Jahquez Robinson signed paperwork with the University of Alabama on Wednesday. He was on its football practice field on Thursday.
The four-star cornerback from Jacksonville, Florida, joined UA in its bowl practice Thursday and did the same on Friday. In most cases, freshmen enroll early to be with the team for spring practice, but in some instances, they can get to campus in time to participate in a couple of bowl practices before their team leaves for the bowl site, and that was the case for Robinson.
Robinson comes from Sandalwood High School, where he played under former Duke wide receiver and kick returner Adam Geis. Robinson was not in pads with the rest of the team, as he is subject to the three-day acclimation period the rest of the team goes through at the beginning of preseason practice.
“He’s a pretty talented guy. He was out there, doing plays with us, doing all the periods with us,” cornerback Patrick Surtain II said. “He looks good, he’s starting to get caught up a little bit. He’s out there having fun.
“It can be tough. It’s a different environment, coming out of high school straight to college. But football is gonna be football at the end of the day. As long as you prepare and practice the right habits, everything’s gonna be fine.”
The path to immediate playing time for Robinson is a crowded one. Surtain II will return for a junior season and Josh Jobe, who is expected to start in Trevon Diggs’ place in the Citrus Bowl, will be a junior next season. Robinson will also have to compete with Jalyn Armour-Davis (current redshirt freshman), Marcus Banks (freshman) and Brandon Turnage (freshman), plus incoming junior college cornerback Ronald Williams.
The few days of practice in December do give Robinson a jump on the rest of the class that will join him in the spring and summer.
“Just to learn. Take every opportunity you can get and learn from it,” Surtain II said. “The first day’s practice is going to be a little stressful at times because of all you can manage, but just keep a high head, that’s what I said.”
Davis reflects on career, degree in hand
Raekwon Davis decided to put the NFL on hold for a senior season at Alabama for many reasons. One of them was to finish the right way, and a Citrus Bowl berth doesn’t satisfy that hope. He wishes he one more year so he could try it again; he says if it were an option, he’d take it.
That reality will sit with him for a while, but it’s unlikely to hold more power than the degree he earned along the way.
Davis graduated with an exercise science degree days after finishing his final regular season at UA. The defensive end will play in the upcoming Citrus Bowl against Michigan, a game that will complete a senior season he hoped would be a vengeance tour of sorts.
Davis was not pleased with his performance as a junior, and not too shy to admit it.
As a junior in 2018, he amassed 55 tackles, 5 1/2 for a loss, with 1 1/2 sacks and six quarterback hurries in 15 games. His senior season numbers are not dissimilar, be it in just 11 games — 45 tackles, three for a loss, with 1/2 sacks and four quarterback hurries — but he believes his season was better through other means of analysis.
“It went well. I felt like I improved on a lot of things,” Davis said. “Some people have their own opinion, but I think I did great.”
All told, the last few months have been successful for Davis because they were the months in which he earned his degree.
“It’s great for me. Where I’m from, most people don’t graduate, don’t even see a D-1 school,” Davis said. “Nobody can take that away from me. Football can end at any time, but you’ll still have one thing you can fall back on. You spend three and a half years to get it, nobody can take it away, and you can do whatever you want with it.
“It was the best experience of my life, a big accomplishment.”
For an update on where Robinson was in practice today, plus more on Trey Sanders and LaBryan Ray, click here.
Reach Brett Hudson at 205-722-0196 or firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @Brett_Hudson