Kirby Smart is rooting for deja vu on Sunday. So would the rest of DawgNation.
That’s because Demetris Robertson will make his long-awaited commitment to somewhere on Sunday at the College Football Hall of Fame. Robertson, the nation’s top-rated receiver for 2016, is the lone unsigned five-star recruit for this year’s class.
Smart and assistant coach Glenn Schumann hopes it will feel a lot like the last time Robertson made a commitment. That’s when the Savannah (Ga.) Christian standout was just a sophomore. He made the decision to commit to Alabama and kept that pledge for almost a year.
The five-star prospect committed to Smart then, too. That’s when Smart was the defensive coordinator at Alabama and Schumann was a key member of the support staff.
Robertson’s older brother and legal guardian Carlos Robertson also made another important point clear with DawgNation: Georgia is the in-state school, but he admitted that the program would not have as strong a shot to land his younger brother if not for Schumann and Smart.
“Oh definitely,” he said. “We’ve been knowing those guys for more than a minute. By knowing those guys it was a plus. He actually committed to Kirby sophomore year. He gave Coach Kirby and Coach Schumann the word then. His relationship has been kind of tight with those guys for awhile. I think that kind of curtailed everything back towards Georgia with those guys showing up. You can say that about those guys being a big plus for Georgia down the line here. You can really say that. That’s a very fair statement to say.”
He also indicated that the chances of him wearing red and black this year would not have been as strong if the previous coaching staff was still in place.
“You can kind of say that,” Robertson said. “You could say that. Georgia would probably still be considered right now, but it wouldn’t be as strong.”
Robertson also confirmed his younger brother only signed non-binding financial aid forms with UGA, Cal and Georgia Tech leading up to this decision. He did not sign those forms with Notre Dame.
That said, the Irish are seen as a legitimate contender for Robertson. They might even be the team most likely to garner his commitment outside of UGA. Robertson said he’s gotten every indication that Notre Dame is still holding a scholarship for him in their Class of 2016 regardless.
Other schools have had the benefit of unlimited contact with Robertson, but that didn’t stop Notre Dame associate head coach/wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock from coming to Savannah for a visit this week.
Carlos Robertson said Cal receivers coach Jacob Peeler also visited this week. The UGA visit was not set at the time of his comments with DawgNation. Robertson will be at nearby North Oconee High (Bogart, Ga.) on Saturday for a regional track meet. That presents the opportunity for a horde of UGA coaches to attend.
What’s set for Sunday with Robertson? According to his older brother, he will give a speech and then announce his commitment. He did not know if Demetris had anything else up his sleeve aside from that as of yet.
Does the family know his decision yet?
“Not really,” Carlos Robertson said. “It is one of those things where he is kind of keeping it close to the vest or whatever. It is probably not that, but he has to be 100 percent solidified. He is maybe 90 to 95 percent solidified, but he has to be 100 percent solidified before he pretty much has to start letting it out there yet. … Going off that 90 to 95 percent thing now, I can’t say that I am 100 percent where he is going to go because it is not my decision but I pretty much have an idea where he is going to go.”
That also means the school doesn’t know yet. The plan is to clue them in on his choice over the weekend.
Carlos Robertson also said that “Stanford was still pretty much in the mix of things” with Demetris. That’s even though he won’t have his SAT score back from the time he last took the test, hoping to goose his score in order to qualify for admission.
“He hasn’t gotten the scores back yet but you might find a hat out there (on the table) or something,” Carlos Robertson said, who also feels that Alabama is still in it, too.
Demetris’ older brother made this clear: This will be the finish line even though the commitment Robertson is set to make on Sunday will be non-binding. He won’t be able to sign a letter-of-intent afterward. That deadline passed on April 1.
“When he commits, that is where he is going to go,” Carlos Robertson said.
Bear in mind that Demetris also will run track for the college program he chooses on Sunday, too.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges. Unless otherwise indicated, player rankings and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.