Praise surrounding Texas Longhorns running back Bijan Robinson has started to become redundant. That tends to happen when you've solidified yourself as one of the most talented players in college football.
But after Saturday's 55-14 blowout win over the Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence, KS, Texas coach Steve Sarkisian pulled some new compliments for Robinson out of his bag, as he pointed to the qualities of the running back that make him "special," but tend to get overlooked.
"He’s such a nice human being that sometimes he doesn’t get enough credit for the competitive spirit that he has," Sarkisian said. "I think that’s just what he’s made of. He’s a special person beyond a special player, but that competitive spirit sometimes gets overlooked on him.”
Robinson gashed Kansas with 25 carries for 243 yards and four touchdowns. Both the yardage and touchdowns set new career-high marks for Robinson. Three of those scores helped the Longhorns build a 31-0 lead headed into halftime and they never looked back. He added a 32-yard touchdown for good measure early in the third quarter before sitting the remainder of the game.
Texas receiver Jordan Whittington once called Robinson an angel. And for those that have seen Robinson's calming demeanor and heard his soft-spoken voice, the comparison isn't far off. This makes it hard to believe he's the guy breaking open long runs and leaving his helpless defenders in the dust.
Sarkisian has always recognized the unmissable talent Robinson possesses but knows from experience that this hardly guarantees success on the field. His star running back brings more than that to the fold.
"You don’t get to where you’re at in your career by just being talented," Sarkisian said. "He’s got a great competitive spirit."
Robinson spearheads a Texas running back room that, led by running backs coach Tashard Choice, has been tabbed as one of the deepest groups in the country.
Robinson is undoubtedly the star, but Sarkisian says the competitiveness permeates throughout the running back room and makes a humble sponge-like Robinson better because of it.
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"I think his own room pushes," Sarkisian said. "Obviously Roschon (Johnson), Keilan (Robinson), (Jonathon) Brooks, those guys push him, and then he loves the competition. In practice, it shows up when we go good on good."
Robinson's junior year is coming to a close. He has the ability to stay one more year or enter the NFL Draft where he has been projected to be the first running back off the board in April. His performance Saturday was just one of many reasons why.
The Longhorns host Baylor on Friday in the regular-season finale before awaiting which bowl game they'll be selected. But a win against Baylor and a Kansas State loss to Kansas next week would put Texas in the Big 12 title game, which would give Robinson and the Horns a chance at conference glory against the TCU Horned Frogs in Arlington on Dec. 3.
Sarkisian, the team, the staff and all of Longhorns Nation know how special Robinson is. So forget the redundancy. The praise will keep raining down on the multi-talented play-maker in what could potentially be his final two games at Texas.
You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7
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