ATHENS — Georgia’s number 16 went in motion against Vanderbilt Saturday night, and when quarterback Jake Fromm took the snap and looked his way, a swing pass seemed imminent.
Could high-profile Cal transfer Demetris Robertson be on the verge of his first reception of the season for his home-state Bulldogs?
Alas, the whistle blew — a false start — and Fromm did not release the football to Robertson, whose jets were surely revved up with open field ahead of him.
Robertson, a 5-star prospect from Savannah Christian once rated the No. 1 receiver recruit in the nation, heads to LSU for a 3:30 p.m. Saturday game still in search of his first catch for the Bulldogs.
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Georgia coach Kirby Smart said at his Tuesday night press conference that it’s not a mater of Robertson being in the doghouse or not working hard.
“He’s competing his tail off, we’ll continue to try and use his strengths every way possible, but he’s working hard and doing the things we ask,” Smart said. “He gets in the game, too. He just hasn’t caught a ball in a while. It’s not like we say, ‘oh, throw him the ball.’ We call the play and the coverage dictates where the ball goes.”
The first time Robertson touched the ball this season he rocketed 72 yards for a touchdown in the opening game, which still stands as the longest run of the season.
But Robertson has touched the ball just twice (on handoffs) in the five games since then, most recently two weeks ago against Tennessee.
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Smart said last week that Robertson has been a major contributor in practices, and on Tuesday he was asked what the former FWAA Freshman All-American needed to do to be in position to make more contributions in the games.
“He’s got to out-compete the guys in front of him, he’s got to block, he’s got to know the plays and run them, he’s got to be better than the guys in front of him,” Smart said. “Look, y’all put all this hype and pressure on D-Rob, D-Rob practices hard each day. Y’all have made the kid where it’s like, ‘what’s wrong with D-Rob?’ D-Rob works to get better.
“D-Rob is in a receiver room full of guys that block, catch, run, play special teams, and he’s doing the same thing they are.”
Georgia senior Terry Godwin’s healthy return to the receiving corps could make things even tougher. Godwin, back from a knee and calf injury, hauled in a 75-yard pass against Vanderbilt.
It was precisely the kind of play Robertson is expected to make for the Bulldogs, eventually.