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What does the hiring of Travaris Robinson mean for Alabama football?

Travaris Robinson on the sideline for South Carolina during his time as defensive coordinator and DB coach
Jeff Blake - USA Today Sports

Nick Saban is returning to three requirements for assistant coaches upon hiring them to the University of Alabama: expertise at a specified position, familiarity with the Southeastern Conference, and ability to land high-end prospects in recruiting.

Alabama has all three in its decision to hire Travaris Robinson to coach cornerbacks.

RELATED: Alabama LB Jaylen Moody removes his name from portal, will stay with the Crimson Tide

Robinson, 40, is a native of Miami, Fla.

He specializes in recruiting and developing defensive backs. Robinson played in the SEC at Auburn under Tommy Tuberville as a corner and free safety from 1999 to 2002. He recorded 149 total tackles and five interceptions in his career, including a career-high 92 tackles and four picks in his senior season in 2002.

Robinson earned All-SEC team honors for his efforts that year. He did not have a career in the National Football League, but Robinson has become one of the best young coaches in the college game.

He served as a graduate assistant for his Alma mater in 2006 and 2007, but he started his mentorship of defensive backs in 2008 at Western Kentucky. Robinson has tutored cornerbacks and safeties for 14 years (2008-21), spending time at Western Kentucky, Southern Mississippi (2009), Texas Tech (2010), Florida (2011-14), Auburn (2015), South Carolina (2016-20), and Miami (2021).

RELATED: Alabama football’s new CB coach Travaris Robinson is a proven recruiter

He’s produced 130 interceptions on his coaching stops, including 94 picks with SEC schools.

Robinson’s defensive backfields at Florida totaled 44 interceptions in four years.

South Carolina did not have a ton of talented athletes, but Robinson had its secondary collect 40 interceptions in five years. 

Breakdown of interceptions Travaris Robinson has coached

Western Kentucky: 2008, nine interceptions

-Southern Mississippi: 2009, ten interceptions

-Texas Tech: 2010, 11 interceptions

-Florida: 2011-14, 44 interceptions

-Auburn: 2015, ten interceptions

-South Carolina: 2016-20, 40 interceptions

-Miami: 2021, six interceptions

Robinson has great relationships with high school athletes.  He is one of the best young recruiters in college football. 

Robinson got Vernon Hargreaves III, Jalen “Teez” Tabor, Keanu Neal, and Matt Elam to the National Football League from the Gators.

Hargreaves, Tabor, and Elam were five-star prospects, while Neal was a four-star. 

Robinson helped Auburn land four-star Carlton Davis for its 2015 recruiting class.

RELATED: Former Alabama OL Tommy Brown transfers to Pac-12 program

He developed Davis, Tray Matthews, Johnathan Ford, Blake Countess, and Jonathan Jones to be NFL players. Davis started at cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl Championship team in 2020. Robinson had a hand in South Carolina getting four-star Jaycee Horn in its 2018 class.

He developed the talented corner into becoming a top-10 pick (No. 8 overall) in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Carolina Panthers. Robinson guided Hargreaves, Neal, Elam, and Horn to be first-round picks.

He knows how to pull the best out of cornerbacks.

Nick Saban wants to return to getting high-end cornerbacks and developing them.

Robinson is the right hire for the job.

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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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