January 7, 2014

Alabama defensive line young but talented

NEW ORLEANS | He's bigger in person.

That's the thought you come away with after meeting A'Shawn Robinson for the first time. Not that he doesn't look massive in helmet and pads on the field, but sharing the same space with him as he sits beside a barren locker, his shoulders spanning the entire width, puts it in perspective. He's a big man with bigger talent.

It seems all his defensive line teammates have an A'Shawn Robinson story, either confusing him for someone much older or simply watching him do something a freshman shouldn't do.

That's the instant synopsis with Robinson: He doesn't look how he should and he certainly doesn't play like a true freshman should.

Like when he showed up for his first summer workout after arriving on the Alabama campus and veteran defensive end Ed Stinson came up and asked what junior college he attended. Or the times Jeoffrey Pagan watched in awe as a raw talent overpowered veteran offensive linemen.

No. 86 is the first one your eyes drift to when walking through an Alabama practice. It was the same when UA defensive coordinator Kirby Smart first got a hold of him.

"I wondered where his whistle was because he looks like a coach," Smart said.

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