Michigan relentless search for offensive tackles had led them to cast a net so wide that it spans the contiguous United States. Recently the Maize & Blue began exploring options in the Pacific Northwest, and a prospect that rapidly shot up near the top of the target list was Bellevue (Wash.) star Henry Roberts. That much was clear when he was offered a scholarship from Michigan assistant Darrell Funk a few weeks ago.
“It was pretty out of the blue… like kind of new,” said Roberts. “I didn’t really expect that. I got some letters but I didn’t really expect an offer. When it happened it was pretty cool.”
Though he’s just now establishing a connection with Funk, Roberts has already formed a favorable impression. Further helping the Wolverines’ cause is his longtime admiration for the program.
“He seems like a super classy guy and super good coach,” Roberts said of Funk. “I also think (highly) about Michigan. I watched them every Saturday to watch Denard (Robinson). And I really like their tackles. They have really good tackles when I watched them. Other than that (there’s) the Big House and great football program. Talk about history… that’s Michigan football, kind of the best in the Midwest.”
That kind of appreciation for the winged helmet shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering the Michigan standout that hails from Roberts’ school. Back in 2006 the Wolverines plucked five-star Army All-American Steve Schilling out of Bellevue. That happens to be a player that Roberts is very familiar with.
“I know him… he is #52,” Roberts said excitedly. “He was one of my idols, my role models. I’ve talked to him quite a bit before. He is kind of like my role model guy, you know.”
“I really haven’t talked about the whole (recruiting) process because he hasn’t been around (lately). The one time that he has been able to watch a couple of games he told me to look super good so I don’t ruin the legacy of the number 52. ‘You better play good so you don’t ruin the legacy. You’ve got to keep it going!’”
Roberts is certainly is certainly doing on the high school level, and he hopes to have similar success at the next level. The question is, where will that be? Of the nearly 20 schools on his offer list a few are already standing out.
That mindset gives all of his suitors a chance, even those a bit farther away from home like Michigan. He made that clear when asked whether distance from home will be a factor in his decision.
“Possibly but I also have got to take a look at it,” Roberts responded. “You can’t let that affect you if it is a great school.”
“(The decision will come down to) probably coaching, the feel, the fit, education, and that is pretty much it.”
Assessing such traits is best done on visits. For suitors like Michigan, though, scheduling such distant trips is easier said than done.
“It would be kind of challenging because I’m super busy with our football stuff,” Roberts admitted. “But they are saying that they are going to come up here and try to check me out.”
Stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for more on Roberts in the weeks and months to come.