When Bijan Robinson joined the Texas Longhorns’ class of 2020, former running back coach Stan Drayton was a major key to the acquisition. When Drayton took the Temple head coaching job after last season, Robinson needed a new mentor. Enter Tashard Choice.
The former Georgia Tech star and NFL running back joined Steve Sarkisian and the Horns in late December 2021 after a brief stint with Lincoln Riley and the USC football staff.
For Robinson, it was a transition from a father figure to a big brother.
“Man, he’s meant everything to me,” Robinson said at Big 12 Media Days. “When he came in, he didn’t make nothing slow down, you know? Coach Drayton got us to a level of trying to be great, and (Choice) came in and he just elevated it even more. He’s a young coach and he has a lot of energy, but the most important thing is his teaching. He’s teaching me so many things that I might not have learned before, that I might not have seen before.”
Choice was a two-time Atlantic Coast Conference rushing champion at Georgia Tech in 2006 and 2007, and played six seasons in the NFL. He was a member of the Dallas Cowboys, where he rushed for 1,139 yards and eight touchdowns on 4.6 yards per carry from 2008-2011. He also played for the Washington Commanders (2011), Buffalo Bills (2011-13), and Indianapolis Colts (2013) before transitioning into his next profession.
Choice jumped into coaching at Waxahachie High School outside of Dallas, then as a coaching intern with the Dallas Cowboys, and as an assistant coach at North Texas.
Robinson continues to learn from Choice, on and off the field. For example, Choice has emphasized pass blocking and route-running in their brief time together.
“He’s teaching me so many things that I might not have learned before, that I might not have seen before,” Robinson said. “We watch film all the time and we just get to the (nitty) gritty. I know that we can always improve on watching film and seeing different holes in defenses, even in our games. So, you know, I try to elevate my level in a different way with that.”