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Impact Players

Brian Robinson has turned into a premium feature running back for the Tide

Brian Robinson (#4) runs downfield for Alabama versus Tennessee
Picture by Crimson Tide photos

Brian Robinson has reached the category of Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson, Derrick Henry, and Najee Harris.

As a native of Tuscaloosa, Ala., the fifth-year senior is a complete running back. Before this year, people viewed Robinson as a solid player.

His production increased each season, but many doubted if he could be the No. 1 rusher for Alabama. They did not see him in the same arena as Ingram, Richardson, Henry, and Harris. Some thought he would transfer, while others projected Trey Sanders or Jase McClellan to be better.

Robinson confirmed his believes and has shocked his critics through eight games.

RELATED: Alabama jumps to No. 3 in AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll

NFL scouts are salivating over the pride of Hillcrest High School.

The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder can do it all out the backfield. He returned to the University of Alabama to display his skills, and Robinson is showing vision, speed, power, shiftiness, contact balance, pass-catching, and pass blocking abilities. He has three 100-yard games versus Southeastern Conference schools, including his latest performance against Tennessee on homecoming.

Robinson recorded his second matchup with at least two rushing touchdowns.

He totaled 26 carries for 107 rushing yards and three scores at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Robinson stepped over tacklers, had effective jump cuts, used great vision, and has the wiggle to break tackles for touchdowns. His outings against the Volunteers felt like watching Shaun Alexander, Ingram, Richardson, T.J. Yeldon, Henry, and Harris go to work. Robinson posted back-to-back 100-yard games versus Mississippi (171) and Texas A&M (147) while totaling a career-high four touchdowns against the Rebels.

As a receiver, Robinson has enhanced his value.

RELATED: How Alabama players and coaches celebrated its victory over Tennessee

He’s caught 17 passes for 161 yards with two scores. Robinson is fourth in the SEC for rushing yards (706) and first in touchdowns (11). He is closing in on his first career 1,000-yard campaign and becoming the twelfth 1,000-yard rusher of the Nick Saban era.

After the win over Tennessee, Jalyn Armour-Davis spoke about Robinson’s skill set.

“He has great size and strength, but a lot of people know that he’s fast,” Armour-Davis said. “He is shifty. He is not just a big guy that is going to run straight ahead until someone hits him. I think it creeps up on people until they play him. We know that going against him every day in practice. He’s a tough back. He’s does everything a back is supposed to do at a high level.”

According to Coach Saban, Robinson has been a consistent performer on offense. He has made his most improvement as a receiver, and Saban is proud of his running back.

Patience has a way of transforming you into who you want to be. It has made Robinson the back to carry this Alabama team.

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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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