It's unusual for a freshman to play much on the high school level, but not only did Oni play but he started 21 games at second base. The benefits of that playing time really paid off in a big way his sophomore season.
"Playing a lot as a freshman helped me get used to the rest of the team and helped me prepare because I really didn't know what to expect from high school ball," said Robertson, who led his team in fielding as a freshman. "It allowed me to also adjust to high school pitching."
And his sophomore stats back up his statement about the pitching because he hit .389 with 2 home runs and 24 RBI. Those numbers helped him earn first-team All-District 7-4A, an unusual achievement for a sophomore. And he did all this while adjusting to a new position, the outfield.
He also gives a great deal of credit for his improved hitting to a former LSU and pro baseball player, Brad Cresse.
"Something that really helped my hitting was working with Brad Cresse," said Robertson. "He has been there and done well from the high school level to the college level and even on the pro level. I had some bad hitting habits coming into high school ball and he helped me get rid of those habits. What he taught me helped me become comfortable with my swing."
Another aspect of his game that he feels comfortable with is being a leader. Despite being a junior this coming season he knows being a leader will be expected of him.
"I should be pretty comfortable in a leadership role because I'm comfortable being vocal," said the 5-10, 152-pounder. "I was pretty vocal in the dugout last year. I feel like I can be the man for the job."
Already looking toward next season, he sees a good defensive team that should be able to hit. The only question mark could be the pitching.
"Next year's team should be good defensively, and as a team we've had a good summer hitting the ball," said Robertson, who is playing second base again while hitting .455 for his high school team this summer. "The key for us will be our pitching depth. We only return two guys who started a game last year, Greg Carlin and myself."
As you would expect from a youngster who excelled on the baseball diamond his sophomore season, college coaches have started taking notice. So far, seven colleges have expressed an interest in him. And camp invitations are fast becoming the norm for Oni.
"I've been to two camps at Southeastern Louisiana, one my freshman year and one my sophomore year and they've shown a little interest in me," said Robertson. "Centenary has also sent me a couple of things. My dad was covering a camp at (the University of Louisiana) and after the camp I got to meet a couple of their baseball coaches. (Mississippi) State has sent me a couple of things. I've been to their camp and hope to go back to one later this summer. The University of San Francisco sent me an invite to a showcase of theirs which will be in August. Southern Miss also invited me to a prospect showcase they are having. I hope to be able to attend it. Alabama State also sent an email to my dad inviting me to come to their camp."
Although open to all colleges, he does have a few colleges that he has strong interest in.
"I've grown up a (Mississippi State) Bulldog fan," said Robertson. "It's been my dream to play there. I even went to a camp there a couple of summers ago and got to meet Coach (John) Cohen and Coach Nick Mingione. I also like Southern Miss and would go there if they offer. That's where my dad went to school. I was actually born in Hattiesburg and liked it there. (University of Louisiana) and Southeastern (Louisiana) have shown interest in me and both are close to home. I like that because wherever I go I want to be close enough so my parents can come see me play."
Don't be surprised to see Robertson's recruiting pick up even more because he has been invited to the very prestigious Perfect Game 2011 Southeast Underclass Showcase. The showcase has produced a large number of college and pro players.
And, as you would expect, Oni is excited to be invited to the event.
"It's a big deal and I'm honored to be invited to it." said Oni. "My dad and I looked it up on the internet and read all about it. We saw names of some of the kids who have played in it and some of them have gone on to play in the pros. I hope it will help me get my name out there and, hopefully, help me receive interest from colleges."
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.