TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Jerry Arledge wants everyone to know Alabama offensive tackle Cam Robinson is not a bad kid.
Arledge, who coached Robinson at West Monroe High School, spoke about Robinson’s character following his and Laurence “Hootie” Jones’ arrest early Tuesday morning.
“Cam is not a bad person, he is not a thug. He just made a bad choice,” Arledge told SEC Country in a telephone interview. “It’s a really awful choice that brings a lot of negative attention to the University of Alabama, our high school and our community.”
Robinson and Alabama backup safety Jones were both arrested in Louisiana, according to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office.
According to the web site, Robinson was booked early Tuesday morning for illegal possession of stolen firearms, which is listed as a felony. Charges of illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of narcotics and misdemeanor possession of a controlled/dangerous substance are also listed. His bond has been set at $750.
Jones was held for illegal carrying of a weapon in the presence of narcotics and possession of a controlled/dangerous substance. His bond information was not available.
Arledge said he first got word of Robinson’s arrest “from watching TV like everyone else.”
“It really surprises me that he would do something like this, and I’m sincere when I say that,” Arledge said of Robinson. “When he was here, I thought he was a very good kid. Gave us no problems whatsoever. I know his mom pretty well. I know his sister. They’re good people. They really are. It’s very shocking to me and our football staff that he would do something like this.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban released a statement saying he was still in the early stages of gathering information about the incident. Alabama players also took to Twitter to voice their support for Robinson and Jones.
Arledge said it’s all about avoiding situations that could lead players down the wrong path.
“Young men are faced with decisions everyday. We talk to kids and we talk to our players about making good choices and making good decisions,” Arledge said. “You can make one bad one and it’ll affect you for the rest of your life. That’s the reason it’s so important that they think before the act or react. Cam was an outstanding player. He was the top-rated offensive lineman in America when he came out of high school. I also thought he was a good kid. It’s just unfortunate he made this mistake.”