Brogan Roback Knows Beckman's Offense Well

Fighting Illini football coach Tim Beckman is taking advantage of his Toledo contacts in his new role. He offered a scholarship to 2013 Toledo St. Johns Jesuit quarterback Brogan Roback while still coaching the Toledo Rockets. He is now recruiting Roback for Illinois and hosted him on a recent visit.

Brogan Roback visited the Illinois campus a week ago. He missed the home basketball game, but he saw enough to be interested.

"I didn't come in time for the game. I had been at Iowa for a junior day. Coach (Tim) Beckman contacted me that morning and said he would be showing some kids around. Since Illinois was in the area, I stopped over there on my way home from Iowa.

"I liked it a lot. The facilities and all that, they were top notch obviously. I'm glad I got to see Coach Beckman again. It'd been awhile since I had talked to him, since he was at Toledo. He offered me there.

"And I got to see Coach (Mike) Ward. I had developed a good relationship with all those coaches. I'm glad I got to meet the quarterback coach and the new guys there."

The 6'-4", 180 pounder has the tools to become an excellent college quarterback.

"I think I'm a very accurate passer. I've got a pro-style arm, and I've got a good pocket presence. I think that's one of my strengths. I don't run a lot, but I can avoid pressure and get out of the pocket when I need to. I run a 4.64 40, so it's not like I just sit back in the pocket and sling it.

"I want to keep watching film even more than I already do. And I want to learn more about coverages and pre-snap reads so I can see what they're going to do."

Illinois will be deploying a spread offense. Roback feels his abilities fit that style. "We run a spread read and stuff like that. I've seen (Beckman) at Toledo, and they put up crazy numbers there. Scoring was never a problem for them. They're a very explosive offense.

"It's the Big Ten, so I know there's a lot of big-time players there. I'm sure it will be a lot like it was at Toledo, only more explosive. I'd like to see how they take over at Illinois and how the offense is going to continue from there."

What is he looking for in a college?

"Definitely the people, that's big for me. Especially in the Big Ten, they're all going to be huge and top-notch. So it's the people, the coaches and the players, the trainers and stuff. They're the ones you're going to be with the next 4 to 5 years. I just want a great place and great people."

Illinois may be behind Iowa and especially Michigan State in his recruitment. But none of the Big 10 schools have offered him a scholarship yet. That will likely change soon, however.

"I have an offer from Bowling Green, and I have the one from Toledo from Coach Beckman. Michigan State is interested, they been interested for awhile. I've been up there about five times, and I'll probably be heading up there again soon. I think it's only a matter of time before they offer."

He hopes to have his college destination planned before fall.

"I'd like to have my decision made before my senior season starts. I'm not gonna rush it. So when I'm ready, I'll get it done. I'd like to enjoy my senior year."

Toledo St. Johns Jesuit lost a lot of top players to graduation, but Roback is excited about his upcoming season.

"We have a lot of talent. We had nine guys sign this year. We didn't get as far as we'd like this year. We went 7-3 and didn't make the playoffs, but we play in a tough league.

"We have a new league this year; it'll be our first time in the league. It's one of the top leagues in Ohio. We only have one or two guys on the offensive line. But skill position-wise, we have a year under our belt. I think we can make some things happen.

"I like being the underdogs. My sophomore year, we were underdogs and made the semifinals. I think we'll be all right and have a good season."

His visit to the UI campus whetted his appetite for the school.

"I will try to get back to Illinois for a spring practice so I can see what goes on down there."

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