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Robertson Rising for UGA

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Ready for his reintroduction is a former Freshman All-American who starred for Cal back in 2016 in Demetris Robertson.

At first glance, at least, there are some questions for Georgia out wide. The Bulldogs return just one of their top five-pass catchers from a year ago and must replace 130 receptions, 1,905 yards and 22 touchdowns in the collective production of receivers Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman and Terry Godwin, along with tight end Isaac Nauta, last season. All four players are expected to be selected in the 2019 NFL Draft. Though talent abounds, there isn't much returning production from last fall outside of Jeremiah Holloman.

Ready for his reintroduction, however, is a former Freshman All-American who starred for Cal back in 2016 in Demetris Robertson.

The Savannah-native was one of college football's top young playmakers not long ago, bursting onto the national scene as a heralded five-star recruit with 50 receptions, 767 yards and seven touchdowns, adding 202 kickoff return yards. Robertson is one of just seven Power Five freshmen this millennium with at least 50 catches, 750 receiving yards, seven scores and 200 kick return yards; the others are Earl Bennett, Tyler Boyd, Christian Kirk, Marqise Lee, Jeremy Maclin and Rondale Moore.

With the Golden Bears, Robertson broke freshmen receiving records for receptions and yards previously held by NFL stars Keenan Allen and DeSean Jackson. Robertson promptly entered his sophomore year on the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's top receiver, and was ranked by NFL.com as one of college football's fastest receivers. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending injury in game and received a medical redshirt, instead. A transfer to Georgia was ultimately the end result.   

Robertson's return to his home state was like hitting the reset button, with the star playmaker, still not fully healthy, starting over as a newcomer on stacked depth chart. While Robertson didn't catch a pass last season, he still showed off his ability. Robertson, after all, is always mere moments away from a highlight. On his very first touch as a Bulldog, Robertson took a handoff 72 yards for a touchdown in the opener against Austin Peay. Get ready for more of the same.

This spring, Robertson has been a clear standout at Georgia practices. Praise from head coach Kirby Smart and more media coverage has followed. Robertson has been one of the team's most hyped players entering the G-Day Game later this month and expectations are that the dynamic coastal empire product will be a big-play threat for the Bulldogs in the fall. A fluid, natural athlete, Robertson plays with a polish that comes with consistency; he had at least one grab in each of his 14 games at Cal. 

With quarterback Jake Fromm looking for new options downfield, Robertson stands as one of the most talented receivers in the entire SEC.

The ways that Robertson could boost Georgia's offense under new coordinator James Coley are essentially endless. He averaged over 15 yards per reception as a freshman at Cal, tying the likes of current pros Corey Davis, John Ross and James Washington with five catches of 50 yards or more, one of the highest totals in the country. Effective in the redzone, Robertson led all P5 freshman with seven touchdown grabs in 2016. He, after rushing for 1,043 yards on just 107 carries as a senior in high school, is averaging 24.8 yards per rush as a collegiate. 

Also competing in track for the Golden Bears and earning honorable mention academic All-Pac 12 honors, there is a lot to like with Robertson. His aforementioned freshman production out west, 50 catches for 767 yards, would be Georgia's highest totals since Malcolm Mitchell in 2015. With Robertson in the mix, the Bulldogs have more returning talent on the perimeter than initially meets the eye. The timing is now right for him to pick up at Georgia where he left off at Cal. 

A high-profile transfer with unlimited potential, Robertson, grabbing headlines early in his second season back in the Peach State, is the type of talent capable of helping Georgia challenge for a berth in College Football Playoff and a national championship. He and Holloman, along with Miami graduate transfer Lawrence Cager and others, have the ability to headline a new-look, and quite dynamic, wide receiver rotation for the Bulldogs.   

With experience in the system in Athens, Robertson is a player to watch nationally. Already with a breakout season, he is next poised for a banner year.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports