Sawyer Robertson sent the tweet at 7:07 p.m. on March 31, put his phone down and went to enjoy dinner with his family.
A little celebratory grub while the rest of the country marinated on the news he’d just released. Reasonable, right?
He knew the barrage of pinging and buzzing from his phone would come, but he just didn’t realize it would happen before he dug in for his first bite.
The phone… simply… would… not… stop… buzzing.
Such was the new reality for the Lubbock Coronado quarterback, who tweeted that he’d committed to Mississippi State.
Huge news, of course. Only, Robertson didn’t just commit to play football for the Bulldogs. He was going to play baseball too.
You could practically hear the cowbells clanking from “Stark Vegas” all the way in the Texas Panhandle.
“I couldn’t get anything done because of all the notifications,” said Robertson, who received 2,300 likes and 476 retweets on the tweet. “It was an awesome first look at what it’s going to be like with those fans in Starkville.”
To recap: Sawyer Robertson had just committed to play football and baseball in the Southeastern Conference.
We all have opinions on the SEC. Be it good, bad or indifferent, there is simply no denying it as one of, if not the premiere football and baseball conference in the country. And Robertson had just announced he was on his way to play both sports.
“If you would have told me a few years ago that I’d be in this position, it would just be surreal,” he said. “It is an unbelievable opportunity because I get to play for the best quarterback coach in the college football [in head coach Mike Leach] and one of the best baseball coaches in the nation [Chris Lemonis]. It’s perfect.”
Robertson threw for 4,000 yards (65 percent completion percentage) and 50 touchdowns in 2019 for the Mustangs, who scored at least 40 points in six games.
The Polynesian Bowl All-Star is rated as the No. 9 quarterback and No. 48 player in the state on TexasFootball.com.
“Robertson plays under control and shows a lot of poise in the pocket,” said Greg Powers, President of Next Level Athlete and the senior recruiting analyst for TexasFootball.com. “He has a good arm and does not have to load up to make all the throws, which helps with his accuracy.”
He is actually the highest-rated Bulldogs commit in 2021, per 247Sports. Also committed to MSU are fellow Texans Theodor Knox out of The Woodlands (the second-highest rated commit) and QB Daniel Greek (Argyle Liberty Christian).
“The reason I chose Mississippi State is I saw what Joe Burrow did at LSU, leading the nation in passing, just tearing it up, and I knew that Mike Leach’s offense is notorious for that,” he said. “So I figured if you go to the SEC and do what Joe Burrow did, I feel like NFL scouts see that and it makes you wanted.”
Leach actually started recruiting Robertson when he was the head coach at Washington State. For Robertson, the familiarity with Leach began back when he was the head coach at nearby Texas Tech.
“I remember a lot of those games; the Michael Crabtree catch to upset Texas,” said Robertson, who stands 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds. “The biggest selling point was the offense he runs and to have a chance at challenging the record books year in and year out.”
Robertson committed to the Bulldogs over offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Florida State, Louisiana, Louisville, Nevada, North Texas, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas State, Tulsa, USC, Washington State and Wisconsin.
“I thought all the coaches that recruited him heavily did a great job,” Coronado head football coach Seth Parr said. “His recruitment was kind of weird; he didn’t get a lot of offers at the beginning and then it picked up. Leach was on him at the beginning and that was important to Sawyer. The offense that we run, and they run are very similar. Leach being here in Lubbock was a big deal for him. Your childhood memory is when Crabtree catches the ball. He lived that, so I thought that had a big impact on him.”
Robertson initially thought that if he was going to play any sport in college it would be baseball, where he is a do-all outfielder who hit .481 with 1 home run, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 12 RBI and 20 runs scored in 16 games for Coronado in a season cut short due to COVID-19.
“I’ve always loved football, but I didn’t start playing until eighth grade,” he said. “I was just raw, still am. My high school coaches really helped me develop. Looking back at some of the throws from my freshman year, it’s kind of disgusting. But it’s awesome to see how far I’ve come, and I still think I’m getting better.”
Prep Baseball Report ranks Robertson as the No. 2 outfielder in the state for 2021.
“He’s a strong durable athlete on the baseball field with his bat being his calling card,” said Phil Haig, PBR’s Texas Scouting Director. “Compact, strong swing that has easy power to the pull side. Has natural instincts in the field and has a strong arm from the OF. Robertson is a player you want on your team and in your lineup.”
That’s apparently what Lemonis thought as well.
“When we talked he let me know that because the scholarship was for football that the football coaches would have the say in [his schedule],” Robertson said of his conversation with Lemonis about committing to play both sports. “But he just let me know that whenever I wanted I could come work out with them in the spring. That was awesome.”
Parr isn’t surprised in the slightest at Robertson’s success as a two-sport star. Not with Robertson’s willingness to put in the extra work.
“His tenacity and willingness to want to work really puts him over the top of a lot of kids I’ve coached,” Parr said. “You could have a great athlete that doesn’t have the desire or drive, or a kid that has the drive and desire but doesn’t have the ability. Sawyer has all of that. He has everything you need to be a high-level player in anyone’s program.”
Robertson will catch himself daydreaming about the workload he’s going to face in college as a dual-sport athlete. However daunting it may be, he’s ready.
“I have thought about it and I know it’s going to be tough,” he said. “I knew it won’t be easy, but nothing in life does come easy. A lot of it, I’ll play by ear and see how it goes. I’m going there to win the football job first and foremost.”
Now, if he could just eat in peace one last time.
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