It’s quarterback competition time at Missouri for the first time in more than a decade.
TCU redshirt junior transfer Shawn Robinson, redshirt junior Taylor Powell and true freshman Brady Cook will be the quarterbacks taking the snaps this spring. Redshirt freshman Connor Bazelak will presumably join the fray when he’s fully covered from his torn ACL.
The last time Tigers fans had to worry about a legitimate quarterback competition going into a football season was 2009 when Blaine Dalton and Blaine Gabbert battled it out for the starting spot. Gabbert went on to win the job, and the rest is history.
There isn’t a Gabbert in this competition — there might not even be a Dalton — but the competition remains the same.
If I was to handicap the situation, Robinson is going into the spring as the favorite to win the job. He started at the power-five level under new Mizzou running backs coach Curtis Luper when both Robinson and Luper were at TCU two years ago.
But there’s more than just past experience that would lead me to believe Robinson is the early favorite to win the job.
His teammates also seem to believe he has what it takes to be a capable starter.
In an interview with Peter Baugh of The Athletic, former Mizzou cornerback Christian Holmes stated that Robinson is one of the top players on the roster that he expects to surprise some people this season.
“I’m going to do a top five. My No. 1 is Shawn Robinson with an exclamation point after his name. My No. 2 would be (offensive lineman) Case Cook. My third would be running back Larry Rountree. Fourth would be (defensive tackle) Markell Utsey. He’s going to get a lot of sacks this year. My fifth would have to be (receiver) Maurice Massey. (Receiver) Jalen Knox is already on the radar, but I feel like Maurice is going to have a big year.”
Sign up for The Athletic to read Baugh’s full article.
This is the type of quote we’ve been waiting for. We’ve heard very little about Robinson in the year since he got to Mizzou’s campus. That’s not always the case with transfers.
We heard rave reviews from people in and around the program about Jordan Elliott during the season he sat out after transferring to Missouri from Texas. The basketball team couldn’t stop boasting about how impressive Dru Smith was during practice while he sat out last season after transferring from Evansville.
With Robinson, it’s mostly been crickets. This is the first time I’ve seen someone in or around the program speak publicly about having high hopes or expectations for Robinson in 2020.
Some of that lack of buzz could easily be attributed to the amount of news surrounding the football team over the past year. When so much is going on, we’re less likely to hear stories about the backup quarterback who isn’t eligible to step on to the field until Fall 2020.
Still, it would have been comforting to hear something about his performance during practice this fall. And now we have. Holmes’ comments give me some hope that despite the lack of buzz during the season, Robinson showed things during fall camp and practice that impressed his teammates and coaches.
This spring Robinson will have the opportunity to take that opportunity and run with it. Nobody knows what to expect from the former TCU. But here’s to hoping Holmes is right.
I’m ready to be surprised.
(Editor’s note: Tim Bussen’s Film Room- Part 2 of on his analysis of Shawn Robinson, will be up Wednesday morning, 3/11)