Every year Stanford seems to pull out an eye-popping late commitment from a recruit who had previously given their verbal promise to another school. Last year three of Stanford's signees came from decommitments (David Marrero - Notre Dame; Jason Evans - Penn State; Landon Johnson - Rice). In the 2001 class we saw Kevin Schimmelmann break late from his Georgia commitment to sign with the Cardinal. Running back Kenneth Tolon made a late switch from New Mexico to Stanford. It should then come as no surprise that this year we have another budding superstar talent looking hard at Palo Alto despite a September verbal to a national power.
You may have wondered why Georgia pass rushing speed demon Darrell Robertson slipped off our recruiting radar after the enticing story we wrote in the spring. The answer came in the form of his Florida State verbal commitment, which seemingly shut the doors on a number of suitors. And that decision was not made for a lack of scholarship offers for Robertson's choosing. He has offers from FSU, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Duke, Louisville and Stanford. With his high school coach at Jonesboro a Florida State grad, as well as the hot and heavy attention of the Seminole coaches, it was just too tempting a situation for the 6'5" rush end to pass up.
But with time and reflection, the prudent student-athlete with a 3.95 GPA and 1130 SAT has decided to allow a pair of other schools to enter his recruitment. Robertson is involved with and will take visits to Stanford and Georgia Tech, as well as Florida State. The Jonesboro (GA) standout in fact is headed to Atlanta this weekend (12/12) for the first of his visits to Tech. He will trip out West to Stanford on January 9 and then give the Seminoles the final say the next weekend (1/16). Coaches from all three schools have been to his home in the last week with their pitches and pleas.
"I'm keeping my options open in case," Robertson explains. "I'm having a lot of fun with recruiting. Right now I'm leaning toward Florida State a little. I've been there and like the campus, but I haven't been to Stanford yet so it's hard to compare."
Robertson also has ample exposure to the in-state Yellow Jackets, attending two of their games for unofficial visits this fall. He witnessed the thrilling win over Maryland, but also saw the embarrassing loss to Georgia. "I had a chance to talk with the players and coaches," he notes. "I had a pretty good time."
As for the Cardinal, the recruit feels he has little to lose by taking a January visit. "They keep telling me to take a visit," he elaborates. "If I don't love it, it's still a free visit. If I like it, it could change my life."
Both FSU and Tech provide options closer to home, but Robertson's mother is an excited proponent of the Stanford education. The son is not yet sure how to evaluate the 3,000-mile gap between home and campus. "Distance is something that might or might not make a difference to me," he allows. "Hopefully the visit will help me decide that."
Robertson is a lean and lightning quick end who has explosive abilities that have attracted his numerous offers. But his frame will likely hold quite a bit more than his current 215 pounds, which sends chills up and down your spine.
"I still can improve my footwork and my size," he notes. "I got in the weight room this past off-season and got stronger and more explosive already. But the biggest thing I improved was probably my run-stopping. I've always gotten to the quarterback, but now my reads are a lot better."
Darrell Robertson reports that he is currently filling out the Stanford admissions application, and should have it submitted and reviewed in time for his January visit.
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