all the one reps to him. But two really good guys who push each other.
“Talked to them both the other day, the competition and everything is only going to increase the play at that position.”
Ideally, TCU would like to have a designated starting quarterback by the end of fall camp in two weeks. That would give Robinson or Collins ample time to work exclusively with the first-team before the season opener against Southern on Sept. 1.
Robinson played in six games last season, including a start in the Horned Frogs’ win at Texas Tech. He finished the season completing 13-of-27 passes for 184 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 159 yards on 23 carries.
Collins, meanwhile, transferred to TCU from the University of Pennsylvania and spent last season on the scout team. But he’s risen up the depth charts and impressed in the spring game, highlighted by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Taye Barber.
“Mike Collins has come in and done a great job,” Cumbie said. “He’s picked up the offense. He’s very smart. He runs around a lot better than you probably give him credit for. He moves well.
“Obviously Shawn, we saw what he could do in the Texas Tech game last year.”
Robinson became the first true freshman to start at quarterback in Patterson’s 17 years that day in Lubbock, and held his own. He didn’t have gaudy numbers, but made enough plays when needed.
With TCU leading 10-3 late in the third quarter, Robinson hit Jalen Reagor on a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 17-3 and essentially put the game out of reach.
Patterson reflected back on what that game meant for Robinson’s development.
“Two things came out of him starting the Texas Tech game,” Patterson said. “He learned what it took to prepare. It’s one thing to prepare as a backup, especially as a young guy and you don’t really understand it, so he had to do that.
“The second thing he learned is you need to get down. You’re not going to run over everybody.”
Those lessons should translate well for Robinson in fall camp, as he looks to secure the starting job.