It’s not every day that Alabama head coach Nick Saban shades a former player for transferring, but he did just that on Thursday.
Alabama’s running back room has been extremely banged up this season, and they are reportedly starting to give players like wide receiver Slade Bolden reps at the position in order to give them some options.
It’s something that happened to Texas a couple years ago and is the reason Roschon Johnson switched from quarterback to running back. Even wide receiver Jordan Whittington spent time at running back early on in his collegiate career.
Saban did not just talk about players currently on the Alabama roster this week. He chose to throw Texas running back Keilan Robinson’s name into the conversation.
Robinson, a former four-star prospect from the 2019 recruiting class, signed with Alabama and played in a very limited role for two seasons accumulating just 39 career carries. Saban expressed that had Robinson stayed at Alabama, he would have been playing much more than he is at Texas, where he followed Steve Sarkisian. He even went as far to call Robinson “short-sighted.”
Where Robinson would have ranked on the Alabama depth chart is obviously unknown, but Saban seems to just be stating the obvious that he would be playing more. You would hope that a scholarship running back like Robinson would get playing time over Bolden and linebacker Demouy Kennedy.
It seems a little unfair for Saban to call out Robinson for not wanting to stay and compete, when he, like every other coach in America, has taken in a transfer or two before. For example, Alabama’s leading receiver Jameson Williams could not crack the rotation at Ohio State, and decided to take his talents elsewhere after a couple seasons of not being consistently in the lineup.
There is no problem with player movement, but the hypocrisy that coincides with it is where the problem lies. Another thing to consider is the fact that Saban had moved Robinson to receiver where he recorded no career catches.
Saban also seemed to be taking a shot at Sarkisian for not playing Robinson as much as he (Robinson) would like, which is the one part of the statement that I am sure all Longhorns fans could agree with. The staff has allegedly had meetings solely based on getting Robinson touches, but have only seen him get four carries in the last four weeks combined.
Robinson did not take too kindly to Saban’s shot at him as he tweeted this response around the time the quote surfaced.
Robinson currently has a total of 32 touches on the year along with being a key contributor on special teams. With Bijan Robinson out for the rest of the year, Keilan Robinson is expected to receive more opportunities.