Just days after California saw quarterback Jared Goff go No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft, the current Golden Bears got their top overall pick, as the final 2016 five-star pledged to take his talents to Berkeley.
After signing financial aid agreements with Georgia, Georgia Tech and California, the last remaining 2016 five-star, Demetris Robertson, in a ceremony at Savannah Christian, officially declared his intention to enroll at Cal.
"After prayer, careful consideration and deliberation, I've decided to take my talents to the University of California, Berkeley," Robertson said, unveiling a Cal painting. "Education was a big part of my decision. When I went there, it felt like home. Me and the coaching staff have a great relationship. I felt like home. That's what I felt was the best thing for me. I'm going to be homesick, but I'll get over it. I want to do the best thing for me and my family. I know what my future holds, and I know what I want for my life.
"I always told myself I'd rather have a million-dollar business than a million-dollar contract in the NFL," Robertson said, citing Cal's education and degree as the main reasons for his decision.
"He's an outstanding football player and an outstanding young man, who has a very clear vision of where he wants to go in the world," head coach Sonny Dykes said.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1666036-cal-lands-final-pi... Since the period for signing a National Letter of Intent has passed (Feb. 3-April 1), Robertson cannot sign anything binding, but can only give his word that he will enroll, as he did on Sunday morning.
"Cal is a great place, and he's been out there, and he likes it," said Robertson's older brother and guardian, Carlos. "It's a great fit, academically, also. That's something that he's looking for, plus, California, man, great weather and all that stuff. It appeals to him."
The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder visited Cal by himself in October, and would come in as an outside receiver, but Robertson can play both ways, and said that he'd play corner on second and third down, but would mainly stay on offense, and lend his 4.54 speed and quick first step to returning punts and kicks.
"I think he's a freak athlete, but he never really cared too much about the position he was recruited as," Dykes said. "He can play on either side of the ball. He's certainly a special playmaker on offense. He can do some pretty impressive things when he gets his hands on the football, but we also think he can be a lock-down corner, as well. We'll get him here, see how he picks up everything and figure out the place where he wants to play, and where he can best help our football team ... We don’t want to make him a jack of all trades and a master of none, but he is such a good athlete, he’s certainly capable of doing a lot.”
Cal of course lost its six most productive receivers from last season, as well as starting corner Darius White, with Darius Allensworth going down for much of spring with an ankle injury. Though Allensworth looks to be healthy, the Bears will not have the services of safety Damariay Drew, so the defensive backfield could be thin, no matter what.
The last five-star prospect Cal landed was then-safety Keenan Allen. Of course, Allen turned into the most prolific pass catcher in Cal football history.
Adding Robertson on the outside gives the Bears two U.S. Army All-Americans at the skill positions -- the other being spring game star Melquise Stovall.
"I was talking with my family, seeing what I wanted to do," said Robertson, who made his decision two weeks ago, long after every other major 2016 recruit had signed. "My relationship with the coaches was great, but it was me, what I felt, where I wanted to be," Robertson said. "The staff, how they want me to come in and play, I'm going to have to work for it."
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1635274-membership-sale-6-... Robertson said that he wants to be the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, and that he made his decision two weeks ago.
"There's a lot of pressure," Robertson said, "but I feel a lot of love."
“Demetris is an outstanding young man who wants to be challenged academically and believes that Cal is a great fit for him,” Dykes said. “We’re really excited about getting Demetris into the University of California and our football program. He’s a great fit for us with very high academics. He wants to achieve at a high level in the classroom. The great academics at Cal and the improvement of our program along with our West Coast location attracted him. He wanted to achieve some very specific things outside of football and he felt like he could do that at Cal better than anywhere else. We’re looking forward to his contributions on and off the field. He’s going to be a great ambassador for our program.”
The commitment of Robertson gives the Bears two young game-breakers for whoever wins the starting quarterback job, with Texas Tech transfer Davis Webb still ostensibly committed to Colorado -- telling the Buffaloes coaching staff that he'll be there in the fall, sources said -- but also still a possibility to land in Berkeley. Dykes alluded to that -- though not overtly -- when he said that there was "more good news coming soon," during a mid-day conference call. When asked to what he was referring, Dykes demurred and said that it was a general statement, aimed at the 2017 class and the program's improving culture.
Last season, Robertson tallied 107 carries for 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns, with four 100+ yard games, while also catching 12 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown. He added 149 kick return yards on four kickoffs, and 145 punt return yards on 10 punts, averaging 121.9 all-purpose yards per game. On defense, as a safety, he posted 41 tackles, two interceptions and one pass deflection.
Robertson also played four seasons of high school basketball, averaging 12.0 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game over 76 contests, and is an elite track and field athlete. Robertson was the Savannah Morning News Track & Field Athlete of the Year as a 2015 junior, winning the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump at the GHSA State Class A Private Track & Field Meet.
Robertson's twin sister also runs track, and plans to move out to California and attend a junior college until she can transfer in to Berkeley.
"He is a top athlete who could project as a free safety, wide receiver or slot on the next level," said analyst Chad Simmons. "His hands are a real strength and he is consistent there and has shown he can make the tough catches. Not elite top-end speed, but good release off the ball, quick and subtle moves when he gets the ball, and a real weapon on the offensive side. Robertson loves to compete and he goes hard at all times."
One of the reasons that Robertson signed financial aid agreements with all three teams was to be allowed unfettered and unlimited access to the coaching staffs, and it was that extra time that allowed Robertson to develop a deep relationship with the Bears' staff.
"Coach [Jacob] Peeler, he's been in contact with us, he's very consistent and he's done a lot," Carlos Robertson said. "Coach Dykes, they've been real consistent with him. They talk often. They came on real strong."
The signing of the financial aid agreement allowed Peeler and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital to go down and visit Robertson multiple times over the last two months.
“You’ve got to give Jacob Peeler a lot of credit for staying with Demetris,” Dykes added. “It was an unusual recruiting process and Jacob just hung in there and showed a lot of patience. It certainly gives us some credibility from a recruiting standpoint to get the No. 1 player in the state of Georgia and one of the top 10 players in the country. It shows were we are headed in terms of recruiting.”