Cam Robinson looking more like a starter for Tide at left tackle

Anniston StarMay 15, 2014 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Although he lined up with the first offensive group on A-Day, there was still the question of whether true freshman Cam Robinson would be the starting left tackle in the Crimson Tide's 2014 season opener.

Now, it's looking more and more like a foregone conclusion.

When asked how he and the Crimson Tide's coaching staff "keep everyone happy" with so many talented players on the roster, Saban provided some insight into Robinson's position on the depth chart.

Robinson, an early enrollee, was the nation's top offensive tackle in the 2014 recruiting cycle. He battled Brandon Greene during spring practice, before eventually passing him and taking reps with the first offensive group.

"I think there's a perception out there that we have all these players, but it's really not that way," Saban said during an interview with 102.5 The Game in Nashville. "Cyrus Kouandjio goes out for the draft this year, a year early, and Cam Robinson comes in in January and he's the starting left tackle. If we had all those players backed up, how could a freshman that just come in in January come in and start?"

Saban wanted to shoot down the perception that Alabama is overloaded with talented players. He called it "recruiting propaganda" and said all of the players who are actually good in all aspects get the opportunity to play.

"We have a lot of quality players and they're good players, but you really can't mistake quality and quantity," Saban said. "Depth is always an issue on our team especially when you have as many guys as we have go out for the draft early. Your team turns over quicker and it gives younger players an opportunity to play. We played 14 freshman last year. So if we had all these players backed up, why would we play 14 freshman? We have a lot of good players, but a lot of guys have a lot of opportunity.

"I have to be honest with you, we really don't have any really good players who don't play a lot. We play a lot of players because if you're a good player and you can contribute, we want to play you."

Robinson and seven other members of the Tide's 2014 recruiting class arrived in January. They were able to participate in the "Fourth Quarter Program" and spring practice. The rest of the group is scheduled to join in the coming weeks.

"What we want to see them do is acclimate academically, personally, develop some relationships and a comfort zone," Saban said. "Get in a little better physical condition so that maybe they'll be a little more ready for fall semester and fall camp. So, I think it's a great opportunity for them to get ahead academically and have an opportunity to have a better chance to contribute next year."

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