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Alabama photo by Kent Gidley / Alabama senior running back Brian Robinson is coming off a junior season in which he had 96 rushes and 11 receptions.

Alabama second-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian said last month that he would like to get more Crimson Tide running backs involved this season in order to lighten the workload of starter Najee Harris.

Brian Robinson Jr. is fine with that.

"I'm excited for whatever is to come," Robinson said this week on a Zoom call. "I trust Sarkisian and his plan. He's looking to get as many running backs as he can on the field and is working in more packages that will allow running backs to get more opportunities. I trust Sarkisian at his word, and I'm excited for what's to come."

Robinson is happy to offer his services as both a rusher and receiver for this season's Tide. The 6-foot-1, 228-pound senior out of Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa carried 96 times for 441 yards and five touchdowns last season, and he also made 11 receptions for 124 yards.

His versatility was most evident in the 47-28 win at Texas A&M, when he rushed 10 times for 51 yards and had two catches for 33 yards, converting Tide first downs on both receptions. Robinson was the primary backup last season but could be challenged for that role this season by redshirt freshman Trey Sanders, whose 2019 season was scratched in August by a broken foot.

"We're obviously very fortunate to have Najee come back for his senior season, but the experience that Brian Robinson brings and the explosiveness Trey brings — we've got a good stable of backs who all do a little bit different things," Sarkisian said last month. "Our job is to find the things those guys do well, so when it is their turn to go in the game, we're putting them in the best position to have some success."

Robinson was the nation's No. 8 running back signee in 2017, a crop that was headed by Harris and included Florida State's Cam Akers, Georgia's D'Andre Swift and Tennessee's Ty Chandler among the top five nationally. He has played behind stout offensive linemen such as Jonah Williams, Ross Pierschbacher and Jedrick Wills during his time in Tuscaloosa, and it will be no different this season with senior left tackle Alex Leatherwood headlining the four returning starters up front.

That Sarkisian returned as well is providing Robinson, who has switched from jersey No. 24 to No. 4, the same offensive coordinator from the previous season for the first time.

"The only thing I can really see is growth," Robinson said. "Last year, he was pretty comfortable, but he was still getting to know his players more and who he had around him. I think he's a lot more comfortable this year."

 

Ouzts tabs Tide

Alabama picked up its 21st commitment for the 2021 signing class Tuesday, receiving a nonbinding commitment from three-star tight end Robbie Ouzts of Rock Hill, South Carolina. The 6-4, 240-pound Ouzts is the nation's No. 33 tight end prospect and No. 701 overall recruit on the 247Sports.com composite rankings.

The Tide currently have the nation's top collection of commitments, recently passing Ohio State.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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