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Jameson McCausland

Texas Lands 5-star RB Bijan Robinson

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One of the biggest recruiting developments for Texas came just prior to the start of June, when stud North Shore RB Zach Evans released a top 5 that did not include the Longhorns. Long before the Evans news though, it was thought the Texas coaching staff was really high on Salpointe Catholic (AZ) RB Bijan Robinson. Currently, it appears the plan is for Texas to possibly take 2 running backs in the 2020 class, so the Evans news did not stop the Longhorns pursuit of the fellow 5-star RB. Texas' pursuit of Robinson was considered a bit of a roller-coaster. Texas the final official visit Robinson used, and many assumed he would end up in burnt orange. Following his official visit, there were rumblings the talented back was headed to Ohio State. Robinson never pulled the trigger though, and Texas was ultimately able to fend off the Buckeyes to gain his commitment.

 

Robinson is ranked as 4th best running back in the country and 22nd best prospect overall, according to the 247 composite rankings. The Arizona native chose the Longhorns over Ohio State, UCLA, Michigan and USC.

 

Film Analysis

Player Information

Name: Bijan Robinson

Position: RB

High School: Salpointe Catholic

City & State: Tucson, AZ

Measurables

Height: 6’0

Weight:  200

40-yard time: 4.50

Shuttle: N/A

Statistics

2017: 189 rushing attempts, 2023 yards, 26 TD’s- 8 receptions, 136 yards, 3 TD’s

2018: 170 rushing attempts, 2400 yards, 35 TD’s- 10 receptions, 153 yards, 1 TD

Film

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/7796018/5c2c7ef90dc125053ce4aa92

 

Three Best Traits:

  • Elusiveness – The first thing that sticks out when you turn on the film is his ability to make people miss. He routinely makes defenders miss in the open field while also possessing the ability to put his foot in the ground and get upfield for extra yards.
  • Versatility- It was impressive to see Robinson run the ball out of a variety of formations and in a variety of ways. His high school offense operated out of the shotgun, pistol, I-formation and even some Wing T. Robinson was able to get the ball on stretch plays, sweeps, misdirection plays and between the tackles. This should allow his transition to the college level to be a lot smoother as opposed to being a one-trick pony.
  • Physical Player–A lot of star high school running backs have the ability to run circles around their competition, so the next thing to look for is if they are willing to lower the shoulder and run through someone. Robinson shows that ability. He is more than willing to lower his shoulder to get through a defender. His physicality also shows in his willingness to pass block.

Three Worst Traits:

  • Developing as a pass catcher– This is something most high school running backs have to continue to develop at the next level. Robinson only had 10 receptions a season ago, so it remains to be seen how good he can be in that regard, especially with how frequently Texas likes to involve running backs in the passing game.
  • Maintaining good ball security – This really goes hand in hand with his elusiveness. Robinson loves to put his foot in the ground and go against the grain, often times switching the ball in his hands or leaving him susceptible to big hits. As the defenders get bigger and faster, he will have to be careful and make sure his ball security is superb.
  • Straight line speed- Robinson is not likely to be the type of player to take a jet sweep 80 yards to the house. The elusiveness he possesses will allow him speed to play quicker at the college game, but it remains to be seen if he can be the type of guy to win a footrace against a DB who has an angle on him.

Summary

Bijan Robinson possesses all the tools to be a superstar running back. Spend 2 minutes watching his film, and it is easy to see why he is one of the most coveted rushers in the country. His elusiveness is the number one thing that stands out on his film. He routinely turns what should be a 5 or 10 yard gain, and somehow finds a way to break free. What makes it more impressive is his ability to make people miss without spending much time running east-west. When he comes face to face with multiple defenders, he puts his foot in the ground, makes one move, and is off to the races. He can run through or around defenders with ease. He looks natural with the ball in his hands, which could help him to develop into a decent pass catcher after not catching many balls at Salpointe Catholic. His acceleration and burst help him play faster than what his 40-time or straight line speed may say. The biggest question mark for Robinson once he gets on the 40 acres will be his ability to maintain his elusiveness once the holes get smaller and the defenders get quicker at the college level. If everything falls into place, he will have the opportunity to be a workhorse back for the Longhorns and have multiple 1,000+ yard seasons.

Final Verdict

Texas went to Arizona last cycle for a couple of really good players in WR Jake Smith and TE Brayden Liebrock. The addition of Robinson will only help the Longhorns as they continue to go to Arizona for quality prospects in future classes. Robinson's skillset should allow him to make an impact the minute he steps on campus, which is something the Longhorns will really need as they look to build quality depth at the running back position.

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From a coaching buddy on Robinson:

“His film makes him look like a generational type back. Like he’s going to be special. I see he’s from Arizona which makes me wonder who he’s playing against but you can’t hold that against him. Who’s he committed to or who’s talking to him? No need to give his pros or cons. He’s a baller.” 

“If he has the right mindset and can keep clean...y’all might have something. Maybe a Jamal Charles type back.”

 

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2 hours ago, J.B. TexasEx said:

Bijan doesn't look as fast as Jamal on film, but I like his quick cuts, jukes, and he's usually running north/south.

He isn’t in the ballpark for straight speed that JC is in. BR has great football speed.  Bijan is just so effortless on his movements/cuts. He glides when he is running. Bijan’s acceleration is great after a juke/cut. 

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His ability to slide or juke to his left is very good. He also shows good hand placement for a stiff arm when a defender gets close. And he's plenty fast. The way he seems to glide makes his speed a bit deceptive. 

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On 8/2/2019 at 7:44 PM, Big Daddy Cane said:

Definitely not JC, but I understand the concept he was trying to convey. His film did remind me of Jonathan Gray in HS.

That was my thought also. I can also see how Reggie Bush was his model as a kid. He's now taller and weights more than Bush.

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I'm pleased anytime UT recruits a great running  back. In the DKR days the running back was the star of the class and the offense. I now see Noah Cain going to Penn State was a blessing in disguise. That might have sent Bijan elsewhere since he did say that he liked UT's depth and I rather have Bijan then Cain. Plus it forced the coaches to play Jordan at RB where he will have more impact.
 
Bijan's commitment is also cool for me. I will make an effort to see at least one of Bijan's games this year. It's not often that a five star running back plays in Tucson and just happens to commit to Texas. 
 
 
 
I will wear a UT shirt and help Bijan get use to having a longhorn fan cheering him on and If ya'll want to send some twenties then I will make sure to shake Bijan's hand after the game.;)

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