Demetris Robertson is set to make his much-anticipated college decision on Sunday in the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
That will be of great interest because Robertson is the highest-rated unsigned prospect remaining in the Class of 2016, but also because he’s a five-star recruit rated as the nation’s No. 1 receiver in this signing class.
Which school is it going to be? Look for his decision to come from the following: UGA, Alabama, Cal, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Stanford.
Alabama and Stanford are seen as the outsiders in the race, but his older brother and legal guardian Carlos Robertson said to expect to see both of those hats on the table. Will it be UGA? DawgNation analyzed the reasons why he would stay in-state.
Which school will it be if not UGA? Let’s break down the other contenders:
Why Alabama: Carlos Robertson said that if this was simply a football decision, the Crimson Tide would be the choice and it would essentially be a no-brainer. Let’s remember that Robertson was committed to Alabama for almost a year before backing off that pledge last summer. The Crimson Tide also only signed two receivers in 2016 and they’re looking for the next great receiver after freshman Calvin Ridley.
Why it won’t be Alabama: Most of the recruiting industry has reported that the Crimson Tide haven’t been a contender for over a month now. When Robertson took his official visit to Alabama, he didn’t bring his mother or sister along. He also never signed a financial aid form with Alabama. Robertson did sign that agreement, which allowed for unlimited contact, with Cal, Georgia and Georgia Tech. Cal and Notre Dame have also visited Robertson over the last week. There have been no reported visits over the last two weeks from Alabama to see Robertson in Savannah.
Bottom line: The tea leaves all suggest that both parties have moved on.
Why Cal: Cal-Berkeley nails the academic priority for Robertson. His life as a student first will shape this decision and he has gained admission to Cal and taken an official visit to the school. Cal is rated No. 20 by U.S. News and World Report among national universities. Robertson, a talented artist, is definitely far removed from the typical jock culture. He’s interested in many walks of life and the California lifestyle would suit him. He also signed a financial aid agreement with Cal (he did the same with UGA and Georgia Tech), which allowed the school unlimited contact with him over the last few months.
Why it won’t be Cal: Location. The West Coast is very far away and the decision would definitely make it very hard for his family to visit during the season and watch him play. His twin sister Shanetris would not likely be able to attend Cal. The football program and gameday atmospheres also do not compare to what is offered at Alabama, UGA and Notre Dame, among others.
Bottom line: The trendy non-UGA pick at this time might indeed be the Golden Bears. He has always fancied Stanford as his dream school for its combination of degree and athletics. Cal would be the next best thing. That said, if he chooses to go to Cal-Berkley, it would still be a huge shock.
Why Tech: The academic angle comes into play here. Georgia Tech will offer him a fantastic education with its engineering program. The Yellow Jackets were also his first scholarship offer and he did take an official visit to see the campus. Robertson also signed a financial aid agreement with the Yellow Jackets. The program has actually felt pretty good about its chances with Robertson over the last month. Geography also plays a big role here as his family would be able to see him play often. Most of his family lives in the Atlanta area.
Why it won’t be Tech: The family issue also comes into play here. Would his sister be able to join him at Tech? He also doesn’t have the same relationship with Georgia Tech’s coaches as he does with those on the UGA staff. The football program continues to be solid, but it doesn’t have the momentum that’s in place at UGA at this time. Robertson also doesn’t know the incoming class at Tech as well as he does at Georgia. He also won’t be playing in a Pro-Style offense with an NFL arm like Eason like he would at UGA. Paul Johnson’s offense has never fed the ball to an elite receiver more than three or four times per game. That said, the program’s NFL legacy at receiver looks very good over the last 10 years.
Bottom line: This would be the biggest stunner if it was not UGA and a definite gut-punch to Bulldog fans. The thought of him at Cal or Notre Dame might make some sense (stellar degree) and they wouldn’t have to face Robertson in a rivalry game every year, too.
Why Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish check off a lot of the wish list. Stellar academics? Check. A different student-athlete experience? Check. A big-time football program that resembles SEC ball? Check. He’s also seen the school along an official visit. Notre Dame offers a great launch point for a future NFL playing career, too. He’d also be on national television every week for his family to keep up with his play. The Irish pulled off the most eye-catching stunt during his recruiting process by driving the team rig that moves the Irish on road trips to Savannah. Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock also came to see Robertson in Savannah this week.
Why not Notre Dame: Location is a big issue. If he chooses Notre Dame, that means he won’t be able to go to college with his twin sister Shanetris. He also never signed a financial aid agreement with the Irish. So that school has only made a verbal promise to have a scholarship waiting for him when he enrolls in the summer. It just seems like he also doesn’t know the coaches or players at Notre Dame as well as he does their peers at UGA.
Bottom line: The Fighting Irish seem like the primary challenger to UGA along with Cal.
Why Stanford: Roberston has called it his dream school, as the program offers the best chance to succeed in the academic realm with a top-tier degree. The Cardinal has also played some very good football lately. This opportunity would be the best of both worlds for him. The reason he’s waited so long to decide is that he was attempting to raise his SAT score some 100 points to qualify for admission to Stanford. The latest information we have is that he was still just shy of qualifying for admittance.
Why it won’t be Stanford: There’s that rather substantial matter of qualifying. Stanford athletes must be admitted before they can take an official visit and the five-star prospect has never been to Stanford. That’s a pretty big element there. The scores are also not back from Robertson’s last SAT exam in March yet. That means he’d be picking a school which hasn’t even offered him a scholarship he can commit to yet.
Bottom line: Robertson is an extremely sharp kid. It doesn’t seem logical for him to commit to a school he has not been admitted to on Sunday.
Robertson countdown on DawgNation:
Check out the D-Rob 101 stories of note we feel might be of interest:
- Robertson’s coach: “People who complain about him stringing things along need to get a life”
- Will the nation’s No. 1 receiver commit to Kirby Smart again?
- Robertson moves up his decision date
- Robertson sets his decision date
- Kirby Smart reveals his sales pitch to Demetris Robertson
- 14 new elements to the Robertson decision after his official visit
- Sentell: What’s really going on with Demetris Robertson?
- What’s the new timeline for UGA with Demetris Robertson?
- A fan asks Smart: Are we going to get Demetris Robertson?
- Robertson signs his financial aid papers with UGA
- Robertson says Jacob Eason is recruiting him well
- Notre Dame trumps UGA, others with a recruiting gimmick for Demetris Robertson
- Expect race for nation’s No. 1 receiver to go well past National Signing Day
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.