Football

Arlington Heights grad A’Shawn Robinson powers Alabama front

Alabama defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson helped the Crimson Tide hold Texas A&M to 32 yards rushing.
Alabama defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson helped the Crimson Tide hold Texas A&M to 32 yards rushing. AP

A’Shawn Robinson was tired of LSU’s offensive linemen blocking low.

Robinson, an Alabama junior defensive lineman out of Fort Worth Arlington Heights, decided to rise above it. When the Tigers lined up for a field-goal attempt Saturday night, he timed his jump and hurled his 6-foot-4, 312-pound frame over the line for a block that helped swing momentum in a big win for the Crimson Tide.

“Teams always cut at the line of scrimmage, go at our knees, and I was tired of it. I just said: ‘Coach, I’m just going to jump over the line next time,’ ” said Robinson, who has 29 total tackles, 4.5 for a loss this season. “I just did it. I knew I was going to block it once I jumped over the line.”

265.3 Yards per game Alabama allows, which ranks third in the country.

Robinson has led the way for an Alabama defensive front that is allowing only 265.3 yards per game (No. 3 in the country), 75.8 rushing yards (No. 2) and 16.3 points (No. 7).

In its 30-16 victory over LSU, Alabama allowed only 54 yards rushing and 31 to Leonard Fournette, who had rushed for more than 150 yards in every game this season and entered as the Heisman favorite.

“We have Derrick Henry in our backfield here, and they are similar backs, and we go against him every day in practice,” Robinson said. “It was an opportunity to get better, to go out there and show how hard we’ve been working. It’s exciting, but it’s about doing what you do every day.”

Robinson has played in big games his entire career at Alabama and was on the field for significant time as a freshman. Leading up to his junior season, he worked on his handwork and conditioning.

We don’t take plays off. Taking a play off is how you get hurt. We go out there with relentless effort and try to create havoc.

Alabama defensive A’Shawn Robinson

Alabama opened conference play with a surprising 43-37 home loss to Ole Miss, which has since lost three games. But the Crimson Tide rebounded and has climbed all the way to No. 2 in the College Football Playoff poll.

“We had a bad week of practice before the Ole Miss game,” Robinson said. “I feel like if that happens, the game won’t go the way you want to go. We just had to move on, buckle down and get back to work every day. You end up losing games when you don’t prepare correctly.”

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Alabama faces Mississippi State and senior quarterback Dak Prescott, who is a threat passing and rushing.

“We have to try to not let him out of the pocket,” Robinson said. “He hurts you when he gets out of the pocket. Him being as big and physical as he is, he can make plays down the field out of the pocket, run, throw, get big gashes on you.”

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