Kirby Smart waits on Robertson, sells program to in-state recruits
No Demetris Robertson hasn’t made a commitment yet and who knows if/when he will. He might just show up at the school of his choice during the summer, or heck he might decide he loves the recruiting process so much he’ll wait another year.
Regardless of whether Robertson, the Class of 2016 five-star prospect, makes his decision this week, this month, this summer or next year, it’s been a win for Kirby Smart, who has the Bulldogs in the mix along with Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Cal and Alabama.
During the recruiting cycle of 2016 it was clear that Robertson wanted to go to Stanford. However, Robertson eliminated both Alabama and Stanford according to USA Today, although it appears more likely he never got the test score needed to gain admissions to Stanford since he never took a visit there. Robertson was also high on Notre Dame, but it’s uncertain how much Notre Dame is in the picture right now.
Robertson has signed financial grant-in aids with Georgia, Georgia Tech and Cal. Alabama appears to also still be in the mix by Robertson’s recent instagram post.
But Smart has used the momentum from Robertson not making a decision on signing day to help him with 2017 recruiting. The message Smart has to the top in-state prospects is simple: “I’m not going to let you say no to Georgia.”
He’s using a publicly aggressive approach to recruiting whereas Mark Richt often appeared laid back and wanted the players that “wanted to come to Athens.” Smart isn’t worried about whether Georgia is a prospect’s first choice as long as it’s their final choice. That’s how he’s flipped four-star quarterback Jake Fromm and four-star offensive lineman Netori Johnson from Alabama in the past two months.
With all eight of the 2017 commitments from Georgia coming from in-state prospects, it’s clear to tell where his focus is, but he also doesn’t want to see his program getting burned by in-state prospects.
Four years from now Smart doesn’t want to see Fromm and Robertson leading Alabama to yet another national title and the Bulldog fans wondering “how did we let those guys get away?”
Smart’s recruiting pitch to Robertson has been strong. Robertson and his family are clearly focused on academics first and life after football. Smart was able to appeal to that side of recruiting by providing data of the deep UGA alumni base and how many opportunities having a Georgia degree can provide for him in the city of Atlanta.
Whether Robertson chooses Georgia or goes in another direction, Smart is showing that he’s going to fight for prospects and he’s willing to wait for the ones that he believes will help Georgia win a championship.