Is Alabama Really Best Place for Former Auburn RB Signee Jovon Robinson?

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterApril 11, 2013

Former Auburn RB signee Jovon Robinson / Photo: Auburn University / Todd Van Emst
Former Auburn RB signee Jovon Robinson / Photo: Auburn University / Todd Van Emst

Jovon Robinson made all of the wrong headlines last summer; but that doesn't mean those headlines will be his legacy.

The former Auburn signee who was ruled academically ineligible after the start of fall practice in August has plans to return to the SEC—at Alabama.

In an interview with, Robinson—now at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Ga.—says that despite signing with Auburn out of Wooddale High School in Memphis, Tenn., he hopes to sign with the Crimson Tide when he's eligible to transfer in December 2014.

"They’ve been the powerhouse," he said. "So, why not? My train of thought is like a powerhouse, so it just fits. It just fits me—even though I didn’t commit there the first time."

How set is Robinson on going to Alabama? He painted the stripes of his 2012 Dodge Challenger—which he purchased last year after receiving his portion of a settlement stemming from his father's death—red and black, in honor of two teams.

“The color on my car can represent GMC [Georgia Military College], but it’s actually more ‘Roll Tide',” he said.

But would he fit in Tuscaloosa?

He wouldn't be eligible to play until the 2015 season, which would likely be true freshman Derrick Henry's junior season; and either the redshirt sophomore or true junior seasons for Altee Tenpenny, Tyren Jones and Alvin Kamara, all of whom signed with Alabama as a part of the 2013 recruiting class.

That's a lot of competition, but if we know anything about the modern-day recruiting efforts of head coach Nick Saban, having a healthy stable of running backs is one of his primary goals.

Robinson will have two years of eligibility left when he transfers. So while taking on the challenge of cracking that depth chart might be attractive from a competitive standpoint, it might not be the best idea from a playing-time perspective.

But Alabama has established itself as an NFL pipeline at running back, and that likely won't change between now and the time Robinson exhausts his eligibility, wherever he goes.

From an intrigue standpoint, it'd be interesting to see him in Tuscaloosa.

Sure, players have bounced between Auburn and Alabama in the past.

Former Crimson Tide fullback Victor Horn started out at Auburn before transferring to Tuscaloosa in the mid-2000s. Current Tiger running back Corey Grant started out at Alabama before transferring to Auburn in search of playing time and to be closer to his Opelika, Ala. home. Auburn wide receiver Melvin Ray originally signed with Alabama but chose to play professional baseball in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization out of high school.

But none of those players has the back story of Robinson.

Fair or not—and it's not—Robinson is one of the primary characters in the list of people associated with the Auburn cheating allegations. But that's just what they are. Allegations.

There are three sides of every story, and up until the recent Selena Roberts and ESPN spice stories, Auburn has—for the most part—been content keeping its side under wraps.

Robinson can play at an SEC level. Before he was ruled ineligible in the summer of 2012, he was on track to see significant playing time at Auburn as a true freshman. Another few years of work at junior college will only help.

Given the short window of opportunity Robinson will have at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level, joining a crowded backfield would be quite the challenge.