The future of the Texas Christian University football program’s quarterback position isn’t just bright; it’s the envy of the entire state.
That was highlighted on June 26th when Shawn Robinson, a 5-star quarterback prospect out of Denton, Texas, verbally committed to TCU for the class of 2017. Of course, there’s always a hint of sweet vindication for TCU fans when the Horned Frogs can lure in a recruit that the former in-state powerhouses like University of Texas and Texas A&M were actively pursuing, but the reality is actually more significant than that. Robinson was, by most counts, the number two ranked quarterback of his class in the nation and would have his choice of any school in any conference or state.
Robinson is only entering his junior year at Guyer High School, but his sophomore season caught just about everyone’s attention in the world of college football. Last year, he threw for 2,799 yards and 33 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions. As great as those passing stats might look, it’s that favorite term of new-age football jargon that has TCU so excited: dual-threat. Robinson’s feet were just as dangerous as his arm last year. He ran for 1,416 yards and 17 touchdowns.
“Well, since the first time I visited TCU I kind of knew in the back of my head that that’s the place for me,” Robinson said to Jason Howell of Rivals.com. “It’s just the family atmosphere they have.”
Robinson also credited the rapport he felt with the coaching staff and the fact that the offense seemed so in sync with his skills. That offense is largely a credit to co-offensive coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie who took over last year and applied the pass-happy spread offense to exciting results. TCU was uncharacteristically a top ten team in the nation in passing yards and quarterback Trevone Boykin was a fringe Heisman contender.
Robinson’s high school coach, John Walsh, also credited Fort Worth and the TCU coaching staff.
“His dad has been in the Fort Worth area as a head coach,” Walsh told Adam Boedeker of the Denton Record-Chronicle. “Sonny Cumbie has done an unbelievable job of recruiting him. I think I saw this coming about six months ago.”
The signing represents a potential three-year cycle of quarterbacks that, if holds true, may be unprecedented in TCU history. The Horned Frogs already have a dual-threat quarterback of their own in Boykin who is entering his senior season as a potential Heisman favorite. It will be a pivotal year of possible National Championship contention and Boykin will have an opportunity to solidify himself as an all-time great in TCU history.
Last Spring news also broke that former Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill will transfer to TCU. You may remember Hill as the Aggies’ replacement of Johnny Manziel. He made quite the statement in his season opening start last season when he threw for a school-record 511 yards against South Carolina. He inherited nicknames like “Kenny Football” and “Kenny Trill” and was quickly vaulted into the Heisman conversation. Almost as quickly, though, Texas A&M’s season began to fall apart and Hill was eventually benched and suspended for a violation of team rules. At the end of the season Hill asked for his release from the team. TCU will be his shot at redemption.
According to NCAA rules, Hill will have to sit out next season as a result of his transfer. Starting in 2016 Hill will have two years left of eligibility to be given his shot to lead the Horned Frogs in the wake of Boykin’s departure. Some believe Hill is the perfect athlete and thrower to fit into TCU’s spread offense. If that proves to be true and Hill can return to glory in 2016 then he would have to defend his starting spot to the incoming Robinson in 2017.
It is a multi-year plan that is far from a guarantee. College football is an unpredictable world from day to day, let alone year to year. Hill’s reputation makes him a wildcard until proven otherwise. And even though Robinson has verbally committed to TCU, he will not put anything down in writing for over a year. For that reason, other schools will not stop attempting to recruit him. 2017 is a long way off and verbal commitments have been broken before.
Really, Robinson represents a possibility for TCU football. The idea that Boykin can successfully pass the torch to Hill who will then pass it on to Robinson might be an optimist’s pipe dream. But if it does turn out that way, the excitement of recent TCU seasons could pale in comparison to the next handful of years.