Jackson, Tennessee native Brady Robertson was driving around with his friends Saturday night when Tony Vitello gave him a call.
It was a call Robertson, a lifelong Vol fan, was hoping would come for some time. Vitello, Tennessee’s fifth year head coach, offered Robertson and the 6-foot-3 right handed pitcher knew right away that he’d be playing his college ball at UT.
“Tennessee was my ride or die,” Robertson said. “If they gave me an offer I was going to be there. I was going to be with coach Vitello and I was going to follow him.”
Robertson made his commitment public on Thursday, announcing his commitment over Twitter.
The two-sport athlete at Trinity Christian Academy was a late bloomer in the recruiting process after tearing his ACL early in the 2020 football season. Robertson impressed Tennessee’s coaching staff this past summer leading to him earning the offer.
Robertson visited Tennessee for the LSU regular season series last March but, NCAA COVID-19 limitations limited what he could do on his visit . The west Tennessee native made it back to campus earlier this month, touring the Vols’ facilities while taking in the football game against Pitt.
“There’s nothing like a football gameday at Tennessee,” Robertson said. “I’ve always been a Vol fan. Football sometimes you really can’t put your faith in them, but it is what it is sometimes, but that culture you have to be a part of it. It’s too good to miss out on and that’s what I love.”
For a lifelong Vol fan, watching Vitello lead Tennessee to a SEC East title and the program’s first College World Series appearance since 2005 just strengthened his desire to want to play at UT.
“Hearing Vitello’s story of where he came from and his background and seeing where he came from and what he’s become, it fires me up that he’s just starting,” Robertson said. “He’s about to go big time. I can’t wait to follow him because I know he’s one of the most knowledgeable guys when it comes to the game of baseball.”
Robertson, who wants to be a coach when his playing days end, says his biggest strength is his competitiveness and will to win.
“My strength is my competitiveness,” Robertson said. “I hate losing. I’ll be the sorest loser you’ll ever meet. I’ll go to whatever lengths to win. I always get behind my teammates— whoever’s playing with me— I get behind them because I’ll do whatever it takes to win. I’ll get on someone’s tail but also I love getting people better. On the mound, that competitive nature carries me.”
Robertson’s fastball sits 88-91 and has topped out at 92 in games and 93 in a bullpen session. The 175-pound outside linebacker and right handed pitcher has never had a pitching coach says his game can improve with fine tuning.
The tall pitcher chose Tennessee over a top group of Clemson, Louisiana-Monroe, Northwest Florida State College, Chipola College and Gulf Coast State College but “if they (Tennessee) wouldn’t have given me that offer I was just going to go JUCO.”
Robertson will join the Vols next summer but first he’s focused on his final football and baseball season at Trinity Christian Academy.