To think, many were concerned the newest incarnation of the Texas coaching staff would be an amalgamation of coaches who spent 2013 in Louisville or Austin. Charlie Strong’s not playing.
While you worry about the offensive coordinator hire that may or may not go down today, I take comfort in the current make-up of the new staff. I’m optimistic Strong is going to make a hire that puts up points and serves as a pressure relief valve for his defense.
Be cool, ol ye of little faith.
Every hire made thus far is much more pro than con. In this series, we’ll take a look at each new coach and give them the introduction they deserve.
Tommie Robinson, Running Backs (1/9)
Skins on the Wall:
Georgia Tech/WR-TE (differing times)/2002-2005
Dallas Cowboys/Off. Assistant/1998-2000
First, all football experience is relevant, but for practical purposes, coaching running backs and tight ends are the two easiest positions on the field, therefore, staffs often fill those positions with recruiter-first personnel. Some have mentioned Robinson’s time at USC should open the recruiting gates to Southern California, but that’s not necessarily the case, though with hard work and diligence it can be. Robinson was on the USC staff for less than a year and was outshone by other recruiters on the staff. He’s not credited with a single SC commit for 2013. That’s not to say he can’t recruit because I’m sure he’s paid dividends, but we need to slow our roll on expecting to dive head first into the Golden State.
As important as pre-existing relationships are in a region, so is the ability to cultivate new ones. Once Coach Robinson leaves Texas, whenever that is, I’m sure he’ll be known as a hammer in Texas.
I do like the totality of his resume. As bright as the lights are in college, they burn that much brighter in the NFL. Two stops there can’t go unnoticed.
Though Robinson’s stint at USC was a short one, the attachment plays well with recruits far and wide. His time in the NFL serves the same purpose. It’s a checked box on the resume, many coaches he will come against, don’t have. “I’ve coached in the NFL, I know what an NFL running back looks like and what it takes to get there.”
USC offered current Texas commit Donald Catalon long ago, so there’s a bit of familiarity there, at least on Robinson’s side.
Robinson arrives in Austin at the perfect time. One running back is already in the fold (Dallas South Oak Cliff’s Jordan Stevenson), while numerous other offers are still outstanding. This is the perfect situation for Robinson to prove his salt on the trail.
Hopefully McKinney North runner Ronald Jones is offered soon. He’s the type of player USC would have come calling for anyway. There’s no reason for Texas to exit the borders to find running backs in 2015.
As for 2014, Texas is sitting with two commits, the aforementioned Catalon and Texas City’s D’Onta Foreman. It wouldn’t surprise me if Texas looked for one more. If Robinson was hot on a back at his previous stop, perhaps he pursues that player but as of now USC reflects no running back commits.
Show me what he’s working with:
Texas has landed a highly experienced and qualified running backs coach. Robinson’s timing couldn’t be better as Texas has two talented running backs to work with next year and talented crops for harvests to come.
In Malcolm Brown, Robinson has a fundamentally sound runner with innate vision and body lean. He’s not going to have to belabor the need to hit the right hole or follow his blockers. Malcolm does that already.
With Joe Bergeron, Robinson will have to emphasize ball security and coerce Joe into following play design rather than his wont to bounce runs outside. Robinson will also have to get Catalon and Foreman ready to play early, especially if Jonathan Gray isn’t ready to return (remember, we think he redshirts).