Nation’s No. 1 athlete says Florida coach reminds him of Nick Saban

Savannah's Demetris Robertson liked what  he saw along a recent visit to UF (Randy Schafer / Special to the AJC)

Savannah’s Demetris Robertson liked what he saw at Florida (Randy Schafer / Special to the AJC)

Demetris Robertson recently told the AJC that Stanford was his top school followed by Alabama and UGA in a deadlock as his No. 2.

A recent visit to Florida for “Friday Night Lights” didn’t do anything to change the nation’s top-rated athlete’s thinking when it came to those schools, but it did add a new contender to the discussion.

Robertson said he had a great visit to Gainesville and that he came away clearly impressed by first-year Florida coach Jim McElwain.

“Coach Mac is a great man who has got it going in the right direction,” Robertson told the AJC. “(He) reminds me a lot of (Alabama head coach) Nick Saban.”

That’s interesting. Robertson was pledged to Alabama for almost a year, but then decommitted in order to open his recruiting process back up. McElwain served as Saban’s offensive coordinator at Alabama from 2008-2011.

Robertson stated that he left that visit convinced that the former Colorado State head coach was going to get things turned around at Florida.

“It is not what he says,” Robertson said. “It is just his philosophy on doing things. He holds people accountable and stresses academics. He’s going to be successful.”

Robertson is planning on visiting Stanford sometime over the next week, but said that Florida is moving up his list of favored schools.

“UF is trending up though,” he said. “They could very well get an official visit. We’ll see.”

Florida’s pitch not only included multiple roles, but also multiple sports in Gainesville.

“They said I can (play) on either side (of the ball) and come right in and return kicks,” he said. “Their track team is top notch, so I can run that also.

He also added that Florida told him he was a top priority at receiver.

He also had a reaction to UGA’s recent receiver commitments. The huge in-state priority plays a primary position that already has three commitments for the 2016 class in Athens, including two over the course of last week.

“Those spots are filling up fast I see,” he said.


Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.




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