Last week I wrote about one of the most interesting offensive players in the Draft Class of 2020 in Kentucky wide receiver/return specialist/jet sweep halfback Lynn Bowden, Jr.
On defense one of the most intriguing players is someone I covered from his high school days at Thibodaux High School to Louisiana Tech in cornerback Amik Robertson.
I’m in 50’s today and I have seen a lot of players from the Bayou Region and Amik is the most gifted cornerback I have ever seen from this area.
As a junior at Thibodaux High School, Amik Robertson had a host of SEC schools offer him scholarships, but when he suffered a torn ACL in his knee during the year, many of those schools backed off.
But one school didn’t and that school was Louisiana Tech.
“I thought I played really well as a junior and I played most of the season with the ACL injury, but once I had the operation quite a few schools backed off,” Robertson said. “I grew up an LSU fan and wanted to be part of the DBU group and Coach (Les) Miles spoke to me, but he never offered. Coach Holtz and Tech never backed off and then Coach Miles gets fired and Coach O gets hired, but at first no one knew if he was going to get the job fulltime at LSU.” Amik Robertson
Robertson talked about playing against Coach O’s sons at Mandeville High School when he was at Thibodaux and his decision to sign with Louisiana Tech.
“Coach O’s sons, Parker and Cody, were playing and the buzz was that Coach O was in the stands watching. Knowing where he came from in Lafourche and his reputation as a coach and recruiter, that made me want to play even harder against Mandeville. He’s a living legend down on the Bayou. He didn’t allow anything to get in his way of his dream and that’s how I feel about playing pro football.”
“I got a lot of respect for Coach O as a coach and a person. Coach O offered me a scholarship to LSU once he got the fulltime job at LSU, but I understand the situation he was in. I had Houston, Oklahoma State, Texas, Missouri and LSU come in late, but I had made up my mind to go to Louisiana Tech. I’m at a high school camp teaching kids how to play cornerback and I hear that distinctive voice behind me say “Hey, Mr. Freshman All-American” and he came give me a big hug. He told me he messed up not going after me even harder than he did; but it all worked out for me and for him too. Great season for him last season at LSU and he is a great guy and coach.”
I reminded Robertson about playing against my high school alma mater (Central Lafourche High School) and the punter for the Trojans punted the ball right to him early in the game and he took it back all the way for the score and he stared down the Trojans’ sidelines and me along the way.
“I remember that, “Robertson said. “ I just remember the punter kicked it right to me and I saw the seam and outran one guy to the edge and no one else was around me so I just looked at the bench and coaches as I passed by them. I couldn’t believe he kicked it right to me. And then I saw you standing around the 20-yard line and you were shaking your head. I just had to laugh.”
Amik made a quick impact for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs and he started all 13 games as a freshman and earned Freshman All-American honors in 2017. In 2018 Robertson again started all 13 games and he earned 1st team All-Conference USA honors, but he made a major impact in Tech’s upset win over Hawaii in the SoFi Hawai’ Bowl where he intercepted 2 passes. In 2019, Amik again earned 1st team All-Conference USA honors and 2nd team All-American honors registering 60 tackles, 8 tackles for losses, 1 quarterback sack, 5 pass interceptions and he forced one fumble. He also returned an on-side kick back for a touchdown as a junior.
In December, Robertson announced he was giving up his senior season of college football to turn pro early and he underwent surgery to repair a groin injury.
The 5-8, 188 pound cornerback intercepted 14 passes at Tech and became one of the top ballhawk defensive backs in college football.
The standout cornerback says he has been contacted by every NFL team and he is anxious to see where he ends up in the draft next week.
“I’m blessed that either through my agent or talking directly to me I have spoken to every team in the NFL. They want to know about the injury and the rehab and what football means to me. Football means everything to me and taking care of my family. I have been working out with Ryan Clark out in Baton Rouge since the Virus (COVID-19) outbreak and out at Camp Moula in Houma with Ernest Harvey. Ryan is a great guy to help you with stuff between the ears and also with your techniques. He played a long time in this league.”
“I haven’t spoken to Coach (Sean) Payton yet with the Saints, but I did speak to the defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. The Saints run the same defensive scheme we ran at Tech. I knew the concepts and what they wanted me to do when we went over the defensive plays. I will play anywhere or for anyone who picks me. It’s going to be a dream come true for me. The first day I will be thrilled for guys I worked out with in Dallas in Grant Delpit, Patrick Queen and Kristian Fulton, but I got to admit I will be nervous Day #2. It’s where most people think I will go either in Round 2 or Round 3. I’m going to be glued to the television and waiting for that call. It would be unbelievable if I ended up part of the Who Dat Nation, but the draft is unpredictable so who knows.”
The former Thibodaux High School two-way star player says many teams have talked to him about returning kicks in the pros.
“I didn’t return kicks at Tech. I talked to Coach Skip Holtz about it, but he told me I was too valuable for my play in the secondary so I didn’t, but I can. I enjoyed returning punts and kicks in high school. I got good field vision and I know I can help a team, if that is what they want me to do. The more you can do the more valuable you are. All I want to do is play and help a team win. That is why you play this game is to win games.”
Amik is 5’8”, but the guy can flat out play; he’s versatile, he has top of the ladder ball reaction skills, he’s a tough guy, he has excellent recovery speed and quickness, he’s mentally sharp out on the field and he reminds me of another undersized cornerback in Chris Harris, who was a terrific cover cornerback with the Denver Broncos who recently signed with the Los Angeles Chargers over the New Orleans Saints. I have Amik the 92nd best overall player in the 2020 NFL draft and someone in Round 3 will be thrilled they selected him.
This young man is Bayou tough and is he very talented.
Mike Detillier is an NFL Draft Expert. Mike’s NFL Draft Guide’s are at www.mikedetillier.com.