ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has allowed transfer Demetris Robertson to talk publicly this week, permitting him to take part in a school video featuring the Bulldogs’ receivers.
“I feel like the room is a family,” said Robertson, who transferred back to his home-state school after winning FWAA Freshman All-American honors at Cal before an injured derailed the start of his sophomore season.
“Coach (Cortez) Hankton shows the way, he’s the leader of the room, he shows us how to be men, how to be good football players,” Robertson said. “He doesn’t take it lightly on us in practice, he gets on us in practice if we mess up, it doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or senior or a veteran he expects us to play at that high standard.”
Robertson caught 9 passes in a game against USC two years ago, but he has yet to catch even one pass this season for No. 5-ranked Georgia (10-1) as it marches into its regular-season finale against Georgia Tech (7-4) at noon Saturday at Sanford Stadium.
The speedy Robertson, a redshirt sophomore who many expected to be an impact player, opened the season with a 72-yard touchdown run in the opening game against Austin Peay.
Since the opening game, Robertson has three carries for 37 yards and two dropped passes — juggling a ball out of bounds in the 36-16 loss at LSU, and allowing what would have been a 33-yard touchdown pass from Justin Fields against UMass to go through his hands in the end zone.
To date, 18 players have caught a pass this season for the Bulldogs, including nine receivers. But Robertson has only been thrown to twice.
Several Georgia receivers have emerged under Hankton this season, most notably Jeremiah Holloman and Tyler Simmons.
But Hankton has yet to get the best out of Robertson, who had 50 catches for 767 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman at Cal after coming out of Savannah Christian.
Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart weighed in on Robertson following the 66-27 win over UMass, explaining the high expectations placed on the former 5-star and Freshman All-American were “outrageous.”
“He had a good week of practice, he had some high GPS numbers coming off the break he’s had where he wasn’t practicing when he was injured,” Smart said, referring to the three games Robertson missed on account of what was widely reported to be a concussion.
“He was running really fast so we thought it would be a good game for him to get involved and do some things,” Smart said. “He continues to work, he works really hard, he had the bomb, and then he had the speed sweep, and he was in on some other plays.”
Smart indicated earlier in the season that Robertson’s late arrival to Georgia — he missed spring drills — put him behind returning players in terms of conditioning and strength.
Smart made it clear he likes the direction Robertson’s season is heading, even if it has been quiet from a statistical standpoint.
“D-Rob is a hard worker, guys,” Smart said. “He keeps working and getting better. He’s in a talented room, and I’m glad D-Rob is on our team, he’s a great kid that works hard every day. The expectations some of you guys have or fans may be outrageous, but D-Rob is a great kid that works hard every day.”
“Whenever we’re on the field, we know it’s go time. We honor that and respect that. We know that those are things that are going to separate us from other teams.”
— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) November 17, 2018
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