South Carolina won an intense down-to-the-wire recruiting battle with archrival Clemson for the services of defensive end Travian Robertson of Laurinburg, NC, who committed to the Gamecocks on July 27.
What made the difference for Robertson between the two schools? He said, “South Carolina wanted me, but they needed me more than they wanted me. Clemson, I felt they were stocking players. I want to play! I don’t want to be backing up nobody else for four years of my college (career). This is nothing against them (the Clemson staff,) but I feel I can prove my way, that I can go in and be a starting defensive end by my sophomore year.”
Robertson said the key factor in his deciding on USC was, “It came down to trust. Clemson, it came down to facilities, it’s a good place to go. It came down to where I can play. I believe I can trust Coach Spurrier and what he told me. I really believe I can play and start at South Carolina.”
“I feel very comfortable with Coach Lawing because all he does is coach D-line.” Robertson said. “He gets the best out of D-linemen in college.” Robertson singled out Lawing for praise in his recruiting process, citing several times how much he trusted him and Coach Spurrier. USC Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix spoke with Robertson on his last trip to Columbia. “He talked to me about championships. I feel defense wins championships, and I want to be a part of winning those championships.” He said.
Robertson’s burning desire to play was understandably enhanced his junior season, when he only got to play in two games before being forced to watch from the sidelines the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Despite his limited playing time, his abilities are well recognized. Scout ranks him the #14 player at his position in the country, and has given him a four star ranking.
Robertson appeared to have become a lock for Clemson, prior to one last visit he took to the USC campus on July 25 to visit with the USC coaching staff. However, one of his family members indicated they knew he was going to be a Gamecock before he left the house that day. Robertson’s younger brother Shawn said, “Travian was real excited that morning when he was getting ready to leave. He couldn’t wait to get out of the house and go. When he got his South Carolina clothes on, I knew that he was going to South Carolina, that South Carolina was going to be his pick.”
Shawn also plays football at Scotland County High. He is a 6’4” junior offensive lineman who indicated he would like nothing more than to keep playing with his brother in the future and become a Gamecock himself.
Both Robertson brothers emphasized the academic as well as the athletic opportunities that USC offered. “If I don’t get to play in the NFL, which is my dream, then I have a chance to get a good degree (at Carolina).” Travian said. I am planning to graduate in December and enroll in USC in January, but I can’t call it right now, because I have to talk with my principal. It’s still up in the air.” he said.
Quintin Richardson, another USC commitment, stayed in contact with Robertson. “We talked on My Space,” Robertson said, “and then he called me the night before I went up there and we had a long conversation. He told me the reason he made his decision (for USC).” The two discussed being roommates at USC next year.
His main goal for the year is to get faster. The brace he wears currently slows him down some.