Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we discuss the latest with Alabama DE Andres Fox and in-state ATH Maurice Robinson.
In-state athlete’s perception of Tide changes after talking to coaches
NEW ORLEANS — Maurice Robinson didn’t grow up an Alabama fan. He didn’t like the Crimson Tide until visiting last June for one of the team’s summer camps.
“I never really liked them because I was always thought they were so cocky and such a cocky team,” Robinson told SEC Country.
That negative perception he had of Alabama is gone now. After getting a chance to talk with Nick Saban and Jeremy Pruitt, Robinson, a 3-star athlete from Murphy High School (Mobile, Ala.), learned that the two coaches are just normal guys.
He found it easy to talk with Saban and Pruitt, and it’s a reason why he could see himself playing for Alabama one day.
“They impressed me on the visit,” Robinson admitted. “The atmosphere there was really great. I thought it was going to be a cocky, stuck-up place. It was very chill and I liked how they didn’t just tell me that I was the best and all of that.”
But Alabama is not his leader. That would be LSU. The reason why the Tigers are on top for him stems from the position they are recruiting him to play. Robinson plays quarterback for Murphy High School and he wants to be a signal caller in college. The Tigers are recruiting him at quarterback.
The Tide want Robinson, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound prospect, to switch to cornerback if he were to commit to the them. He doesn’t have a problem making the transition, but, right now, he wants to be a quarterback.
Would he choose Alabama if it doesn’t change his mind and offer him as a quarterback?
“There’s a chance I might do that,” Robinson said. “I may choose Alabama as a backup plan.”
Robinson looked very raw as a quarterback in drills this past weekend. His ceiling would be much higher if he made the transition to defense, but he’s hesitant to make a change because of his lack of reps.
“When I was in little league, I played cornerback. That’s all the experience I have,” Robinson said. “But when I was up there for a camp at Alabama, coach Saban said I (could) switch and transition very well without having much experience at the position.”
If he’s dead set on playing quarterback in college — and if it’s something LSU is going to tell him throughout his recruitment — I don’t see Robinson being a part of Alabama’s class.
Alabama fighting it out with two other SEC schools for in-state DE
That’s what Andres Fox is looking for when he makes his college decision. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a coaching staff that remains fully intact for more than a year. But, at Alabama, recruits know that at least Saban’s job security is bulletproof.
For Fox, a 3-star defensive end from Mobile (Ala.) Christian High School, that stability he and his family see in Alabama makes it an appealing option for him.
“They (my family) want me to go to Alabama because they think it’s the best place for me just because Nick Saban isn’t going anywhere,” Fox told SEC Country.
When you combine that quote with the fact that Fox has been an Alabama fan “since I was born,” the arrows should be pointing to an obvious commitment to the Crimson Tide at some point. But, not so fast.
Alabama, Auburn and LSU make up Fox’s top 3 and no school holds an advantage over the next, he says. But the Crimson Tide sure have him thinking hard about committing there.
“That’s where all of the great players go and coach Saban isn’t going anywhere,” Fox said. “He’s legendary.”
Despite the 6-foot-4, 232-pound prospect’s love for Alabama, Auburn actually has him thinking a lot about the Tigers. It’s a 50-50 battle between Alabama and Auburn for Fox’s commitment, but stability may come into play for the Tigers down the road.
Once again, Auburn enters this season with high expectations, and if the Tigers fall flat, that could be the end of Gus Malzahn. Fox has already thought of that scenario, but he’s confident that’s not going to happen.
“I think they’re going to have a good season this year because I think Chip Lindsey is going to develop the quarterback position well,” Fox said.
If he does end up committing to the Tigers, how would his parents feel since they want him to be part of the Crimson Tide?
“I think they would be OK with it,” Fox said with a laugh. “It would be a business decision.”