Alabama Football News

Alabama Football 2021 Spring Preview: RB Brian Robinson Jr.

Brian Robinson Jr. running in Alabama's first spring practice for 2021
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Last week, spring football returned to the University of Alabama.

Fans of the Crimson Tide are excited for this edition of athletes taking the field, as Nick Saban and the program look to repeat as national champions. With 15 practice sessions – including the A-Day Game – the staff writers for Touchdown Alabama Magazine will provide in-depth previews on marquee players. 

As we continue with the offense, the next profile piece is on Brian Robinson Jr.

Brian Robinson Jr.

-Classification: Fifth-year senior

Position: Running Back

-Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Ala.

-Height: 6-1

-Weight: 228 pounds

-Strengths: Size, power, experience, footwork, production, leadership, work ethic

-Weaknesses: Speed, pass-catching abilities

Summary: Najee Harris is pursuing the National Football League, so Brian Robinson opens this spring as the primary running back for the University of Alabama.

He, like Harris, came to the Crimson Tide in its top-ranked 2017 signing class. Robinson arrived as a four-star from Hillcrest High School and has waited behind Harris, Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs, and Bo Scarbrough for a chance to be a featured player.

The 6-foot-1, 228-pounder has given solid production under Nick Saban, totaling 274 carries for 1,361 yards rushing with 15 career touchdowns in four seasons.

During the last two years, Robinson turned in at least 90 carries and 400+ yards rushing. Last season, he tallied 483 yards with six scores on 91 attempts in helping the Tide capture a College Football Playoff National Championship.

When he discusses Robinson to reporters, Saban raves about his toughness, leadership, and production as it relates to sharing responsibilities in the backfield.

He has trained with Dr. Matt Rhea this offseason, and Robinson is looking forward to having a successful season in the fall. He has always carried exceptional size, power, footwork, and production.

Robinson is a one-cut, north/south runner.

He runs behind his pads and displays patience in allowing blocks to set up. His two biggest issues are speed and pass-catching abilities.

Nowadays, college football is producing backs with breakaway speed and soft hands out the backfield.

Alabama fans saw this with Najee Harris in 2020.

Four of his 26 rushing touchdowns came on runs of 20+ yards, while he also caught 43 passes for 425 yards and four scores. Robinson does not have the acceleration that Harris gained; however, it does not mean he cannot develop it.

This will be important for him to pick up, as he intends on being the No. 1 rusher for the Tide. Also, the NFL is requiring running backs to be assets in the passing game. He totaled six receptions last season, so Bill O’Brien must get Robinson more involved as a receiver.

If he improves in both areas, Robinson will follow Harris’ excellent season with his own achievements.

He would also put himself in a position to garner respect as a high-round NFL Draft pick for 2022.

No one outworked Robinson in Alabama’s Fourth Quarter Program, and he expects to keep that energy all spring. The goal for him is to improve his speed and hands as a receiver. Robinson is prepared to hold off Keilan Robinson and Jase McClellan to be the primary back this semester.

Related Alabama Football Spring Profiles

QB: Bryce Young

QB: Paul Tyson

QB: Jalen Milroe

OL: Evan Neal

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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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