PAWTUCKET ‚ÄĒ It‚Äôs a common assumption that you can‚Äôt have both brains and brawn. Apparently Davon Robertson didn‚Äôt get the memo.
Robertson fits the definition of a student-athlete to a tee. Not only is this senior a two-way football contributor for St. Raphael Academy, but he‚Äôs also a success story in the classroom. Blend the two attributes together and it‚Äôs little wonder that Robertson is being recruited by some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the area.
‚ÄúI‚Äôve had some great athletes and some great students over the years, but he‚Äôs probably as complete a package as any kid I‚Äôve ever had,‚ÄĚ notes SRA head coach Mike Sassi. ‚ÄúHe sells himself.‚ÄĚ
Need more proof? Robertson‚Äôs current list of choices is more in line with someone who‚Äôs going places, the kind that suggests he‚Äôll be a success in whatever endeavor he chooses once football is through.
‚ÄúFordham, Brown, Holy Cross, Harvard and Bryant,‚ÄĚ Robertson rattled off. ‚ÄúBryant is the only school that‚Äôs offered me a scholarship so far.‚ÄĚ
It should be noted that this conversation took place prior to last weekend, when Robertson went a on a recruiting visit to New Hampshire. For someone who has spent a vast number of weekends this autumn checking out football games on the campuses of potential suitors, the idea of whittling his list of desirable schools down to one is something that at times has bordered on nerve-wracking.
Such a sentiment stems from some schools liking Robertson, who transferred to St. Raphael after spending his freshman and sophomore years at Case High in Swansea, Mass., more for his tight end abilities than as a defensive lineman, or vice versa.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a part of me that wants to be a tight end because that‚Äôs where Boston College, which is the highest school that was recruiting me pretty hard, saw me as the best fit,‚ÄĚ Robertson said. ‚ÄúSome schools also like me as a pass rusher, but with Saints, I just can‚Äôt go out there and chase the quarterback. I have to stay within the system that the (SRA) coaches map out.
‚ÄúIt doesn‚Äôt matter that much, but wherever they find the most potential in me, that‚Äôs where I want to play,‚ÄĚ continued Robertson when asked the loaded question regarding his position of preference at the collegiate ranks. ‚ÄúI want to max out my potential.‚ÄĚ
The colleges that are pursuing Robertson can probably agree that he‚Äôs the complete package; all they have to do is checkout the highlight reel he‚Äôs compiled on YouTube. He‚Äôs a legitimate 6-foot-4 while packing 232 pounds on his solidly built frame. Watch just a few snaps of Robertson against other high school players and it‚Äôs clear why his physical attributes alone make him a desirable commodity.
Let‚Äôs begin with his play at tight end. Robertson can clear off the line of scrimmage in such a quick fashion that defenders are forced to adjust on the fly. He‚Äôs too fast for linebackers and much too tall for defensive backs, hence why you often see him catching passes with room to spare. With one game remaining in SRA‚Äôs season, Robertson has reeled in 21 balls for 344 yards and three touchdowns.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs a market for tight ends that can both catch and block,‚ÄĚ Sassi points out.
Robertson also has a knack for creating mismatches on the defensive side of the ball, his listed measurements making him increasingly tough to throw over when he‚Äôs not pursuing the opposition‚Äôs ball carrier. His favorite spot is lining up on the left edge, yet once opposing teams started to make a concentrated effort to divert away from Robertson, Sassi had little choice but to start shifting him along the line. Through all the changes, Robertson went on to register 83 total tackles along with 4.5 sacks.
‚ÄúI think he would be an excellent defensive end at the college level,‚ÄĚ said Sassi. ‚ÄúHe could be a nine technique, which is someone who‚Äôs more of a pass rusher. He could be a five technique, which is a guy playing right off the tackle. Weak side or strong side, I think he would fit anywhere.‚ÄĚ
Robertson started to catch the fancy of recruiters last spring when the reigning all-state performer was named a finalist for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. It bears repeating that the doors he‚Äôs been able to open stretches beyond the on-field production and all the football camps he visited over the summer. Sporting a classroom average of 91, Robertson scored over 600 on the math segment of the SAT.
‚ÄúI wouldn‚Äôt be looking at Brown or Harvard just because of my football skills,‚ÄĚ Robertson said.
Robertson will immediately turn his attention to the hardwood following SRA‚Äôs season finale against Johnston Wednesday night. In terms of making an important decision, he expects to continue deliberating through the winter months.
‚ÄúAny decision he makes is one he has to be comfortable with,‚ÄĚ Sassi said. ‚ÄúRight now he‚Äôs leaving his options open.‚ÄĚ