Every Saturday, Fort Valley (Ga.) Peach County receiver DeMarcus Robinson watches Clemson play and keeps a close eye on wide receiver Sammy Watkins.
Last season, Watkins set the standard for the type of impact a freshman wide receiver can have on a program, and Robinson is hoping to follow in in his footsteps.
On Thursday, in front of the entire student body at an assembly at his high school, Robinson took another step toward following Watkins when he accepted his Army All-American Bowl jersey.
"It's a great honor," Robinson said. "A lot of NFL players have played in in the game, and it motivates me to be a part of it. To be able to hold up the jersey in front of my friends and family is something special and not something a lot of guys get to do."
The reason Robinson earned his spot on the team is because he's not a lot of guys. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound receiver caught 52 balls for 1,024 yards and 10 touchdowns while also rushing 24 times for 144 yards and five scores during his junior season.
This year, Robinson's team is undefeated, and he's playing a larger role as Peach County tries to reach its second consecutive state championship game.
With a plan to graduate in December and join the Clemson program in January, Robinson has only a few months of high school yet. He said playing on Friday nights and special moments like Thursday's assembly will be the stuff he'll remember the most.
"I'm going to miss it a little bit when I leave early," Robinson said. "But I'm still excited and ready to get on to college."
Growing up, Robinson didn't watch many of the Army All-American games. It was only when he found out of his selection to play in the game that he started doing research and was blown away.
"I was surprised when they first told me I was going to get to play in the game," he said. "Then I looked it up and I was like, 'dang!' This is where I want to be and it just inspired me more to keep working hard to show that I deserve that spot."
Robinson is trying to take a humble approach when it comes to preparing for the game, because he knows that it's the best of the best.
"I don't want to let it get to my head that I just got invited," he said. "I just look forward to the chance to get down there and practice hard and have some fun and do my best against the best competition in the country."
Robinson said he's been impressed with Clemson's success on the field so far this season, despite their hiccup against Florida State last month.
"They playing great," he said. "They lost to Florida State but still played a good game and I think they have a chance to run the table the rest of the way. "
While Watkins is the player he looks up to the most, Robinson said he also holds fellow Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins in highregard. Once he arrives at Clemson, he hopes to learn as much as he can from both players.
"I look up to them both, they're a big inspiration to me," Robinson said. "I'm looking forward to getting up there and learning from both of them."
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