Alabama Football News

Brian Robinson has regained old form to become perfect complement to Najee Harris

Brian Robinson runs the ball for Alabama versus Ole Miss
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics/ USA TODAY Sports

Alabama football now has a strong one, two punch at running back.

Najee Harris grabbed most of the conversation for his game versus Ole Miss and rightfully so.

He chimed in with a career performance of 206 yards rushing with five touchdowns on 23 carries. The senior from California ripped off three runs of 30 yards or more, including two for scores. He averaged nine yards per carry and caught three passes for 42 receiving yards.

Harris has squarely put himself in the Heisman conversation, but Brian Robinson has emerged as the perfect complementary piece. Some people had Trey Sanders (redshirt freshman) penciled in as the back to assist Harris; nevertheless, the Tuscaloosa native in Robinson has stepped his game up. Robinson, like Harris, is a senior who looks to push the Crimson Tide to a national championship and create a solid NFL Draft stock for himself. He arrived at Alabama in 2017 as a highly-touted four-star recruit.

RELATED: Alabama’s Najee Harris wins Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week, following his performance versus Ole Miss

Even with Harris being more of a combination back, Robinson brings more power and a downhill running style.

The 6-foot-1, 228-pounder is a one-cut back who seeks out contact. After struggling at times last season to find his rhythm, Robinson has had back-to-back strong games versus Texas A&M and Ole Miss. He ran hard through arm tackles and carried defenders with him against the Aggies for 60 yards on 10 carries. When it came to giving Harris a rest on last week, the alumnus of Hillcrest High School pounded Mississippi’s defensive front on a wet field for 76 rushing yards with one touchdown on 10 carries.

Robinson had a long run of 18 yards and averaged 7.6 yards per rush. Four of his attempts resulted in either first downs or scores and it felt good for Alabama’s offensive line to see his production increase. With the growth of Robinson, Mac Jones has become even more dangerous at quarterback. He completed 28 of 32 passes for 417 yards with two touchdowns to no interceptions in Alabama’s 63-48 win over Mississippi. In having two capable runners, the Tide’s passing game is more effective.

As Georgia enters into Bryant-Denny Stadium this week, it brings and old school defense.

The best way to handle it is being able to run right at it.

This matchup fits perfectly into Robinson’s expertise, seeing how he fancies himself as more of physical back. Should he continue to progress, there will be pro teams that will look at him as an option for the 2021 NFL Draft.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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