Aiming to be King of Kings

Receiver Demarcus Robinson looks to add his mark at Peach County High -- a program already steeped in football tradition.

FORT VALLEY, Ga. – The bangs and clangs of the weight room, accompanied by the screaming and hollering of a large, stout-looking coach spurning the Peach County football team through each lift provide noise in the background.

A photograph shoot and an interview has "forced" star receiver Demarcus Robinson to miss the session. He laughs about missing the tough work, but he'll be making it up, one way or another.

"They push us hard," the 6-2, 195-pound rising senior says. "They push us hard to be the best. We've got to be the best."

In terms of in-state receivers, Robinson, or ‘Bud' as the locals call him, is the best. A four-star recruit, Robinson led the Trojans to the state semi-finals as a sophomore in 2010, losing a close game to Sandy Creek. Last season the team reached the championship game, but fell to Burke County 28-14.

At Peach County, winners of three state titles since 2005, anything less than winning it all feels like failure.

"It's not a good year unless you go (all the way)," Robinson said. "Peach County has a lot of pride."

The Robinson namesake is a big part of that pride and tradition. Robinson's uncle, Marcus, was an All-American receiver and safety at Peach. He starred at South Carolina and played nine seasons in the NFL, most notably for the Bears and Vikings.

"I grew up around a football family," Demarcus said. "I watched my uncle play at South Carolina. I went to some of the games – I just don't remember it. I went to some NFL games, too."

Sports came naturally for Robinson at an early age. He remembers racing his cousins barefoot on concrete and gravel driveways. And he remembers where he was first introduced to football.

"I just grow up playing football in the front yard," he said. "Throw ‘em up, bust ‘em up," he says of the way he and his cousins played.

Robinson moved around as a kid. He went to Peach County for elementary school before heading to Perry (about a 30 minute drive south on US-341) in the sixth grade. He didn't play sports until the eighth grade, but it didn't take long for him to assert himself as one of the best athletes in the area.

To see more Demarcus Robinson photos click the image above.
(Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

"I played quarterback, and we won the middle school championship," he said.

He moved back to Peach County for high school, and by his sophomore year had established himself as a recruit college coaches wanted.

Soon Georgia, Alabama, Florida and schools from as far away as Oregon were offering a scholarship and trying to get Robinson on campus for a visit.

The whole process was overwhelming at first, but soon turned into a fun experience.

During his sophomore year he visited Alabama for the LSU game. Fans of the Crimson Tide shouted his name from the stands and one co-ed, thinking Robinson was already on the team, approached for an autograph.

"I told her I was going to go Alabama," he said laughing. "I said, ‘I'll see you when I get here. I'll be here in like four years though.'"

Robinson solidified himself as a big-time recruit during his junior year. He caught 53 passes for 1,024 yards and scored 15 total touchdowns.

Discussing this success brings out the self-centered stereotypical receiver.

When does he know he has the cornerback defending him beat?

"Soon as I line up. I'm always getting it," he said.

Remember, his teammates were toiling away while Robinson was being given the Hollywood treatment.

But what he says next changes the direction from diva to devoted teammate.

"No, I love for the team to get the ball," he said. "I like to block. I'd rather block. I don't know. I like for other people to show they can do something too."

He loves touchdowns, but Robinson claims he'd rather deal out a crushing block than make a pedestrian catch.

"When you knock ‘em out, the crowd gets hyped," he said. "They go ‘Ohhhhh, ahhhhhh.' Yeah."

Truthfully, Robinson's favorite sport isn't football. He's in love with basketball, and he's plenty good on the hardwood, too. A Youtube search provides as many videos of Robinson dunking as there are of him on the football field.

Playing hoops is good for staying in shape and jumping, but Robinson acknowledges, "I like basketball more, but I'm better at football."

That seems to be the case for everybody at Peach County High, where football is king. A wall in the weight room has a line of framed 8x10 photos of every player that went on to play in college. Uncle Marcus is up there. So is Jacquez Green, who starred at Florida. Darius Dewberry. Chris Slaughter. Antonio Henton. And on and on.

Demarcus wants to be on that wall one day. And he wants to win a state championship this season.

"We've got to go," he said. "We're going. I think we're going to be real good."

That won't be settled until this December. In the meantime, Robinson will immerse himself in that Peach County tradition. He goes to the park every Sunday where former and current Trojans meet up. Slaughter, who played at Auburn, and Henton, who played at Georgia Southern, are usually there.

"Everybody goes out there on Sunday and plays basketball, soccer, football – everything," Robinson said.

These Sunday sessions and talking about his uncle and the days of old at Peach County High are important to Robinson. And so is making up that missed workout.

"We just know we've got to maintain," he said. "Do what everybody else been doing. Keep it going."

Dawg Post Top Stories