Publish date:

Spark Plug: Texas' Keilan Robinson Could Be Secret Weapon In Big 12 Play

Despite a limited role, Keilan Robinson is a big part of Texas' success

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian often talks about the importance of role players on a roster. 

Running back Keilan Robinson has one role in the Longhorns' offense and that's to outrun everybody. 

"Keilan's a speedster," fellow running back Roschon Johnson said. "Like you saw, he can outrun angles and he can hit holes." 

Robinson, a transfer from Alabama, isn't the lead back on the Forty Acres. Heck, he's not even the most important Robinson in the backfield. Both duties belong to sophomore Bijan Robinson. 

READ MORE: Big 12 Rankings: A New Team Leap Frogs OU For Top Spot

Still, when given the opportunity to make his mark, Keilan Robinson takes advantage of his carries. The 5-foot-9 runner blazes past defenders and bounces to the edge before hitting the corner and turning on the jets. 

That's what Sarkisian brought him down to Texas for, and it's paying off in the early returns. 

"He's a really versatile player offensively, but he's definitely a change up to the style of runners of Bijan and Roschon," Sarkisian said Thursday. "Those guys are bigger, physical, one-cut ability, run-through arm tackles. Keilan gets a crease and he's out." 

In baseball, a manager calls to the bullpen for the flamethrower to close out a game.

Keilan Robinson is the closer for the Longhorns' running back room. Go back to last Saturday's 58-0 blowout against Rice, as Robinson worked his way through the trenches before finding a seam. 

READ MORE: Casey Thompson is Longhorns’ Man in the ‘Arena’

On one occasion, he burst through the line and made it a 65-yard foot race to the end zone — if you even want to call it that since the nearest Owls' defender was 10 yards behind. 

"That's a fast dude," Bijan Robinson said postgame. 

Recommended Articles

c2ff4ac8-b6bf-4bd9-8262-00a5c7c3bf63-sss_TX_VS_LA_TECH1132
Play

Longhorns’ Jake Ehlinger Family Releases Cause of Death

The family of late Longhorns linebacker Jake Ehlinger has released a statement detailing the believed cause of death

rawImage
Play

Tre Mitchell Named to 2022 Karl Malone Award Watchlist

Texas Basketball: Transfer forward Tre Mitchell named to 2022 Karl Malone award preseason watchlist

USATSI_16689677
Play

2023 DL Recruit Kelby "Showtime" Collins Reveals Top 8

Texas Longhorns Recruiting Tracker: Check back often as we keep you up-to-date on Longhorns news as Texas looks to improve on an already impressive class

It's not just on the ground where Keilan Robinson works best. On special teams, Sarkisian considers him a moveable chess piece. So far this season, he's seen reps on kickoff, kickoff return, and punt return. 

That No. 7 burnt orange jersey you saw take off like a missile to block a punt against Rice for a safety was Keilan Robinson.    

"We all see the blocked punt, but he's doing a lot of really other cool things for us there," Sarkisian said.

READ MORE: Longhorns Recruiting Tracker: Texas Offer Elite 2024 LB Colin Simmons

Robinson has only 19 carries through three games, but he's racked up 113 yards and an average of 7.0 yards per run. 

It's hard to imagine seeing him get double-digit reps due to the success of Bijan Robinson and Johnson, both of whom recorded touchdown runs of more than 60 yards against Rice. Texas also has to keep things interesting with the pass, right? 

Then again, one run can define a game. It could be the difference-maker in a win and a loss for Texas as Big 12 play begins Saturday against Texas Tech. 

No matter how small his role might be, Keilan Robinson is ready to provide that spark from the backfield for Texas when the Horns need it most. 

"We've seen some of that explosive play-making that he has," Sarkisian said. "He'll continue to have a really big role on our team moving forward."

READ MORE: How to Watch: Texas Longhorns vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders


Want the latest in breaking news and insider information on the Longhorns? Click Here

Want to join in on the discussion? Click here to become a member of the Longhorns Country message board community today!

Follow Longhorns Country on Twitter and Facebook.