ARLINGTON, Texas — Early in Zac Robinson’s redshirt freshman season, Oklahoma State tackle Russell Okung knew the Cowboys’ quarterback had something special about him.
"He just took the game in his hands and things came natural to him,” Okung said of Robinson’s three-touchdown performance in OSU’s 34-33 loss to Texas A&M in 2006. "At the time, he grabbed the reins and took over.” Four years later, Robinson statistically has become the greatest quarterback in OSU history and has been the face of the program for the past three seasons during the Cowboys’ rise into the national spotlight. Robinson will look to cap his career at 1 p.m. today with a win in the 74th annual Cotton Bowl Classic against Ole Miss at Cowboys Stadium. If OSU wins, the 2009 Cowboys will be only the fourth team with double-digit wins in the 108-year history of the program. Okung recognized Robinson’s potential to be one of the best in school history as soon as he got on the field, but the Pokes’ coaching staff saw signs of Robinson’s potential even earlier than that. "You saw it coming,” co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer said. "You saw that potential, (but) until you saw it in a game... He started doing it in practice, then he started doing it in spring-type games then he started doing it in live games.” The recent rise of the OSU program can be directly linked to the rise of Robinson as a legitimate playmaker in stadiums across the Big 12. Since Robinson took over as the starter as a sophomore against Troy, OSU is 24-12 including 18-7 in the past two seasons. "He (means much) more than everyone thinks to our team,” redshirt sophomore receiver Hubert Anyiam said.