Will Shawn Robinson Be Better Than Kenny Hill?\
“TCU Horned Frogs Purple Pride Football s” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by ..Russ..
The TCU Horned Frogs have been fortunate over the last few years, with the team having dynamic dual-threat quarterback play from Trevone Boykin and Kenny Hill. Those playmakers, combined with the elite defense that you would expect from a Gary Patterson-coached team, have made the Frogs one of the best teams in the country year in and year out. With an unproven commodity in Shawn Robinson set to take the reigns at quarterback, it is time to wonder what the quarterbacking future will look like for TCU.
Right off the bat, the Frogs will get an increase in mobility from the quarterback position when Robinson takes over to start the 2018 campaign. His ability to move with the ball in his hands; whether it is moving the pocket to make a throw, or simply running the ball himself, Robinson will make opposing defenses uncomfortable week in and week out with his ability to extend plays and force defenders to keep an eye on him rather than the players they are tasked with defending.
Keep in mind, by the way, that when people say that Robinson will be more mobile than Kenny Hill that they are not suggesting that Hill was not mobile. In fact, Kenny Hill was one of the more mobile quarterbacks in college football during his time at both Texas A&M and with the Frogs. To say that Robinson will be more mobile than that dynamic player is a high compliment.
On the flip side, many concerns about Robinson’s accuracy have been brought up. This is in spite of the huge advantage in arm strength that Robinson has over the previous quarterbacks at TCU. Fortunately, accuracy is one of the few skills that a quarterback can dramatically improve as they develop, as arm strength is something that you either have or you don’t for the most part.
Speaking of accuracy, let’s not pretend that Shawn Robinson is replacing some quarterback with a track record of legendary accuracy. Kenny Hill threw 29 interceptions in three years of college football, including his last two with the Frogs that saw him throw the ball to the wrong team 21 times. While Robinson may struggle with his accuracy, the ability to throw 30 picks in three years is rare. For as fun as Kenny Hill was to watch, he simply wasn’t that good in big games, something that the Frogs hope will be remedied when Robinson takes over as the starter.
For better or for worse, you knew what you were getting when it came to the play of Kenny Hill when he was the one at the helm of the Frogs’ offense. You were going to get solid to great performances against the teams that he was supposed to beat, and the potential for real struggles when he led his offense into battle against the elite teams in college football. For Shawn Robinson, there is the potential to get over the hump against those elite teams, to propel TCU into the College Football Playoff is all goes well.
Combining that potential with the tutelage of Gary Patterson can be just what TCU needs to get over the hump and get into the playoff. Patterson has been called a life-changing coach by previous quarterbacks in the TCU program, which bodes well for the incoming starter, who has the opportunity to learn under one of the best coaches in the nation. Patterson always gets his teams to overachieve to some extent, so playing a new quarterback should not be too big of a problem heading into this season.
As is usually the case with a Gary Patterson coached team, the defense of the Horned Frogs will dictate the level of success that the team experiences this season. Fortunately for both Robinson and the Frogs, the defense looks like they have the ability to be comparable this year to what they were last season, where they were one of the best defenses in all of college football in games that they were not tasked with stopping Baker Mayfield.
TCU returns six starters on defense heading into this season, with over half of the starting defenders coming back from last season’s team. While losing five starters on defense is not an easy thing to adjust to, TCU benefits from having depth on their defense. Also, two of the five spots on the defense that saw starters not return were on the defensive line, which may be the least important place on the field in the Big 12, where teams get rid of the ball so quickly that pass rushers often to not have the impact that they would elsewhere.
Of course, the formula is simple for TCU every year. They rely on their defense to get stops quickly, which gives them above average field position, and forces the opposing defense to spend more time on the field than they would like to. That allows the TCU offense to wear down the opposing defense and tire them out by running more plays than their opponent, which leads to an easier time scoring points late in games. In the case of this TCU team, the defense can use that formula to make life easier on the inexperienced Robinson. It is this formula that makes the Horned Frogs so dangerous, and explains why so many want to back the Frogs with their free bets when at timeform.com.
While it is impossible to say what the future holds for Shawn Robinson and the TCU Horned Frogs during his tenure as the team’s quarterback, it is more than possible that Robinson can be a better quarterback for the Frogs than Kenny Hill ever was. While Hill had his share of success while running the show for the Frogs, his consistently poor performances against the best teams in college football open the door for Robinson to come in and be a more successful signal caller. If he can get TCU in the College Football Playoff, Shawn Robinson will make everyone forget about Kenny Hill.