Ever since he stepped foot on the Forty Acres last summer, running-back Bijan Robinson has been the talk of the town in Austin. Now, he's continuing to garner national recognition for his efforts from the backfield.
On Wednesday, Robinson was named to the Doak Walker Award watch list, an award that is given annually to the top running back in college football. Even after only one season as a Longhorn, Robinson's explosive play-making could be more than enough to earn him the hardware.
Texas has been known to produce some of the top running backs in the nation, something that can't be denied given how many Longhorn's have preceded Robinson in winning the award.
Since the inaugural year in 1990, three Texas running-backs have won the Doak Walker Award. The legendary Ricky Willams won it back-to-back years in 1997 and 1998, while the late-great Cedric Benson was the winner in 2004. A dominant season by D'Onta Foreman in 2016 earned him the award, something that very few in the country expected going into that season.
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This is the second time this week that Robinson has been named to a watch list for a prestigious award, as the sophomore star was named to the Maxwell Award watch list on Monday. The award is given annually to the best player in college football.
Considering his talent level, Robinson had somewhat limited production under Tom Herman during his freshman year. Yet, he still managed to produce team-leading numbers despite competing for touches with fellow running-back Roschon Johnson and the always-mobile QB Sam Ehlinger, who is now a back-up for the Indianapolis Colts.
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Last season, Robinson led the team with 703 rushing yards on 86 carries, averaging an astounding 8.2 yards per carry that broke a team record that had stood for nearly 60 years. He also had four scores on the ground and two through the air. Robinson even finished the season as the fifth-leading receiver on the team, accumulating 15 grabs for 196 yards.
One of his best performances of last season came in Texas' Alamo Bowl appearance against Colorado, as the Tucson native earned Alamo Bowl Offensive MVP honors. He obliterated the Buffalo defense to the tune of 10 carries for 183 yards (18.3 ypc) with one touchdown while adding on two catches for 37 yards and two touchdowns.
His 183 yards were the most ever by a Texas freshman in a bowl game and the fourth-most in UT history for all class designations. This is really saying something considering the pro-level talent that has come out of the Forty Acres over the past few decades.
Under new head coach Steve Sarkisian, Robinson will be given full control over the Longhorn backfield for the upcoming season. If what we've seen up to this point is any indication, the sophomore could be due for one of the most successful seasons by a Texas running-back in recent memory.
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