Roberts Ready to Get Going

An unfortunate knee injury cut his senior season short, but with that now behind him, Illinois linebacker signee Austin Roberts is ready to get his career underway.

After a couple stellar games to start his senior season, Illinois linebacker commitment Austin Roberts ran into something that every high school football player dreads.

A torn ACL sidelined Roberts for the rest of his season, but he's been rehabbing his knee since, and so far the recovery has been positive.

"So far the knee is doing well," Roberts said. "Therapy is going well, too."

Recovery from a knee injury is a long process. Roberts is back in the swing of lifting, although he is still limited in some regards.

"I'm doing the full offseason training," he said, "but I'm just doing light weight on the squatting and lunging. I just started with more agility work in physical therapy."

Many athletes who have suffered a knee injury are tentative when it comes to making athletic moves that put pressure and torque on their surgically-repaired ligaments, but Roberts is being sure to do everything the right way to ensure that he's ready when he gets to Illinois.

"I'm working my way up to hard cuts now," he said. "I'm going to start hard cuts within the next few weeks. I trust my therapist. He's been awesome up to this point so he'll let me know when it's go time."

Meanwhile, Roberts is still continuing to prepare for his future at Illinois. One way he's doing that is by keeping in touch with his fellow signees. He even decided to make the trip down to Champaign this past weekend to hang out with a couple of the guys.

"I was actually on campus hanging out with Mike Dudek and Chayce Crouch," he said. "We're all super close and we're excited to all be down here together. If we have three guys living together then I'll probably room with Mike and Chayce."

He also keeps in touch with the rest of the signees on a regular basis. The class as a whole has an open room of communication that helps them stay in contact.

"As a class, we have this group text chat, and we text each other almost every day," Roberts said. "I'm hoping to get back down to campus now and then, but I still don't have it 100% planned out yet. I'll come down and stay with these guys again soon though."

Roberts is on track to finish as the valedictorian of his class at Rice Lake, an achievement he is especially proud of. With several Ivy League offers at the time he committed, academics are just as important to Roberts as football.

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