Cam Robinson, Alabama’s stud left offensive tackle, as you may have heard, was arrested in Louisiana and charged with possession of a stolen firearm, a felony. Bruce Feldman says that’s a rough deal for Nick Saban.
Robinson, a Monroe, La., native, has started all 29 games in his career at Alabama. I’d argue that he is the player the Crimson Tide could least afford to lose on its 2016 roster. Yes, the Tide has other All-American caliber players on this team — DL Jonathan Allen, pass-rushing star Tim Williams, tight end O.J. Howard, wideout Calvin Ridley, but those guys aren’t quite as integral to this team’s success either due to how the depth chart stacks up or to the dependence on Robinson to what makes the Tide so tough.
Keep in mind, Alabama is already coping with the big task of replacing All-American center Ryan Kelly, the leader of the Tide’s O-line the past few years. Plus, they had to replace departed starter Dominick Jackson at right tackle. Robinson was their big man. Their ultimate go-to guy. He is a huge athletic man, who really comes off the football hard and has proven to be a dominant force in their run game, something which was a bedrock for this Tide offense as it, once again, enters the season with uncertainty about who its starting QB will be.
This is a program that prides itself on being physical and Robinson is tied to that identity more than any other player on this team.
No snark intended here, seeing as I’m well aware I root for a program that occupies a fairly spacious glass house, but if I’m Saban, the thing that has to worry me the most about resolving this problem in a way that preserves Robinson’s services for the 2016 season is that it’s an away game. It will be interesting to see how flexible the Louisiana justice system will be in this case.