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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tide offer CB, the next Honey Badger?

By Greg Ostendorf

Despite the off-field issues, former LSU defensive back Tyrann Mathieu was one of the most dynamic players in all of college football. As a sophomore, he won the Bednarik award, earned first-team All-American honors and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

However, Alabama never offered Mathieu a scholarship because he was too short. The Crimson Tide don’t want to make the same mistake twice.

On Tuesday, UA assistant coach Burton Burns extended an offer to ESPN Watch List defensive back Jermaine Roberts (New Orleans/St. Augustine), a 5-foot-9 cornerback who goes to the same high school that Mathieu attended.

“It went great,” Roberts said. “He said we really don’t offer a lot of short corners -- I’m 5-9 -- but Coach Saban was impressed with my tape and he really enjoyed it. He said I have great feetwork and great hips.

“[Saban] said he had to offer me because I was in the same situation as a former schoolmate, Tyrann Mathieu. They regret not offering him because he was 5-9, and we’re the same height. They can’t let another corner slip away.”

There also happens to be another 2014 recruit from St. Augustine on the Tide’s radar -- ESPN Watch List running back Leonard Fournette. Roberts says the two are best friends, and they give advice to each other when it comes to recruiting.

“We talk about it sometimes -- what schools fit us,” Roberts said. “We talk about each school, the coaches, just being comfortable around the school.”

At this stage, Alabama and Texas A&M are the only two schools that they both like together. Roberts also likes Texas, the school he just visited this past weekend, and he says he hasn’t really been talking to LSU.

The junior defensive back plans to visit Tuscaloosa in March, and he’s going to try and get Fournette to come with him.

“I’m excited about it because of how great the school is and the tradition,” Roberts said. “They’re really doing a lot of big things up there. I was shocked, really, hearing that they were offering me.”

Roberts plans to make a decision over the summer.