Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Saban discusses what players are stepping up along the offensive line

UA Athletics

Alabama football has seen multiple great offensive lineman pass through Tuscaloosa during head coach Nick Saban’s tenure. Players like Barrett Jones and Ryan Kelly established Alabama as a dominant team in the trenches. Like most years, Alabama will have to use a combination of young players and past starters to be strong up front.

Junior Cam Robinson, who has been wearing a non-contact jersey for spring practice, has stepped up even while injured, according to Saban.

“He’s got sort of the alpha dog personality that you really like in a leader,” Saban said. “Some guys are willing to take that responsibility. He seems to be doing that. He’s making good progress.”

Robinson is one of the three players from last year’s starting line to return this season. He is a three-year starter on the line and was a top recruit coming out of high school. This season, Robinson will have to step into a leadership role that was previously occupied by players such as Ryan Kelly.

In addition to Robinson, senior Alphonse Taylor and sophomore Ross Pierschbacher return for the Crimson Tide. With two open spots on the line, the team is looking for players to step up and fill the vacancies.

“I think what we’re trying to do right now is get everybody a lot of turns so that can make a good decision about who we want to invest the time in in the future to get the best five guys in the best spots for us to have the best offensive line in the fall,” Saban said.

Over the offseason, Alabama managed to add multiple players to the offensive line. Junior college transfer Charles Baldwin is one of those players. Baldwin, standing at 6-5, was a highly ranked junior college transfer that Alabama picked up in the class of 2016, and Saban believes Baldwin can contribute once he learns the flow of the game.

“He’s got a lot of ability,” Saban said. “He’s got a lot to learn. He’s got a long way to go. We’re going to continue to work with him, to get him to do things right, to get him to buy into doing things the way we need him to do them so he can have success here.”

Local product Lester Cotton is another player that is in contention to step up and contribute to the offensive line this season. Coming from Central High School in Tuscaloosa, many fans around the area have been waiting for Cotton to get a chance to play on the offensive line.

Along with Cotton, senior Korren Kirvin is a player looking to develop to compete for a starting spot after having experience with the team.

“I think we have a lot more guys that have potential to play right now,” Saban said. “There’s a lot guys that are in the developmental stage. Lester Cotton has had a really good spring. He’s played left tackle and right tackle.”

More to Discover