“Why?” one tweeted. “We already have Kelly Bryant.”
While Bryant, the former Clemson quarterback, has already been picked as the Tigers’ starter for the 2019 season, having Robinson available off the bench would be an asset for Barry Odom’s squad in a number of ways.
Here are three things that a ruling in Robinson’s favor would do for the Tigers:
1. It would be the ultimate insurance policy for Bryant: Regardless of whether Missouri gets its bowl ban lifted, it’s still a big year for Odom and the program.
Ticket sales have been down in recent years and the athletic department is debuting the new south end zone complex. A strong football season could help the athletic department get out of its recent financial trend of operating at a loss. Missouri has been blessed with great quarterback health over the years, save for James Franklin’s 2012 season, but MU hasn’t had a backup on its roster with Robinson’s resume in a long time.
Should anything happen to Bryant, Missouri would have a backup who played two seasons at a Power 5 school — one who could come in immediately and help.
2. Derek Dooley can see what he has in Robinson: Missouri’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach said over the spring that he envisioned Robinson’s year sitting out as a time of reflection. The 6-foot-2 quarterback could watch old film on himself and see what worked and what didn’t work during his time in Fort Worth.
Dooley, who tends to shape his offense based on his personnel, would be able to play Robinson in up to four games while retaining that year of eligibility and see what he can do in live action, rather than leaning on practice or old game film. The faster Robinson gets acclimated to the offense and shows Dooley what he can do, the better it is for MU.
3. It would show the rest of the quarterbacks where they stand: Odom has praised Dooley’s handling of his position ever since the Tigers landed Bryant in early December for being honest with his players and what they’re playing time looks like.
This is one of the reasons why Micah Wilson opted to switch to wideout and Jack Lowary remained with the program as a student-assistant. Dooley said quarterbacks are the hardest of any position he’s coached when it comes to playing time, because only one can play.
If Robinson shows enough to prove he’s the unquestioned starter going into 2020, Missouri could have an earlier understanding of its depth and scholarship situation at the position.