For the second year in a row a Top 50 football recruit from the state of Georgia waited until after National Signing Day to make a decision on attending a college. In 2015, Roquan Smith waited a week after NSD to commit to Georgia and chose to decline signing a Letter of Intent in favor of showing up in Athens on June 1st for summer classes/team workouts.
Demetris Robertson appears to be finally winding down his decision process and seems to be following in similar footsteps as Smith, at least in terms of the end game. How Robertson has arrived at this moment has been a sight to behold.
Here now, is the timeline of events of Robertson's recruitment.
February 15- Visits Florida.
February 23- Visits South Carolina.
June 8- Visits Georgia.
September 14- Visits Georgia.
December 2- Visits Florida State.
February 1- Visits Alabama.
April 8- Offered scholarship by Notre Dame.
April 12- Visits Clemson.
April 19- Visits Auburn.
July 15- Verbally commits to Alabama.
July 18- Visits Georgia.
July 19- Visits Auburn.
August 18- Transfers from Savannah Country Day to Savannah Christian.
August 21- Ruled ineligible for 2014 athletics by Georgia High School Association. Family files suit.
August 30- Visits Georgia.
October 18- Visits Florida State.
October 21- Ruled eligible by Georgia High School Association Appeal Board after final hardship appeal is heard.
November 12- Robertson says there's a "very high chance" that he goes to the same college as twin sister Shanetris.
November 15- Visits Georgia.
January 2- Attends Under Armour Elite 50 camp.
January 31- Visits Alabama.
March 1- Attends Nike Regional Camp in Orlando.
March 20- Offered scholarship by Stanford.
March 24- Names top three of Alabama, Stanford, and Georgia.
April 12- Attends Charlotte Rivals camp, mentions Stanford as his No. 2 school.
April 13- Schedules Notre Dame and Stanford summer visits, later cancels trips.
April 17- Decommits from Alabama.
April 23- Brother Carlos says Stanford offer opened Demetris' eyes; Not signing a Letter of Intent first mentioned.
May 15- Visits Georgia.
May 22- Visited by Brian VanGorder, states he'll attend Irish Invasion, later cancels trip.
May 23- Earns MVP at Football University camp.
June 5- Participates in Rivals 5-Star Challenge.
June 7- Plans to visit USC, later cancels trip.
June 12- Visits Alabama.
June 30- Plans to visit Stanford, later cancels trip.
July 7- Names top two of Stanford and Alabama.
July 8- Participates in Nike's The Opening.
July 16- States that Stanford and Notre Dame will get official visits.
July 17- Visits Alabama.
July 18- Visits Georgia.
July 23- Visits Florida.
August 28- May not take Notre Dame official visit for Texas game, could return later with sister.
September 5- Official visit to Notre Dame, comes by himself.
September 8- Reports that Notre Dame may lead, Robertson may return to campus for USC game or banquet.
September 23- States Stanford leads with Alabama, Notre Dame, and Georgia tied in 2nd place.
October 3- Official visit to California.
October 22- Visited by Scott Booker.
November 5- Schedules visit to Ohio State for MSU game, later cancels trip.
November 7- Visits Alabama.
November 12- States he'll visit Notre Dame for awards banquet, later cancels trip.
November 21- Visits Georgia.
January 4- Tells media he'd like to visit Alabama, Notre Dame, Georgia, and Stanford.
January 5- States twin sister will be attending Alabama A&M.
January 9- Attends U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio.
January 14- Visited by Mike Denbrock.
January 18- Brian Kelly and staff use in-home visit.
January 20- Confusion whether he'll take official visit to Alabama or re-take SAT in upcoming weekend.
January 21- Reports gain steam that Robertson may make decision past National Signing Day.
January 22- Cancels Alabama visit, re-takes SAT test.
January 27- Schedules post-Signing Day visit to Georgia, names Stanford his leader.
January 28- Notre Dame coaches show up to his school with equipment truck.
January 30- Official visit to Georgia Tech.
January 31- Cancels re-scheduled visit to Alabama.
February 1- States he will not sign a Letter of Intent, may just show up at school of choice in June.
February 2- Letters of intent sent by Irish, California, Georgia Tech.
February 3- States he is waiting for his SAT score on the 11th to visit Stanford.
February 8- Cancels weekend visit to Georgia.
February 10- States in interview he has not applied yet to Stanford.
February 11- Cancels weekend visit to Georgia.
February 20- States he would like to run track in college.
February 22- Does not publicize SAT results, states he'll visit Stanford, later cancels visit.
February 26- Official visit to Alabama.
March 2- It becomes public that his sister did not enroll early at Alabama A&M
March 5- Takes the SAT again.
March 8- Signs grant-in-aid paperwork with California and Georgia Tech.
March 19- Official visit to Georgia.
March 20- Signs grant-in-aid paperwork with Georgia.
March 22- Carlos states they plan to visit Notre Dame, later cancels trip.
April 7- Request to have May 10th SAT results expedited early denied, Carlos states Alabama and Stanford have been eliminated and a decision on a school coming within 2 weeks.
This by no means is an exhaustive list and who knows how much more will be added in the future. However, one thing it does show is how long of a process this is for elite recruits. Here are a few more thoughts on the wildest recruitment of 2016:
As things stand today Georgia is the favorite to land Robertson. Going back through the years of news it makes a lot of sense. He's visited Athens 9 times and it was clear prior to last summer that Georgia was Demetris' favorite school. Even as an Alabama commit he talked a ton about the Dawgs and Athens was his first visit after leaving Alabama's class. The firing of Mark Richt clearly didn't help but it appears Georgia will be able to overcome that loss.
The Stanford aspect to this will never make sense. For two years there was no mention of the Cardinal or even of academics being a huge priority. Then that offer in late spring became a game changer. But they never followed through with an unofficial visit which is understandable considering the distance. Still, all Stanford insiders were adamant for the past year that the Cardinal coaching staff weren't pushing for Robertson because he couldn't gain admission in Palo Alto.
For most recruits seemingly this would mean moving on from Stanford but not Robertson. For a while--especially back in January leading up to Signing Day--this was seen as an endearing quality. That was back when some thought he was just trying to follow a dream and if it didn't work out he'd pick Notre Dame. "Can't fault him for that" many said. Turns out things were a little more complicated than that.
Stanford's involvement here will forever be a mystery. In modern times they've always made a yes or no admissions decision for football players in January. Robertson never visited Palo Alto, the Stanford coaches never visited him, but somehow he received an exemption from the school's normal admissions policy timeline? And why, after everything Robertson went through, did he waste a final official visit before hearing back on his last SAT score? Why did he wait this long to get into Stanford only to request an expedited SAT score and give up on that goal? It makes so little sense.
From the Notre Dame angle there was a lot of talk going back to the fall that Notre Dame was in a great position based primarily on the fact that Robertson wasn't visiting the likes of Georgia and Alabama and he was making an "academic" decision. When you look at the big picture you realize how silly that was for us--especially considering Robertson came to South Bend by himself. Always follow what a recruit does and not what he says.
I don't know how serious Robertson truly wants to take academics in college and I won't criticize him for ultimately choosing in-state Georgia if that's what happens. I've always been more concerned about the amount of red flags involved with this recruitment. I can't comment on how academically brilliant this young man is but there is something to be said for being smart enough to be real about the future. For example, in recent months Robertson has been saying he want to major, not only in engineering, but business as well. It's incredibly difficult to major in engineering as a football player--pulling off that double major is nearly impossible.
Additionally, the vast majority of academic-first football recruits have their stuff in order well before Signing Day. Many of them enroll early. Others still have gone through their personal checklist many times over and are supremely comfortable making a decision prior to finishing their final year of high school football. Robertson attended nearly every football camp possible. Look at all the visits he made even before his senior season. And yet, by January of this year it was as if they were starting from scratch in some instances.
It's stuff like that which makes me suspicious. So did a family situation without a father, a mother living away in Atlanta, and an older brother running major aspects to the recruitment. In fact, at times it's been difficult to suss out whether some of the talk coming from the recruit's end of things is from the mind of Demetris or his brother. Add in things like wanting to go to the same school as his twin sister, suddenly talking about running track in college, and an absurd amount of cancelled visits and this doesn't seem like it's a situation that would ever work out for the Fighting Irish.