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Travaris Robinson at home changing Auburn's defense
April 8, 2015

Travaris Robinson meets the press, says he's happy to be back at Auburn

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- Coach Travaris Robinson said he told Will Muschamp he'd follow him from Florida, but only to one certain school.

"I never said the name. I knew he knew. He knew it was Auburn."

Sure enough, Robinson became Auburn's secondary coach soon after Muschamp was named the defensive coordinator. The fit was natural. Robinson played at Auburn from 1999-02 and was a staff and graduate assistant for Muschamp at Auburn in 2006 and 2007. He was Muschamp'ssecondary coach for four seasons at Florida.

Then Florida changed things, and Muschamp and Robinson were on the move.

"When he decided to come to Auburn, and I knew a little before anyone else, I was excited about it," Robinson said. "My family and I decided this is something we always wanted to do. I was actually thinking about buying some property here anyway, and making it a place I'd retired at."

Robinson is a working man these days, though, helping Muschamp and the other coaches mold Auburn's defense into a more spirited unit.

"Be fast. Be aggressive. Be physical," Robinson said.

Robinson calls it "an amazing opportunity for me, to have a chance to come in as a player, to come again as a graduate assistant and then have an opportunity to come as a position coach. It's just a dream come true.

"To see me grow from a young boy when I first got here and to mature as a man... I'm excited to be back.

"I chose to come to Auburn 16 years ago as a player. When I talk about it in recruiting, it's not a four-year decision, it's a 40-year decision. I use me as an example."

Auburn has fourformer Tigers on the staff: Robinson, receivers coach Dameyune Craig and defensive line coach Rodney Garner, plus graduate assistant Travis Williams. A fewmore recent players are on the support staff. Robinson said that makes a difference.

"It's true. When you say Rodney played here, Dameyune played here, I played here, Travis Williams played here... There's a bunch of guys who have been involved and got in the trenches, not just in terms of football. When I talk to a kid about what it is going to take to be successful here, about going to class, being away from home, I can talk from experience.

"It's a different feel. It's a different type of recruiting. I'm not selling something, I'm telling you what I know and what I've been through. It's no, 'I have to read books to research to talk some good things about our university.' I know the university in and outs."

Robinson said the renovations to the athletic facilities have been a plus since he's been away, and he can use them in recruiting. That's for future players. For the present, Robinson said the defense is changing its mentality after a tough 2014.

"Those guys have been beaten," Robinson said. "Everywhere you go around the town it's 'you've got to get better on defense, particularly the secondary.' That's fine. I have no problem with that. We're ready for the challenge. We'll continue to get better. We'll go out there and compete and put our best foot forward.

"These nine practices we've had, the guys are very, very much improved. We've got some guys that are playing really well. Obviously, they have a long way to go, but we've got a long time to get there. They'll be ready by Sept. 5.

"We talk in terms of Auburn fast. You don't see that on the defensive side of the ball. The effort wasn't there. It was kind of, 'The offense is going to score a bunch of points, let's-keep-the-ball-in-front-of-us mentality.'"

Robinson said the coaching staff has been working "changing the way" the defense thinks.

"That's been the goal this spring. We've been really hard on them in terms of effort. We have enough talented guys for us to win, if we handle the effort part and learn what to do and how to do it."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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