ATHENS — Let’s be clear about this. This a big deal. A very big deal. This could be a difference-maker for the Georgia Bulldogs. This season.
Demetris Robertson is a fully-certified Georgia Bulldog now. Unless you were scuba diving or some other such isolated activity, you’ve probably heard by now D-Rob is good to go. His hardship waiver application requesting immediate eligibility was approved by the NCAA on Friday. Therefore, Robertson will be immediately eligible to play for the Bulldogs this season.
And the Dawg Nation rejoiced.
Robertson has been practicing with the Bulldogs since transferring to UGA from the University of California on July 14. The Savannah native and former No. 1-rated wide receiver prospect in the nation signed with the Bears out of high school and played a season plus two games before deciding leave Berkeley and seek a transfer.
NCAA rules stipulate that an FBS transfer has to spend a “year in residence” at his new school before being granted eligibility to play. But there is a waiver process one can and Robertson applied for it via an unspecified “hardship.” Georgia spokesman Claude Felton confirmed late Friday afternoon that the Division I eligibility committee had approved Robertson’s application.
Robertson is a sophomore in eligibility thanks to a medical redshirt that was granted last season. So he will have three years of eligibility remaining to play with the Bulldogs.
So what does all this mean?
- It means that quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Justin Fields were doing some serious celebrating after practice Friday.
- It means the No. 4-ranked Bulldogs just landed the proven deep-threat wideout they have so desperately sought and missed on the last two years.
- It means Georgia has a six-receiver rotation that includes D-Rob, Terry Godwin, Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley, Jayson Stanley and Ahkil Crumpton. Of course, the Bulldogs can mix and match at their leisure, with Jeremiah “J.J.” Holloman, Trey Blount, Tommy Bush and so on.
- It means they’ll have some extra work to do reassuring 2019 -5-star commitments Dominick Blaylock and Jadon Haselwood stay committed.
- It means Georgia will be throwing the ball even more than we originally thought in 2018.
- It means even bigger running lanes for Georgia’s loaded offensive backfield.
- It means the Bulldogs will now field not only one of the best offenses in the SEC, but in the nation.
- It means those odds for Georgia’s odds of winning the national championship, which had actually gone down to 9/1 since last year’s title-game loss in January, might just improve again.
This doesn’t fix everything for the Bulldogs. This doesn’t win them any championships. They still have some weaknesses to shore up on defense and in the kicking game. But a good offense can certainly smooth over a lot of rough edges real fast.
Georgia averaged 35.4 points per game on offense last year after scoring just 24.5 a game in 2016. If the Bulldogs are indeed on track to make the improvements they were expected to make in 2018, Robertson’s addition might put the school record in jeopardy of 38.36 points a from 2014 (13 games).
Or not. Maybe I’m just getting caught up in the moment. I guess there’s a chance D-Rob’s unexpected presence in the rotation could create jealously or affect chemistry in the locker room. But based on the comments I’ve heard and attitudes I’ve seen reflected in Georgia’s camp so far, there seems to be genuine viewpoint of competition and survival of the fittest.
But that’s why Smart and the coaches get paid the big bucks. Suffice it to say that this is a better alternative to having D-Rob on your roster and not being able to use him.
Good for Robertson. Good for Georgia.