When Brian Robinson first received interest from Nick Saban and Alabama football, he had a unique advantage.
As a four-star running back at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Robinson was able to spend time around Derrick Henry and take notes on his approach.
“Just watching how he did things around here and how he approached every practice and every game, that was a big way for me to see how things should be done,” said Robinson.
Robinson played behind players like Damien Harris, Josh Jacobs and Bo Scarbrough early in his career and took time to learn from the way they worked.
Watching each running back that stood ahead of him on the depth chart reach the NFL drove him to work hard.
After four years of steady progression up the depth chart and constant improvement on the stat sheet, Robinson chose to use his free year of eligibility and return for the 2021-22 season.
“I would like to do everything that a running back can do out of the backfield,” said Robinson. “If it’s running, catching, blocking or whatever a feature back should do.”
He has 1,361 career rushing yards and 15 touchdowns, adding 150 receiving yards.
Robinson will compete with sophomores Trey Sanders, Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams for snaps in the spring with five-star prospect Camar Wheaton entering the picture this fall.
As he looks to lock down the starting job, Robinson is also becoming the leader for the next wave of Alabama running backs, including McClellan.
“He came in with a loaded backfield, he came in with a few guys in his same class and he worked his tail off,” said Robinson. “As long as he keeps working, I feel like he’ll have a strong opportunity.”
Robinson understands the position of McClellan and can provide an example in the way his mentors did for him.