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Alabama CB Terrion Arnold praises Crimson Tide DB coach Travaris Robinson for his influence

Alabama defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson looks on at practice
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Nick Saban and Alabama players do not normally talk up assistant coaches during spring practices.

However, this spring has been different. Veteran players for the Crimson Tide have voiced their excitement about Tommy Rees, Kevin Steele, Eric Wolford, and Travaris Robinson. Coach Saban is excited to see what Rees does on offense, Steele on defense, Wolford with the offensive line, and Robinson with the secondary. Names such as Mel Tucker and Derrick Ansley had the Tide operating as the “No Fly Zone” in the secondary. Alabama’s secondary had 17 of the team’s 19 interceptions in 2015. Tucker influenced Eddie Jackson to move from cornerback to safety, and he had an incredible season with a team-high six picks.

RELATED: Terrion Arnold says this defense ‘will restore the Alabama standard’

The Tide returned four interceptions for touchdowns and won a College Football Playoff National Championship. Ansley served as Alabama’s secondary coach in 2016 and 2017. The secondary collected 25 of 35 interceptions — 71.4 percent — between both seasons, earning a CFP National Championship in 2017. Minkah Fitzpatrick earned a team-high six picks in the 2017 season.

Can this style of excellence return under Robinson?

It has a chance to, especially with his experience playing defensive back in college and coaching the position at major programs.

He coached defensive backs at Western Kentucky, Southern Mississippi, Texas Tech,  Florida, Auburn, and Miami. Robinson served as a DB coach and defensive coordinator at South Carolina. He was a great mentor for Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold last year. McKinstry had a team-high 15 pass breakups, garnering a few All-American spots. Arnold earned Freshman All-SEC and Freshman All-American honors after having 45 total tackles, a tackle for loss, eight breakups, and an interception. 

Arnold, a redshirt sophomore, praised Robinson on Monday for his influence.

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“The Texas A&M game was a blessing,” Arnold said about Robinson’s belief in him to play in that matchup. “He is someone that knows what he is doing. You can look at the pedigree. He is a great coach and an even better man. So I feel like he’s doing a great job of helping us become better players and better men.”

Arnold posted eight tackles and an interception in Alabama’s 24-20 victory over Texas A&M. He said he and Robinson review the film from that matchup and Arnold learns from it. Robinson is about to have the secondary embrace winning football in the fall.

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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.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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