For D’Angelo Roberts, it’s all about staying consistent.
The Indiana senior running back and Bloomington North graduate is in a position of leadership as a senior in a talented group of running backs. Now, he’s just got to stay focused and consistent in his last year in cream and crimson.
“My coach’s biggest issue with me is that I’m not consistent,” said Roberts. “This year, I’m just working as hard as I can and being consistent every day.”
That task is easier said than done for pretty much everyone, including the 5-10, 207 pound back.
“Sometimes I just want to give up, and I can’t do that. I’m a senior, I’ve got everything to give and I’m going to give it all.”
“I’m just the oldest in the group,'' Roberts said. "I’ve got to hold everybody to a higher standard than what I was held to.”
Originally from Chicago, Roberts moved to Bloomington when he was 16. His mother, Tamika Greer, moved Roberts and his sister in what was a “good move” for the family.
Bloomington North coach Scott Bless had a star. Roberts, whose first scholarship offer came from IU when he was a sophomore, gouged opponents for 6,002 rushing yards in his career, the most in Monroe County history. Roberts also scored 75 touchdowns and helped the Cougars claw their way to semi-state after a 3-6 regular season his senior season of 2010.
All the while, Roberts was looking forward to bringing his talents to the next level and attended every IU home contest.
“It’s great to be a Hoosier and play on this field every weekend.”
While “D-Lo” hasn’t put up gaudy stats in his time at IU, he provided a solid spell for Stephen Houston and more recently, Coleman. Roberts has appeared in all but one game since coming to IU and has accumulated 795 career rushing yards to go with eight total touchdowns, although he didn’t record a rushing touchdown in 2013.
Coleman, who is considered by some to the best back in the Big Ten, believes that Roberts has been a very positive force behind him on the depth chart.
“He’s helping other guys to get prepared with the plays and to run hard and things like that,” Coleman said.
In a group of different styles of runners, Roberts said he brings the more balanced approach with the ability to not only run through defenders, but around them as well.
“We all got different skill sets and we’re all going to benefit each other and help each other grow,” said Roberts of the RB unit. “We mature from each other and we learn from each other. This year is going to be a great year to watch running backs.”
Running back coach Deland McCullough believes that the biggest improvement in Roberts’ game has been his mental approach, he told IUHoosiers.com last week.
“He knows all the ins and outs,” the fourth year RB coach said. “He’s coaching up other guys, he knows the soft spots and he’s got that veteran savviness. He’s driven, too. This is his last go around and there’s some things he wants the team to accomplish and at the same time he’ll accomplish some things as well.”
Roberts doesn’t have any numerical goals for himself or the team, he just wants to “see how it goes on the field.”
“I’m just going to do my job, only thing I’m worried about at this point,'' Roberts said. "Work hard in focusing on containing and being who I can be.”
Although when asked about IU not having a 1,000 yard running back since 2001 when Levron Williams ran for 1,401 yards, Roberts perked up.
"We always get antagonized how there hasn't been a 1,000 yard back since 2001,'' Roberts said."Let’s get two this year."
“We set records last year and let’s break them again this year.”
Follow Sam Rumpza on Twitter.com/samrumpza