Big Tackle Preparing for Starting Role

Greg Robinson talks about his preseason and how the Auburn football team's offensive line is developing.

Auburn, Ala.--While there has been plenty of movement on the Auburn offensive line this preseason, two guys who came into drills number one on the depth chart have stayed at one position and are likely to be there when the Tigers open their season vs. Clemson.

If that is the case Greg Robinson will play his first college game on Sept. 1st at the Georgia Dome as Auburn's starting left tackle.

"We have a lot of moving parts on the offensive line," noted Robinson, a six-foot-six, 315-pound redshirt freshman. However, Robinson hasn't been one of them.

Because of his potential as a run blocker and a guy who should be able to protect the blindside of Auburn's right-handed quarterbacks, Robinson took over the vacant first team spot at left tackle in spring drills. There are no signs that he is about to give up his starting position.

Greg Robinson is shown in a spring training drill.

Robinson notes that new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and offensive line coach Jeff Grimes have been emphasizing physical play this preseason.

"We have got to be tough, both mentally and physically, with the type of offense we have," Robinson points out. "It is important for us to run the ball and we have to be tough to do that."

To do his job in that regard the offensive tackle said he has been working hard to improve everything he does.

"From the start of the training camp to now, I feel like I am lot better knowing who to block because I have been studying the playbook," he said, pointing out the 2012 offense is more challenging for the linemen to learn than last year's offense was.

Robinson also noted that he believes he has improved "technique-wise" with the Tigers getting so much full speed, full contact work in during the month of August.

The redshirt freshman said he isn't sure who the starting five will be on the offensive front when the Tigers take on Clemson in Atlanta. However, it's a safe bet that sophomore Reese Dismukes, an All-SEC center last year, will hold on to his starting spot.

At the left guard, playing between Robinson and Dismukes, the Tigers have returning starter John Sullen. The senior missed the early part of preseason camp with a back problem, but has been working with the first team in recent workouts.

Freshman Alex Kozan, who got a lot of time with the ones at left guard when Sullen was sidelined, is being cross-trained at right guard where Chad Slade is the returning starter. Slade is splitting his time running with the first team at right guard and right tackle.

If Slade starts at guard, the Tigers will likely enter the season with starting tackles who have never played in a college game. True freshmen Avery Young and Patrick Miller are the top candidates to start at right tackle if Slade doesn't play the position.

Asked if he has a prediction on how the starting lineup will shake out, Robinson said, "I don't know, time will tell."

The big tackle noted that he and the other offensive linemen have been challenged not only by the coaches. He said the front four on defense is testing them on a daily basis in practices.

"Angelo Blackson, Corey Lemonier, Dee Ford and all of those guys have been really working us trying to get us better prepared for the game," said Robinson, who will return to action on Tuesday evening after he and his teammates finish a two-day break from practice.


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