Oklahoma State has built a nice reputation for producing wide receivers possessing speed, strength and confidence. Players such as Dez Bryant and Justin Blackmon played the position with the attitude that no other player is better on the field.
The Cowboys picked up another player of that caliber in Deric Robertson (Killeen, Texas/Killeen) on Sunday. The difference is that Robertson will line up on the other side of the ball. Robertson is a 6-foot-2, 195-pound defensive back who is big enough to play outside linebacker and fast enough to play cornerback.
Recruited to play safety, Robertson is expected to bring versatility, quickness and power to the Cowboys’ secondary. He showed his resourcefulness by recording 92 tackles, six pass breakups and an interception last season. He also forced three fumbles and was named a first-team all-district selection.
“I feel like I can make an impact anywhere they need me to, whether it be at corner or safety,” Robertson said. “Maybe even nickel back if needed.”
Robertson was recruited by both safeties coach Van Malone and inside receivers coach Doug Meacham. Killeen coach Sam Jones called Robertson a game-changer during the 2011 season. Robertson lined up at free safety but also saw time at cornerback for a Killeen team that advanced three rounds deep in the Texas Class 4A Division I playoffs.
Along with running the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds, Robertson bench presses more than 300 pounds and squats 500. Oklahoma State was his only offer, and Jones considers him a major college sleeper.
“Deric had a tremendous offseason. I think he’s faster and stronger,” Jones said. “We utilized him greatly in the playoffs in manning up on individual receivers. He was our free safety through the season in a real tough district with real good teams.
Robertson had interest from Tulsa, Texas A&M, Baylor, UTSA and North Texas. He hasn’t made a recent visit to the Oklahoma State campus, but he is familiar to the area. The son of a military home, Robertson lived in Lawton, Okla., for four years before moving to Killeen. Lawton is located roughly 150 miles southwest of Stillwater.
“Coach Malone, Coach Meacham and Coach Gundy are all good people, and it’s a family-like atmosphere,” Robertson said of Oklahoma State. “I feel like it’d be a great place to win a championship, and their tradition played a big role in the decision.”
Oklahoma State is expected to lose several defensive backs to graduation following the 2012 season, so the opportunity for Robertson to prove himself early will be there. Robertson said he’s eager to line up against Big 12 receivers – as well as the receivers he’ll see in practice.
“[The Cowboys] always have top-notch receivers,” he said. “It’ll be nice to go up against players like that every day.”