TCU’s success on the field is clearly paying dividends on the recruiting trail. On Friday, the Horned Frogs secured a verbal commitment from Shawn Robinson, one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. He chose TCU over scholarship offers from Alabama, USC and Oklahoma, among other programs.
A rising junior, Robinson can’t sign his National Letter of Intent until February 2017. Still, with due allowance for the possibility he could have a change of heart, Robinson’s commitment marks a significant victory for a program that has frequently come up empty in battles against brand-name schools for top prospects.
"I, Shawn Robinson, have committed to Texas Christian University,” Robinson told Rivals.com Mid-South analyst Jason Howell. “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. It's just the family atmosphere they have.
“I feel very comfortable around the coaches. I have a great relationship with them. The offense fits me well, and I just feel like it's a great fit for me. After looking and talking to other colleges and seeing what they have to offer I feel like TCU has the best of the best to offer."
Coach Gary Patterson tweeted in apparent celebration of Robinson’s decision on Friday. NCAA rules prohibit him from publicly commenting on players who have yet to sign their NLIs.
Robinson also told Howell that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Sonny Cumbie, who helped revamp the Horned Frogs’ offense, played a big role in his recruitment and that he was impressed by the success rising senior quarterback Trevone Boykin had running the scheme while leading TCU to 12 wins last season.
Like Boykin, Robinson is a dangerous runner but is also a proficient passer. As a sophomore at Texas power Denton Guyer last season, Robinson completed 60.9 percent of his throws for 2,811 yards and 33 touchdowns with five interceptions while adding 1,415 yards and 17 scores on the ground, according to MaxPreps.
The 6’1,’’ 205-pounder is currently rated as a four-star prospect on Rivals.com.
Boykin will return this season with one year of eligibility remaining as arguably one of the top Heisman Trophy contenders in the country. The following season, the Horned Frogs could possibly decide to turn to Kenny Hill, who will sit out 2015 in accordance with NCAA rules and have two years of eligibility after transferring from Texas A&M.
Less proven options include redshirt freshmen Foster Sawyer and Grayson Muehlstein; sophomore Zach Allen, who attempted only two passes last season; and Brennen Wooten, a three-star dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2016. The Horned Frogs did not sign a QB as part of their 2015 recruiting class.
The other schools who offered Robinson scholarships probably won’t stop recruiting him just because he issued a verbal commitment more than a year before he’s set to sign his NLI. But if Robinson sticks to his pledge, his lofty recruiting status suggests he could compete for playing time early in his career.