By Kevin Posival
Killeen Daily Herald
If Deric Robertson needs to add weight and play outside linebacker, he will. If he needs to drop weight and play corner or add muscle and play safety, so be it.
The junior has made himself invaluable.
And highly coveted.
Robertson, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound Killeen safety with 4.4-second speed, verbally committed to Oklahoma State on Sunday, taking his unique blend of size, strength and speed to an OSU program that finished 12-1 last year following a win over Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.
"If they need me to gain 20 more pounds to play an outside linebacker, I'd do it. If they need me to drop weight and see if I can get a little bit faster to play corner, I'd do it. Or, if they want me to stay at the weight I am, but get more muscle, I'd do it," Robertson said. "I feel as if I can go up there and play safety. We'll see what happens from there."
Without even taking an official visit to the Stillwater, Okla., campus,
Robertson committed to the Cowboys over the Memorial Day weekend, just days after wrapping up spring football at Killeen.
Robertson took visits to Texas A&M and SMU, but said the Cowboys' coaching staff and recent success made Oklahoma State the right decision for him.
"That's not saying Texas A&M or SMU or Texas or Texas Tech wouldn't be, but I just felt like Oklahoma State was the right place for me," Robertson said. "The coaches played a big role in it, but seeing their recent success, that also played a big part because they've been having some really good seasons the past couple of years. I wouldn't mind being a part of that."
Robertson, in his first season as a starter, totaled 74 tackles - 55 solo - and three batted passes last season and was a All-District 8-4A first-team selection.
"When I describe him to other coaches and people that ask about him, Deric's one of those kids that's a great tackler," Killeen defensive coordinator Neil Searcy said. "Every now and then, he'll come downhill and really strike somebody, but ... he's going to make a great tackle every play."
That wasn't always the case, though.
Robertson was never scared of contact or afraid to make the tackle, but more often than not, he'd go for the ballcarrier's legs.
That changed this season with Searcy's more physical style of defense.
"I wasn't really confident in my strength," Robertson said of his sophomore year when he played a reserve role. "I felt more confident in what I could do (this season), so I started lowering my shoulder more and hitting harder. He just gave me that boost of confidence that I needed to just come downhill and bump heads."
And Searcy's already seen a difference even from last season.
"He's probably been more physical (this spring) and made more tackles in the backfield. That part is getting even better. From the first day I saw him to now, he gets better every day. I don't know what his ceiling is."