Jovon Robinson was ready to run for Auburn against Ole Miss
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. ― The wait was long, but, when given a chance last week, Auburn running back Jovon Robinson was prepared to show what he could do.
"When I got the opportunity to play, I was ready for it. It wasn't like I was trying to take over or impose my talents or abilities, I was just trying to figure out 'how can I help the game plan?'"
This is how Jovon Robinson helped the game plan. He stepped in for banged-up starter Peyton Barber and rushed for a team-best 91 yards against Ole Miss, and won playing time in Saturday night's game at Texas A&M.
He had 18 carries last week after getting only four the first half of the season while dealing with an injury. His junior college stats say he help even more, considering he rushed for 3,198 yards and scored 43 touchdowns the previous two years at Georgia Military College.
"Jovon is healthy and I would anticipate him playing a big role Saturday night against Texas A&M," said running backs coach Tim Horton. "He's proven he can run the ball, create yards for himself and break a tackle and make somebody miss. I could foresee his role expanding.
"We've kind of pieced the running backs together through injuries, and it's really been a productive group. We just hope we can continue to do that."
Barber is expected to play, as is Robinson, as is Roc Thomas, as is Kerryon Johnson. Robinson says he'll be ready.
"The first game this season I went through a little injury," Robinson said. "The next couple of weeks was being in the playbook, being in the weight room, getting better physically and mentally."
Robinson came to Auburn not once, but twice to do this. He signed out of high school and practiced a few days before it was determined he wasn't qualified. He left, and came back as one of the top junior college players in the country.
He was in the mix in the season-opener, then got hurt. He re-emerged last week.
"He gave our run game a shot in the arm when we really needed it," said offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
Like Barber before him, Robinson got stronger as the game went on.
"I was kind of warming up my first couple of carries in the first half," he said. "I really couldn't get going because I wasn't up to game speed because I haven't been playing." Then he broke loose.
"He really did a nice job. He's really come on the last month," Horton said. "The week of the Arkansas game we had intended to play him in that game, but just the circumstances of the game, it just didn't materialize. Peyton was obviously injured and banged up in that game, so much like the way Peyton got to play, Jovon really stepped up.
"Jovon and Roc were both injured in the first game of the season. I think we're just now seeing them being 100 percent again."
Now, when Barber is full speed again, Auburn's backfield will be deep.
"We have a lot of different combinations, a lot of different formations," Robinson said. "Last Saturday you saw me and K.J., sometimes Peyton and K.J., sometimes K.J. and Roc.
"We're just trying to playing our cards, make sure every person has a great opportunity."
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine