Many people will read this column and simply say I’m biased for a local born athlete.
But I don’t care.
The truth needs to be said either way.
Louisiana Tech University junior cornerback Amik Robertson is the best defensive back in the country.
I’ve felt that way for a few years now and Robertson’s play throughout his college career is enough proof to back up my statements.
Robertson, a former Thibodaux High School star, is coming off perhaps his best game at Louisiana Tech. He had three interceptions during Louisiana Tech’s 45-30 win over Southern Miss, becoming the third player in Bulldogs’ history to accomplish that feat.
During his career at Louisiana Tech, Robertson has recorded 14 interceptions in 33 games, which is most among any active Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly called Division I) player.
Here are some more incredible stats about Robertson compiled by Louisiana Tech’s sports information department:He was the first Conference USA player with three interceptions in a single game since 2017 (12th in conference history). He leads all FBS players with 16 passes defended. He has five interceptions this season, which are tied for second-best in the nation. He has 43 passes defended in 33 collegiate games (14 interceptions; 29 pass breakups), which is fourth among active FBS leaders. He has two interceptions returned for touchdowns and is one of two active players with three career pick-sixes. He is third on Louisiana Tech’s roster this season with 39 tackles (27 solo, 12 assists), four tackles for a loss and 11 pass breakups.
Louisiana Tech is also enjoying a successful season. The Bulldogs are on top of the Conference USA’s Western Division with a 6-1 overall record and 3-0 mark in conference.
All of those stats are proof that Robertson deserves recognition as the nation’s best defensive back, but any football fan could simply watch him play and see why.
He is simply a playmaker. You could put him anywhere on the field — offense, defense or special teams — and he will make plays.
It’s a complete credit to Robertson and all of the hard work he has put in over the years. He’ll go down as one of the best football players to ever come from Thibodaux and the area.
I watched Robertson build his legacy at Thibodaux for four years before leaving for Louisiana Tech.
When he was at Thibodaux, it was clearly evident that he was the best player on the field. Big plays are drawn to him like a magnet. I watched him single-handedly lead Thibodaux to win after win, and his infectious personality made his teammates better.
It seems like he has improved every season since I’ve first watched him play at Thibodaux.
Now he has become a college football legend in Ruston and should be in consideration for some prestigious awards at the end of the season.
He was named one of 14 semifinalists for the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award, which will go to the nation’s best defensive back at the end of the regular season.
I don’t have anything against the other semifinalists. I know they are great players and deserve the chance to take the Jim Thorpe Trophy home.
If I had a vote, I would cast it for Robertson, who has proved that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, but if you work hard, you could make your dreams come true.
Whether he wins the award or not, Robertson still has a legit claim to being the best defensive back in the nation.
I know he doesn’t play for a major FBS power program, but Robertson — and all 5-foot-9, 183-pounds of him — has shown he could hold his own with the top players in the country.
He has played against some great — and larger — receivers while at Louisiana Tech. He’s a shutdown cornerback who has made quarterbacks pay for throwing the football in his direction. Just ask Southern Miss quarterback Jack Abraham if he regrets doing it on Saturday.
During my past interviews with him, Robertson said he has felt underrated his entire life. It’s the reason he plays with a chip on his shoulder during every down of a game just to prove people wrong.
I know some local fans wished he would’ve taken his talents to a major college football program like LSU. Heck every young football player from south Louisiana like Robertson dreams about playing for LSU during lives.
Simply put, the Tigers offered him late in the recruiting game, and by that time, Robertson was convinced that Ruston was a better place for him than Baton Rouge. Louisiana Tech showed him love from the start of the recruiting process to the end of it, convincing Robertson to become a Bulldog.
He followed his own path and picked the college that was the best fit for him.
Now it has all paid off for Robertson, who is having the time of his life at Louisiana Tech.
He’ll have to make a decision after the current football season whether to return to Louisiana Tech for his senior year or declare for the 2020 NFL draft.
Robertson’s performance has moved him up on NFL draft boards. There’s a good chance he could hear his name called during the draft and maybe in the early rounds.
Whatever he decides, Robertson will always be considered a major success in my eyes. He’ll make one NFL team very lucky in the future.
It’s pretty cool that the nation’s best defensive back comes from Thibodaux.
Everyone in Thibodaux, Ruston and in the Conference USA towns knows it.
I hope the rest of the country will figure it out soon too.
Staff writer Chris Singleton can be reached at 857-2213 or 448-1200 ext. 2213 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @courierchris.