Alabama defensive coordinator Kevin Steele reminded everyone on Friday morning that there is only one true defensive coordinator in Tuscaloosa.

That, of course, is Nick Saban, who continues to have his hands on the Crimson Tide’s vaunted defense in his 17th season as head coach. As a former defensive back, that is Saban’s specialty — players on the team have joked that he gives Alabama’s DBs preferential treatment at practices and film sessions.

“Coach Robinson is, again, very, very smart,” Steele said. “Very smart. He is a great teacher, he’s a great recruiter, he has very good relationships with people. He’s got really good people skills. He’s a great communicator. He has a bright future.”

“I personally think, this is my personal opinion — I think in the very near future, he will be somebody’s head coach … and be very successful doing it.”

It’s not just personality, but production on the field as well. This season, Alabama is allowing just 188.8 passing yards per game. The Crimson Tide has 12 interceptions in 2023-24, which is up from seven picks last season.

Alabama has two cornerbacks in Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold, both who will be high draft picks into the NFL. Another is true freshman safety Caleb Downs, who is very much on his way to doing the same.

Robinson was one of Downs’ primary recruiters.

“I’m very thankful that I got to play for Coach T-Rob,” McKinstry said Friday ahead of the Rose Bowl. “I love him to death.”

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“T-Rob’s helped me a lot,” defensive back Malachi Moore said on Sept. 9. “I always talk to him about my technique, and he always tells me if I’m doing something wrong or if I need to fix something, or if he sees something with my technique that I need to change. Or he gives me little insights on how to guard certain routes and what to look at and things like that. T-Rob’s been a great coach, and I’ve really learned a lot.”

With as much as Saban cares about the secondary, it was important for him to hire the right guy for the job in early 2022. He did just that, ironically bringing in former Auburn Tiger, Travaris Robinson, to coach the group early last year. After one season as cornerbacks coach, Robinson was elevated to coach the entire secondary.

Robinson has quickly become a favorite in the locker room and on the practice field. It seems the 42-year-old from Miami, Fla. relates well with the players he’s tasked with coaching day in, day out in the facility.

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