No other defensive backs appeared in any hurry to match up against Devonta Smith.
So Amik Robertson headed to the line against the Amite star, arguably Louisiana’s top wide receiver for the 2017 recruiting class.
“I had heard a lot of guys before the drill kind of like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna do this,’ or ‘I’m gonna do that,’” Robertson explains, setting the scene of the Jan. 24 camp in New Orleans. “So when one-on-one drills started, Devonta was the first one up there to start running routes. Me, being the underdog, I didn’t want to be too greedy, so I didn’t wanna fly up there. But I didn’t see anyone go up there, so me as a competitive guy, me and him went face to face.
Thibodaux standout Amik Robertson established himself as one of Louisiana’s best 2017 cornerback prospects — even while playing on an undiagnosed torn ACL. (Courtesy of Klint Landry)
“It was good D, but he winded up catching the ball, because his feet were so big, and when we were wrestling for the ball, I ended up tripping up with his feet and falling. But at the end of the day, I knew it was good D, but that I just made one false step.”
The exchange was a minor and rare misstep on an afternoon in which the Thibodaux standout bolstered his case as one of the state’s top prospects.
A bigger challenge to his confidence was waiting at home where his father, Arthur Watts, had received a surprising message from the doctor Amik had visited that week for what he considered a precautionary visit.
“I just figured it was probably some soreness or something,” Amik remembers, “Until they said, ‘No, it’s a torn ACL.’ And that’s when I just broke down. I didn’t know what to do.
“It was really a big stab in my heart because I had put in a lot of work. I put a lot of work in, and to just have a devastating injury like that, I was thinking, ‘Why would God choose me out of everybody — out of everybody — when I was just doing what I was supposed to be doing, just trying to get better?’ By me tearing my ACL, I just thought it was the end for me.”