Football Fight: Left Cornerback

And in this corner, the lone remaining starter from the 2005 Alabama secondary, RAM-ZAAAAAAY Robinson. That might be the way longtime boxing announcer Don Dumphy would proclaim it. The Crimson Tide's returning starter at left cornerback is one of the few Bama players who is receiving much mention for all-star accolades.

Ramzee Robinson is one of four returning starters from Alabama's best-in-the-Southeastern Conference 2005 defense, and he's the only member of the Crimson Tide secondary who is back in 2006.

Robinson, a 5-10, 190-pound senior, will be a three-year starter and four-year regular for the Tide. Still, Bino (as he is known to his teammates and coaches) seemed to be something of an afterthought on pre-season All-SEC teams. As is often the case with such all-star squads, Robinson wasn't much noticed until he slipped into the "good interview" role held the past couple of years by Bama safety Roman Harper–often an all-star selection.

Robinson has more than gift for gab, though. Last year he had two interceptions, which he returned for 60 yards, and broke up seven passes. He turned in 32 tackles, including one for a loss. In his career he has 100 tackles, two tackles for loss, two pass interceptions, one caused fumble, and 15 pass deflections.

But in the spring, he was hardly first team for any reason other than being the returning starter. As he sat out scrimmage work recovering from back and wrist problems, Simeon Castille was usually at left cornerback while Eric Gray was the right corner. Castille and Gray should both be on the right side this fall. Robinson is completely healed from his ailments and the clear leader at left cornerback.

It seems that with almost every new Alabama depth chart, official or not, there is a change in the personnel and/or the order behind Robinson.

With fall camp set to begin next week, it looks as though Lionel Mitchell, a 6-2, 180-pound sophomore will be the top back-up at left cornerback. Mitchell signed with Alabama late in 2004 and took grayshirt status, practicing with the Tide for the Music City Bowl before becoming fulltime for off-season and spring practice in 2005. Last season he saw action in the Tide's first five games, then suffered a head injury and was unable to play the rest of the season. It was a bit of a surprise that he was cleared for spring practice. He is the son of former NFL player Stump Mitchell.

Chris Rogers, 6-1, 178, came close to making the playing squad last year as a true freshman, but Bama coaches were able to hold him out and so he still has four years of eligibility remaining. He worked last fall at cornerback, then spent his redshirt season working at safety. In the spring he was back at cornerback.

Alabama signed a large group of defensive backs last February. Although several of those may end up at other positions, and most will likely be held out, if one of the newcomers is at left cornerback it is likely to be Tremayne Coger (5-11, 18).

Editor's Note: This is one in a summer series of looking at the Alabama depth chart position-by-position.

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