Shocking or fitting? WR Demetris Robertson picks Cal

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

All signs seemed to be pointing Georgia’s way for Demetris Robertson’s commitment announcement.

The Bulldogs received the last of Robertson’s five official visits. A pair of Georgia coaches reportedly attended his track meet Saturday night. Even Georgia running back Sony Michel showed up to Robertson’s ceremony at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta on Sunday.

But the final sign, a painting done by the artistically inclined wide receiver, showed California had won the prolonged recruitment of the five-star prospect. Robertson unveiled his painting, which happened to be displayed initially upside-down, to inform Georgia and Notre Dame that he plans to be a Golden Bear.

“After prayer and careful consideration and deliberation,” Robertson said on stage in a broadcast carried live by Atlanta WXIA-TV, “I’ve decided to take my talents to the University of California, Berkeley.”

The announcement seemed equal parts fitting and shocking for the 6-foot, 175-pound senior from Savannah (Ga.) Christian Prep who flipped the recruiting process on its head. Instead of choosing a school on signing day, Robertson waited nearly three months to settle on a decision and forfeited his chance to sign a National Letter of Intent in the process.

The deadline to sign passed on April 1. Instead, Robertson opted to sign a financial aid agreement with Cal which reserves him a scholarship but does not prevent him from enrolling elsewhere.

Barton Simmons, director of scouting for 247Sports, labeled Robertson’s decision as the upset of the year.

“The support system that Cal Berkeley has and what that degree holds, they can take me to the next level where I want to be,” Robertson said on the broadcast. “I always told myself I’d rather have a million dollar business than a million dollar contract in the NFL or whatever I do like track or anything.”

Both 247Sports and Rivals pegged Robertson as the No. 1 wide receiver in the 2016 recruiting class.

Notre Dame, which hosted Robertson on an official visit in September for the season opener against Texas and sent the Irish football equipment truck to his home in January, made its recruiting pitch with academics and the success of former Irish wide receiver Will Fuller, who was drafted in the first round by the Houston Texans.

“The education was a big part of my decision,” Robertson said of Cal. “I wanted to keep that foundation. When I went there, it felt like home.”

Blount to UGA

While Georgia lost out on Robertson, the Bulldogs added another wide receiver recruit with serious Notre Dame interest. Trey Blount, a junior at Atlanta’s Pace Academy, announced his verbal commitment on Twitter.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound target visited Notre Dame with teammates Andrew Thomas and Jamaree Salyer in March for the Irish junior day. Following the visit he said he planned to make at least one more return trip to Notre Dame. The Irish will have a tougher time making that happen now.

Rivals rates Blount as a four-star recruit and the No. 48 wide receiver in the 2017 class. 247Sports slates him as a three-star prospect and No. 51 at the position.


Twitter: @TJamesNDI

Five-star wide receiver Demetris Robertson, a 2016 recruit, announced his commitment to California on May 1, 2016. (Photo courtesy of Rivals)