John Metchie III and Brian Robinson, Jr. Make Preseason Watchlist
Alabama's John Metchie III and Brian Robinson Jr., both important veterans in the Tide offense, have been named to the Maxwell Award Preseason Watchlist. Each season, the Maxwell Award is given to the College Football Player of the Year, as decided by a panel of sportswriters, casters and coaches.
Metchie and Robinson are two of 80 preseason watchlist candidates and both have the chance to become the fifth player in program history to take home the prestigious trophy.
Most recently, DeVonta Smith took home the award in 2020, adding another accolade to his lineup of accomplishments, but before that, Tua Tagovailoa (2018), Derrick Henry (2015) and AJ McCarron (2013) took home the hardware for the Tide.
As a junior, Metchie is entering his first season as the primary receiving target after putting up a more than solid 2020, racking up 916 yards and six touchdowns. His breakout game last season came against Texas A&M where he torched the Aggie defense to the tune of five catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns, cementing his place as a Crimson Tide standout.
One of the most physical receivers in the country, Metchie frequently showcases his incredible blocking ability, and is often found driving defenders out of bounds way down the field if he isn't catching the touchdown himself. In just two seasons, Metchie has more than proven his ability as a receiving threat and his shift into the spotlight should be a comfortable transition for the junior wideout.
Another Crimson Tide player looking to take the next step in his first year as a primary option is Brian Robinson, Jr. The redshirt senior running back has spent the last four seasons as a backup but has patiently waited his turn and finally has it. Last season, as the relief back to Najee Harris, Robinson still managed to put up a respectable 483 yards on just 91 carries, and has even shown an ability to catch out of the backfield before, picking up 124 yards on 11 receptions in 2019.
Robinson has been a staple in the Crimson Tide backfield since his arrival in 2017 as a four-star from Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa. Although nothing is written in stone, Robinson appears to be the starter going into this season and has the skillset to produce some incredible numbers. With a new offensive scheme that will likely be very balanced in it's run and passing attacks, Robinson has a chance to finally be heavily featured in Alabama's offense and will take full advantage of it.
Although a lot of production from last year's record breaking offense has moved onto the NFL, mainly DeVonta Smith, Najee Harris and Mac Jones, the Crimson Tide will push forward as usual, filling every vacancy with an eager player ready to prove themselves.
With just over 40 days until Alabama kicks off their 2021 season against Miami in Atlanta, Crimson Tide fans everywhere are biting their nails in anticipation of the new-look, Bill O'Brien led offense.