The two both had promising freshman seasons at PAC-12 schools, with Robertson turning heads at Cal, while Daniels did so at USC. Then the pair both had their sophomore seasons cut short by season-ending injuries.
For Daniels, it was an ACL injury. Robertson was slowed by a groin injury. From there, they both elected to transfer to Georgia and despite neither being graduate transfers both were granted immediate eligibility.
Robertson though didn’t make much of an impact in his first season at Georgia. Aside from a long touchdown run in the season-opener, he failed to come up with a catch on the season and he left many wondering why he didn’t make a bigger impact on the team.
“It was difficult,” Robertson said of his first year in Athens. “I took a couple of months off, so me being in shape… and how coach Smart and his standard of practicing and executing, I wasn’t up to par with that.”
While much was expected of Robertson, he also pointed out there was quite a bit of talent already in Athens and that the players in front of him had a good bit more of experience within the Georgia system. Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin were all wide receivers on Georgia’s 2018 roster who were selected in the 2019 NFL Draft.
In his second year in Athens, Robertson was more productive, finishing third on the team in receiving yards with 333. He also hauled in 30 passes and three touchdowns. Through the first two games of the season, Robertson has six catches for 39 yards.
Now in his third year in the program, Robertson does feel much more comfortable than when he first arrived.
“I feel great to be back home,” Robertson said. “With my people, with my Georgians. I feel great to be around my family, to be around coach (Kirby) Smart who recruited me at Alabama.
“I want to bring a championship here to Georgia for me and my teammates.”
Robertson initially made the move back to Georgia because he said his family needed him. It’s clear he feels more comfortable at home than he did in Berkley Calif.
Daniels conversely left his home of Irvine, Calif. to play at Georgia. But he hasn’t done so yet in part because of his injury and because of the more experienced quarterbacks in front of him.
The transfer quarterback was not cleared for game action until the Monday of the Auburn game. And he did not take a snap in that game against the Tigers, due to the play of Stetson Bennett, who is now in his third year playing for Smart.
Smart gave an update on Daniels and how he’s progressing on Wednesday.
“I get to see him every day,” Smart said. “I’ve seen him since he’s been here, he does a good job in practice and he’s practiced the whole time.”
Robertson and Daniels represent a growing trend of players who transfer from one Power 5 conference to antoher. The Bulldogs will face two high-profile examples in the coming weeks with the Bulldogs seeing Cade Mays suit up for Tennessee this weekend and then Brenton Cox when the Bulldogs play Florida.
Mays made the move to Tennessee to be closer to home, while Cox was looking for a fresh start. Mays’ story is closer to that of Robertson, while Cox mirrors Daniels.
When Robertson reflected back on his own journey to Georgia, he never thought he’d be one of the examples people point to as being a transfer who played right away.
He just wanted to do what was best for himself.
“I never looked at it that way because I want to be closer to my family and my family needed me,” Robertson said. “I never really thought of being a trailblazer. I’m glad student-athletes have the option to go where they wanted to go and be where they need to be.”
Robertson will have another year of eligibility due to changes made by the NCAA rules this year. He said he’ll make a decision on if he’ll come back at a later date. For now, he’s just focused on being a team player and helping his team win a national championship.
Demetris Robertson talks about his process of transferring to Georgia football program
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