AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Bijan Robinson era at Texas is over.
The junior running back announced Monday that he will forego his senior season, enter the NFL Draft and not play in the Alamo Bowl. Robinson leaves the 40 Acres as the Longhorns’ fourth-leading rusher with 3,410 yards over three seasons with back-to-back seasons rushing for more than 1,000 yards in 2021 and 2022. He won the 2022 Doak Walker Award, given to the nation’s most outstanding running back.
“It’s been a fun ride here,” Robinson said. “I’ve done everything that I’ve tried to do and God’s plan for me while I’ve been here.”
Robinson was critical to the Longhorns’ 8-4 bounce-back season this year, particularly late in the season when head coach Steve Sarkisian began to run the ball more often. Robinson led the Big 12 Conference and was No. 5 in the country with 1,580 rushing yards, and his 18 touchdowns were good for No. 8 in the nation.
He played 31 games for the Longhorns out of Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona. As a recruit, 247Sports had Robinson as the No. 1 running back in the 2020 class and a 5-star recruit.
Known for his power running style with superior balance and breakaway speed, the 6-foot, 200-pound Robinson was just as good off the field as he was on the field. Loved by his teammates and the unquestioned leader of the Longhorns this season, Robinson also uses his vast social media following for good. He used Twitter to wish Michigan’s Blake Corum, a Doak Walker Award finalist like Robinson, well after Corum needed season-ending knee surgery, and in his Instagram bio, he encourages people to “share kindness to everyone.”
“It was definitely a hard decision,” added Robinson. “For me, being a running back it’s smart to keep the wheels on your body fresh when you do want to go to the NFL.”
After Robinson rushed for a career-high 243 yards against Kansas in a game the Longhorns had to win to keep its Big 12 Conference title game hopes alive, Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said perhaps one of his best attributes gets overlooked because he’s so gifted physically.
“He does things we all marvel at,” Sarkisian said. “But I think his competitive spirit gets overlooked a little bit. He knew what today was going to be, and he showed up and played hard. He ran it hard and was explosive. He knew how important this game was to everybody.”
With Name, Image and Likeness deals coming to the forefront of college athletics, finally allowing athletes to earn money through endorsements and other business agreements, nobody did it quite like Robinson.
He had partnerships with C4 Energy, clothing companies Rhoback and Centre, Beats by Dre headphones, Kendra Scott, Athletic Brewing, Raisin’ Canes, Lamborghini of Austin and his own line of dijon mustard — Bijan Mustardson.
The accolades and stats on the field are clear with Robinson being one of the best running backs in the country. But being the energetic, positive person in the community and outside the field is where the star running back takes the most pride.
“Football is going to end one day,” he said. “You want people to know you as someone that was a good person, that did everything the right way. And for me, it’s not fake. It’s something that I’ve been raised on.”