TUSCALOOSA — Go ahead and sleep on Brian Robinson. Tell him he’ll never see the field at Alabama and question his decision to sign with the Crimson Tide despite its already loaded backfield.
The four-star running back can’t wait to prove you wrong.
Robinson, a Tuscaloosa native, signed his National Letter of Intent to Alabama in front of a packed library at Hillcrest High School on Wednesday as part of National Signing Day. Donning a red Alabama cap over his dreadlocks, which were also dyed red, Robinson said he was taking the first step toward achieving a childhood dream.
“It’s a great feeling, you’re two minutes away from home, where you grew up,” Robinson said. “You're two minutes away from the stadium where Alabama plays. Just being in a position to have an opportunity to play, it’s just a blessing.”
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Robinson, 6-foot-1, 224 pounds, is rated as the No. 150 player and No. 8 running back in the 2017 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Despite his talent, earning early playing time will be a challenge. Robinson enters an Alabama backfield that is returning all three of its top running backs from last season in Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough and Josh Jacobs.
The hometown star has also seen his recruitment overshadowed by the nation’s No. 3 overall player and No. 2 running back Najee Harris, who joined Alabama as an early enrollee earlier this month. With Harris stealing most of the headlines, many have dubbed Robinson a possible “sleeper” in this year’s class.
As far as Robinson’s concerned, that’s quite alright with him.
“I love that title because being the underdog, that’s no problem with me,” Robinson said. “I don’t mind being the underdog. Me being the sleeper in my class, I just got to prove a lot of people wrong. That’s all that is.”
Robinson sees himself as a similar back to Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, saying, like Bell, he also offers the complete package in the backfield. At Hillcrest, Robinson showed an ability to not only run past defenders but also catch passes out of the backfield and help out as a blocker.
“I can bring different styles of running to the game depending on what you need me for,” Robinson said. “I feel like I can bring any role on the offensive side. Coach (Nick) Saban said that it’s easy to base an offense around a running back that can do everything, so we’ll just have to see.”
Robinson picked Alabama over offers from other finalists Georgia, Auburn and Ole Miss.
“It feels good to have him play in his hometown,” Robinson’s mother Kimberly Little said. “It’s been his dream since he was in little league. It’s good for me because we’re at home and I’ll be able to attend all of his games. We’ve always been Alabama fans, and he’s always dreamt of playing the Crimson Tide. His dream has come true today.”