BOCA RATON – Chris Robison always had the physical tools.
He possesses a strong, accurate arm. He runs well enough to elude pass rushers and even generate yardage when needed.
What he lacked, judgment – both on and off the field – finally became part of Robison’s game in 2019.
After missing spring practices because of a suspension stemming from a night of underage drinking, drug use and an allegation of improper physical contact that was later recanted, Robison’s status entering 2019 wasn’t exactly certain.
A starter in 2018 as a redshirt freshman, Robison played like a youngster. Though he had some highly productive games, Robison averaged only 211.7 passing yards per contest en route to a total of 2,540 yards. Worse, he threw as many interceptions, 12, as he did touchdowns.
One year later, Robison looked like a different player. Only eight quarterbacks nationally threw for more than the 3,701 yards Robison posted. That FAU single-season record is 36 more yards than Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence managed this season.
Robison increased his yards-per-game by more than 50. His completion percentage actually dropped a couple of points, a falling off likely attributable to Robison’s willingness to throw balls into the stands rather than force passes to covered receivers.
Impressively, Robison cut his interception total in half while more than doubling his touchdown passes.
More importantly, he behaved off the field.
As a result, he piloted FAU to six more wins than in his first season, leading the Owls to the Conference USA championship and a Boca Raton Bowl title.
The emergence of wide receiver John Mitchell, tight end John Raine and running back James Charles as viable, at times dangerous, offensive weapons elevated those players into consideration for this award.
The improved play of right tackle Marquice Robinson as the season progressed is also worthy of recognition.
But Robison easily made the biggest leap of any offensive player in 2019, which is why he’s the clear choice as FAU’s Offensive Most Improved Player.