It’s been quite a week for Cam Robinson.
The University of Alabama starting left tackle won his third consecutive SEC championship last Saturday, followed by being named a permanent team captain at the team banquet Sunday night. He was voted first-team All-SEC on Tuesday and was awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy on Wednesday, given annually to the conference’s best offensive lineman.
Oh, and he’s one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which will be awarded Thursday at the College Football Awards show in Atlanta.
Robinson spoke with the media for the first time all season Saturday evening in the postgame locker room following the SEC Championship Game. He was arrested in May along with teammate Hootie Jones on gun and marijuana charges – charges that were eventually dropped by the local district attorney in Louisiana – and wasn’t made available to reporters all season.
Given the high visibility of his stature and the arrest, Robinson let his play speak for him instead, and it worked out pretty well.
“It’s been fun,” Robinson said. “Ups and downs. Peaks and valleys. But that’s a season in general.”
A prodigious talent coming out of West Monroe, La., Robinson has started every game in his three-year Alabama career. Now a two-time, first-team All-SEC left tackle, Robinson helped lead a unit that ranks near the top offensively, scoring 40.5 points and averaging nearly 500 yards per game, including 245 yards rushing per game and 5.74 yards per rush.
Analysts have labeled him the best run-blocking offensive lineman in college football.
“It’s always fun when coach calls your number, and when we run the ball and we’re effective running the ball,” he said.
Against Florida, fans saw the full skill of Robinson, including his athleticism, when he went out and blocked a defensive back on a wide-receiver screen.
“I saw everybody blitzing and I knew it was a screen, so I knew it was about to be a big play because everybody off that one side was blitzing and it was one on one,” he said. “I was able to get out there and get in the way.”
The play resulted in Alabama’s longest gain of the game, 52 yards.
Robinson stepped up his leadership role on the line of scrimmage because he saw a void with the departure of Remington Trophy winner Ryan Kelly to the NFL.
“Always be vocal and always communicate with the guys and always try to keep guys positive no matter how high the game is or how low the game is,” he said. “Just always keep the guys positive.”
Robinson didn’t duck questions about his offseason troubles, but he did say he prefers to leave the past in the past. Part of his team discipline, the only part released by UA coach Nick Saban, was a police ride-along.
“It was tough in the beginning, but I had all my brothers and all my coaches behind me,” Robinson said. “Made a mistake, learned from it, keep it moving. No point in dwelling on it.
“That was something, just a bad decision made on my part. Biggest thing is when you make mistakes, just move on. My brothers were behind me 100 percent. That was something we weren’t even focused on. We just wanted to come out and be the best team we could be.”
Opposite him on the offensive line this season was true freshman Jonah Williams, who came in and started every game from day one, a player much in his mold.
“Jonah’s an incredible player,” Robinson said. “I’m just so happy for him. He’s extremely hard worker. You can’t be mad at a guy like that who succeeds. You see him come in day in and day out and he works for it. He’s a great competitor. A great player.
“I kind of tried to take him under my wing a little bit and teach him what I could. We both came in and started as a true freshman and started every game. He did an incredible job.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.