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RB B.J. Emmons and DB Aaron Robinson to transfer: Analysis

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Both players have left the program effective immediately

Western Kentucky v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The problem with stockpiling blue chip athletes is that you can’t play every one of them as much as they sometimes deserve or want. After Alabama signed the nation’s No. 1 running back recruit, Najee Harris, and local stud, Brian Robinson, Alabama’s backfield depth was amazing -- perhaps a little too amazing to survive the offseason.

From Al.com

Two second-year players have left the Alabama program -- running back B.J. Emmons and cornerback Aaron Robinson, according to sources.

Emmons was the No. 2 running back and No. 36 overall prospect in last year's recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. However, the North Carolina native suffered a season-ending foot injury heading into the Crimson Tide's game against LSU last November, was a limited participant during the spring

You can’t call the loss of B.J. Emmons a surprise, really. The sophomore was the No. 2 running back recruit in the country last year and flashed some talent as a true freshmen. Alabama carved out snaps for him, not just in the backfield but at returner. He averaged 27.1 yards per kick return in 2016, and before his injury, he was averaging 4.9 yards per carry, 10.0 yards per reception out of the backfield, and had scored a touchdown on the ground.

The 6’0” 220-pounder was slow returning from an injury this year though, and very likely was falling further behind a depth chart that features not just the inbound freshmen, but Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris, and his fellow sophomore Joshua Jacobs -- all of whom had passed him by last season.

This really is in B.J.’s best interest. When he gets healthy, he can start for 90 teams in the country. The North Carolina native had received offers from every in-state program, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, and a bevy of other ACC teams. I would honestly not be surprised to see him land at Clemson or another contender in need of a versatile feature back. Depending on Saban’s mood and/or policy modification, Georgia would be another obvious destination for Emmons.

Best of luck to B.J.

--.

Now, Aaron Robinson’s departure is a bit more puzzling. The 6’1, 192# corner out of Deerfield Beach (FL) got the rare Saban seal of approval last year, playing not just on special teams but actually in the defensive backfield. He played in twelve games, and of those, saw time as a DB in five of them -- including against USC, where he registered two tackles.

The explosive athlete had received nearly two-dozen offers when he signed with the Tide. Florida recruited him most heavily out of the SEC, but that’s no indication of where he lands. The nation is wide-open for him on offense and defense, as he can play several positions. Miami made a late push for him last season, so you can’t rule out Richt calling him home.

The reason this is baffling is that it’s not too common for a true freshman corner to see time at corner -- he obviously was picking up the defense. And, per Zenitz, the staff was relying on him to be a key reserve in the two-deep this season. I’ve not heard any rumors as to why he actually left the program: there were even more snaps to be had for him in 2017.

Alabama is not quite as desperate depth-wise as it was last season: many of the players that were trying to learn last year are ready to contribute. Still, Robinson’s loss is not great for an Alabama secondary that can use all the experienced depth it can find. With the corners expected to face more pressure in 2017, it’s better to have warm bodies than not.

Still, this Snap doesn’t indicate that he’s leaving under the best of terms, eh?

Keepin’ it classy there, Aaron.