LSU, Sooners fighting for Roark

LSU and Oklahoma battled for the national championship in January and now the Tigers and Sooners are fighting it out for one of the top offensive linemen in the country who just happens to reside in the Sooner State.

Craig Roark is a 6-4, 290 pound guard from Ada, Okla. He has schools from all over the country telling him they want him and 14 schools have put their intentions in writing.

"I don't count verbal offers but a lot of schools have verbally offered," Roark told Tiger Rag. "The 14 schools that have given me written offers are Baylor, Nebraska, Alabama, SMU, Arizona, Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio State, Kentucky, LSU, TCU, Florida State and UCLA. It's an exciting time for me."

Oklahoma has not put an offer in writing yet but the chances of the Sooners letting Roark leave the state without putting up much a fight is very remote.

Roark will take an unofficial visit to LSU in a couple of weeks to check out the campus and the city. When Nick Saban extended a scholarship offer a couple of months ago it made the young man's day.

"I was really excited when LSU offered," said Roark who is a full academic qualifier. "A couple of my friends are big LSU fans and that made me a big LSU fan over the years. They were the national champs last year and that says a lot."

So who did Roark cheer for in the Sugar Bowl?

"Honestly I was cheering for Oklahoma just because I'm from here but I won't let that affect my decision," he said. "It's just like in Louisiana. If you live there you're an LSU fan. If you live in Oklahoma you're an Oklahoma fan."

Roark loves to workout in the weight room and he has a 375 pound bench to show for it. Along with working out, wrestling has paid big dividends in helping him become one of the top offensive linemen in the country.

He is very mild mannered off the field but when Roark steps onto the gridiron it is all business.

"I don't like bragging on myself but a lot of coaches say they like the way I finish my blocks," he said. "I also know how to use my leverage. Wrestling helped me a lot with that."

Whichever school lands Roark will likely get a bonus in 2006 because his younger brother is a 6-3, 270 pound defensive tackle who is already getting recruited as a sophomore.

That must be some grocery bill for Mr. and Mrs. Roark.

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