The 50 most important college players in Texas in 2018 — No. 8: TCU QB Shawn Robinson

Photo by Ashley Wirz

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Dave Campbell’s Texas Football is counting down the 50 most important players in the state of Texas, and we’re now cruising through the top 10.

Most important doesn’t always mean the most talented. Talent is a factor, but we’re weighing it against depth at the position, production and how much losing this player would impact a team’s trajectory.

The No. 8 player in the state is a former all-state quarterback at DeSoto who is now tasked with taking TCU to championship contention. Shawn Robinson has proven he can win at the highest in high school, but has new pressure competing against Big 12 competition every week.

Check back over the next several days as we count down the rest of the top 10.

Previous: Nos. 50-11 | No. 10 SMU WR James Proche | No. 9 Texas OT Calvin Anderson

The History

TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson is one of the great signal-callers of the past five years in Texas high school football. After earning all-state honors as an underclassman at Denton Guyer, Robinson transferred to DeSoto, where he put together an incredible season.

Robinson threw for 3,416 yards and 28 touchdowns, and added 1,439 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. He led DeSoto to its first ever state championship, and was named Texas Gatorade Player of the Year.

Robinson sat behind senior quarterback Kenny Hill as a freshman at TCU, but was thrust into a starting role against Texas Tech. He struggled with the wind, completing just 6 of his 17 pass attempts. However, he ran for 84 yards and led the Horned Frogs to a 27-3 win.

TCU coach Gary Patterson officially named Robinson the starter on Sunday.

The Skillset

Physically, Robinson is an elite prospect at quarterback. TCU lists him at 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds, big enough to see over the offensive line and fight through defenders with ease. His pure arm strength ranks near the top of college football.

However, he still struggles mightily with his accuracy. Robinson completed just 55.7 percent of his passes in high school, including 58.6 percent as a senior. He throws some of the most impressive passes you’ll ever see, but follows it up with missing basic reads. Finding consistency will decide whether he becomes an All-American or gets benched.

Expert insight

"Robinson has plenty to prove at TCU after making just one start in 2017, but the sophomore quarterback who led DeSoto High School to a state title in 2016 has the makings of an all-time great. Robinson isn't afraid to throw the ball downfield, and he's just as dangerous on the ground. If Robinson reaches his full potential in Fort Worth, it's not hard to envision him as bigger and stronger version of Trevone Boykin. The big question is how much help he'll receive from a TCU offensive line that was decimated by departures after the 2017 season. Regardless, expect Robinson be a problem for opposing Big 12 defenses over the next few years."

–TCU beat writer Dean Straka, SptsPage.com

The Impact

Former TCU quarterback Kenny Hill wasn’t a star, but he quietly became a very consistent player over his two years in Fort Worth. Robinson clearly has more upside, but there’s plenty of worry about whether he’ll reach it.

TCU’s offense replaces three offensive linemen, including senior leader Austin Schlottman. Several players in contention to start haven’t even played for TCU before, including junior college transfer Anthony McKinney.

With so much uncertainty up front, the passing game will be critical. Sophomore wide receiver Jalen Reagor is hungry to take the next step, and Kavonte Turpin only has one year of eligibility remaining. The success of the passing game will depend on whether Robinson can make things happen on offense.

TCU’s defense ranks among the nation’s best. If TCU can just maintain on offense, the Horned Frogs could easily win the conference. If Robinson can be an All-Big 12 type of player, the ceiling rises higher. But if Robinson struggles, the Horned Frogs could quickly fall from Big 12 contender to fighting for middling status.

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