Which Recruit Does Alabama Need Most, Leonard Fournette or Cameron Robinson?

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIAugust 23, 2013

Cameron Robinson via 247Sports
Cameron Robinson via 247Sports

Two of the biggest recruiting targets (247Sports) on Alabama's board are 5-star offensive tackle Cameron Robinson and 5-star running back Leonard Fournette.

Naturally, Nick Saban and his staff are going after the No. 1 and No. 2 recruit nationally, per 247Sports, and naturally, both recruits have a high interest in 'Bama.

Per each recruit's 247Sports interest list, the two teams on top are Alabama and LSU.

One wouldn't blame the best recruits in college football for deciding to go to the best program in college football, but it's not as if Alabama is without competition in these races.

Most notable is LSU for both recruits. They're both from Louisiana, and Les Miles has a powerhouse program that can contend with 'Bama both on the field and on the recruiting trail.

Also keep this in mind: Fournette is looking to take official visits to of Florida, Michigan, LSU and Miami (as well as Alabama), according to a recent report from Kipp Adams of 247Sports.com, so there will be some competition for his commitment.

Alabama always has a good chance to land the recruits it wants, but what if Saban and his staff can't bring in both Fournette and Robinson?

Which recruit is most important here?

Frankly, you could probably go either way as both recruits look to be absolute superstars in college. Fournette has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson already, and Robinson has the size, strength and footwork of an established NFL offensive lineman.

To answer this question one must go back to the fundamentals of football, and really the fundamentals of Alabama's offense.

At its core, football is won in the trenches. Alabama football wins because of its play in the trenches.

If you don't get movement at the line, you could have the best running back in the world and he'll be getting hit in the backfield. Breaking it down even further, if gaps are constantly getting blown up, the quarterback is going to have a hard time even getting a handoff to said running back.

This is also true in regard to setting the edge. An offensive tackle like Robinson can literally bulldoze one whole side of the defensive line, leaving everything from the C-gap to the cornerback wide open for a running back. We call this walling off, or setting the edge offensively. In the film room, it's often said that if you can get the ball-carrier one-on-one with a safety, you'll take that every day and twice on Saturdays. 

You can't do that without an great offensive line, and Alabama has made that type of tough, physical football at the point of attack its calling card.

That's not to say Fournette isn't an incredible talent worth targeting, because he is. The best case scenario is that 'Bama lands both.

If the Tide weren't able to land Fournette though, they could still lean on the millions (exaggeration) of other running backs that are on the depth chart. Mind you, the Tide seemingly land superstar running backs every cycle—backs like Derrick Henry, Alvin Kamara and Altee Tenpenny for exampleso there's not a huge need there. 

If the Tide had to choose, I'm thinking they would choose the big offensive tackle. Out of the two star recruits, Robinson is the guy that Alabama needs the most.


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