Photo by Jason Caldwell

Jovon Robinson Has Been Kicked Off the Auburn Football Team

Auburn's projected starter at tailback won't be playing for the Tigers this season.

Auburn, Ala.-- Jovon Robinson, the projected starter at tailback for the Auburn football team, was kicked off the team on Wednesday, the opening day of preseason drills.

Coach Gus Malzahn made the announcement on Wednesday evening following practice.

“I dismissed Jovon Robinson from our football team today,” Malzahn said. “He did not meet my standards or expectations of what it takes to be an Auburn Tiger football player.

“We are going to have zero distractions on this football team this year,” Malzahn added. “I have given him his release and wish him the best.”

Malzahn declined to provide specifics of what Robinson did to lose his spot on the roster. "I am not giving details," Malzahn said. "That is between me and him."

Malzahn added, "Any time you have to dismiss a player--I don't care who it is--it is tough as a coach, but like I said this is a team. This year there will be no distractions and you always feel bad as a coach, but you are going to do what is best for your team and that is what I did."

Robinson, a 6-0, 219-pound senior from Memphis, rushed for 639 yards on 117 carries last season and scored three touchdowns. He was MVP of Auburn’s Birmingham Bowl victory over Memphis with 126 rushing yards on 27 carries.

He signed with Auburn as a high school senior, but was denied admission to the university because of questions about his high school transcript. After sitting out the 2012 season he enrolled at Georgia Military College where he played two seasons.

As a freshman he was named the juco national player of the year after rushing for 2,387 yards and 34 touchdowns. He ran for 811 yards and nine scores as a sophmore at Georgia Military as he was bothered by injuries.

Sophomore Kerryon Johnson is now the likely starter at tailback with fellow sophomores Kamryn Pettway and Chandler Cox also working at the position in addition to true freshmen Malik Miller and Kameron Martin.

Photo by Jason Caldwell

Kerryon Johnson is show in action during Auburn's bowl victory vs. Memphis.

"We are very confident in him," the coach said about Johnson. "He is a guy we recruited to be a marquee back. He has a great opportunity now. He is in a good spot. Pettway is in a good spot."

Malzahn said the coaching staff made the decision in the spring to get Pettway ready to play tailback this season after being a fullback the past two seasons. "We feel very good about him," the coach said, noting that he performed well in spring at the position he played at Prattville High School.

"I feel good about where we're at," Malzahn said about the running back situation. "It's a great opportunity for these other guys. I feel very good and I feel like people will step up. I think people will step up around the running back position, too."

Rudy Ford, a senior defensive back, has also played running back at Auburn. A late addition to the 2016 class, Stephen Davis, Jr., played running back as well as defense in high school.

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