Alabama is reportedly the favorite to land yet another elite 2013 recruit. This time, it's 5-star lineman and recent Texas decommitment A'Shawn Robinson.
Robinson was a big-time commitment for Texas, but there was plenty of speculation that his commitment wouldn't hold until signing day. That speculation has come true, according to Max Olson of ESPN.com:
In his first interview since rumors spread Saturday that he will sign with Alabama, Fort Worth (Texas) Arlington Heights defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson told HornsNation he has decommitted from Texas.
“I talked to my mom about it. We decided a couple days ago,” Robinson said. “When coach [Bo] Davis came I wanted to tell him to his face.”
The 5-star defensive lineman also isn't too thrilled that his decision was leaked, per Olson:
The ESPN 150 defensive lineman insisted he is currently uncommitted and won’t announce his decision until 2:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday. He’s not happy that the news got out Saturday that his decision had already been made.
“Texas leaking that story made me kind of mad,” Robinson said. “They kind of tried to ruin the moment for me. Them leaking the story made me mad. I stopped considering them when I told them I was decommitting.”
Mike Farrell of Rivals.com confirmed via Twitter that Alabama seems to be the likely landing spot for Robinson, unless something wildly unexpected happens:
Mike Farrell @rivalsmike
A'Shawn Robinson going to #Alabama barring anything crazy. Mike Groh flexing recruiting muscles on this one. Top kid in Texas. #Longhorns2013-2-2 22:20:08
If and when this becomes official, it will go down as a marquee recruiting win for Alabama, and this is considering the fact that the Crimson Tide have already landed more than their fair share of key recruits in the 2013 cycle.
Robinson has elite potential as a defensive lineman. He's 6'5'', 302 pounds, so he projects to fit in perfectly as a 0-technique (nose tackle) or a 5-technique (defensive end) in Alabama's defense. His size and strength will allow him to command two gaps, and he should be effective against both the run and the pass.
He's also a very versatile player. 247Sports ranks him as an offensive-tackle recruit (No. 2 overall, according to the 247Sports Composite), so that goes to show you how talented he really is.
UPDATE: Monday, Feb. 4, at 11:36 a.m. ET by Andrew Kulha
I asked 247Sports' national recruiting director, JC Shurburtt, where he thought Robinson would play if he did end up at Alabama. Here's what he had to say, via Twitter:
JC Shurburtt @jcshurburtt
@AKonSports our lead scout @GerryHam247 projects OL.2013-2-4 16:29:42
Either way, Robinson projects to be great on either side of the ball, especially if he does indeed end up at Alabama.
---End of update---
It's worth noting that in recruiting, nothing is official until national signing day, which is coming up on Wednesday, Feb. 6, so that crazy, unexpected, wild turn of events still could happen.
That being said, with the hours and minutes ticking away until his decision (Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. CT, according to Olson's report), the chances are very good that Alabama ends up adding another elite recruit to its 2013 class.
In a recruiting cycle that's featured many big commitments to the Crimson Tide, this one could end up being monumental.