Demetris Robertson considers Notre Dame among favorites
SAN ANTONIO — Few recruits are harder to read than Demetris Robertson.
The 247Sports Crystal Ball has only 14 predictions for his commitment — an abnormally low number for high-profile recruit — and four different schools are represented.
Why the uncertainty with Robertson’s recruitment?
“I really want to see what’s best for me on my officials,” Robertson said.
As soon as the words “best for me” left Robertson’s mouth, Notre Dame running back commit Tony Jones Jr. chimed in with “Notre Dame” as he walked past him following practice for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
While reporters rattled off questions for Robertson, other recruits surrounded him trying to make him laugh or represent their school. The top-ranked athlete, a recruiting designation for a player who could play multiple positions, in the 2016 class is being pulled in a lot of different directions.
In San Antonio alone, Robertson has been getting recruiting pitches from players committed to Georgia, Notre Dame, Florida State, Alabama and Stanford.
Everyone will have to wait until signing day to find out where the talented wide receiver and defensive back will land. That’s because he has a busy January lined up for official visits. He plans to make trips to Alabama, Georgia and Stanford. His previous official visits went to Notre Dame in September and Cal in October.
He also will host Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Stanford head coach David Shaw for in-home visits later this month. Alabama head coach Nick Saban made his visit before the dead period started in December.
Robertson, a 6-foot, 175-pound dynamo, held a verbal commitment with Alabama for nearly year before backing away from his pledge last in April. His mother urged him to reconsider his recruitment.
“My mom really just wanted me to open things up, look at everything; the academic side of everything,” Robertson said.
That’s how Cal, Stanford and Notre Dame landed on Robertson’s official visit itinerary. In order to get Robertson back, Alabama may have to prove some academic prowess.
“(They need to) basically impress me on my official,” Robertson said. “I really want my mom to see everything, the business school and things like that.”
Robertson remains confident of Alabama’s ability on the football field. He predicted a three-touchdown victory over Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship.
Notre Dame has sold Robertson on the total package it can offer him.
“The academic side. Life after football,” Robertson listed as reasons Notre Dame has become a serious challenger in his recruitment. “They play great football up there with their coaching staff. They’re really a top contender for the playoff every year. They have a great academic staff too.”
On the field, the Irish see Robertson as a versatile playmaker at receiver. He was able to meet with former Notre Dame receiver Golden Tate while on his official visit and has drawn comparison to Will Fuller from the Irish coaching staff.
“It means a lot to me,” Robertson said of the Fuller comparison. “I wish he could stay another year so I could learn from him, but him going to the draft is perfect for him, a great decision for himself. I wish I could have learned from him, but I can come in and step in and play right off the bat.”
Following his senior season at Savannah (Ga.) Prep, Rivals rated Robertson as five-star recruit and the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2016 class. 247Sports pegs him as a four-star recruit and No. 56 overall.
What’s really hit home for Robertson is Notre Dame’s 4 for 40 pitch. Four years at Notre Dame is supposed to set you up for the next 40 years of your life, the pitch goes.
Robertson has less than a month to figure out if South Bend is indeed where he wants to spend those next four years.
“It’s a great school,” he said. “I can see myself there.”