Visit makes a solid commit even more solid

Craig Roark was able to attend the season opener in Lincoln this past weekend. BigRedReport had a chance to catch up with Craig on Labor Day and he talked about his visit, other official visitors, Phillip Dillard, Richie Incognito and what this visit did for him.

So the story will go for Craig Roark from the tradition-rich field at Ada, Oklahoma to the field in Lincoln, Nebraska next season. Ada over the past 4-5 years has turned out such players as Jeremy Shockey and Dan Cody. This season Craig and his brother Chad lead the charge.

"It went real good Friday night," Roark said. "It was the best game I've ever had. I haven't watched the video yet. I am going to do that this afternoon. We should have won 37-0, but we turned it over twice on our own 15 yard line."

The opponent, Ardmore, was rated as a 5A team and Ada is a 4A class. Last year Ardmore made it to the state semi-final game in 5A. Ada is now ranked No. 1 in class 4A. This upcoming week though No. 1 Ada (4A) takes on No. 1 in 5A Carl Albert in Midwest City this Friday night at 7:30.

Following the Ada win the Roark family left "bright" and early at 5:00 AM for Lincoln. Due to some NCAA rules the Roark's were unable to participate in some activities that official visitors could do because they were on an unofficial visit.

"We headed over to the stadium around 3:00 and hung out with some official visitors there and talked to them a little bit. Had some fun with them and then we went over and ate. Then we went down on the field and had a bunch of people yelling at us. They all knew our names. A bunch of people knew who I was, it was cool."

This was a big weekend for Nebraska for official visitors who were hosting such players as Averel Spicer, Roberto Wallace, Marquis Wilson, Anthony Crosby, Rey Maualuga, Russell Tialavea and Nebraska commit Phillip Dillard. Nebraska also had Jacob Hickman commit who was in town on an unofficial visit.

"I met Spicer or Spice. The people that I hung out with were him, Phillip, Roberto Wallace and Anthony Crosby. I got to meat Jacob Hickman at the very end of the day."

"Spice is real cool and I think that he liked it a lot. He weighed 275 when we did our heights and weights."

To further de-bunk any rumors about Roark's height he came in at 6-foot-3 and 287 pounds. To add credibility to this weekend's measurements, Russell Tialavea came in at 6-foot-1.5.

"Roberto (Wallace) came in at like 6-foot-5. He's big. He's really cool. I liked him a lot. He and Averel both seemed like they were having a lot of fun. Averel is the most solid 275 pounds I've ever seen in my life. He's huge. He plays tail back and defensive end in California. Imagine that man."

"I've got a good feeling about Crosby. His mom liked it a lot, she was there. She was decked out in red and white. He loved it too."

Roark was informed later on Saturday by Hickman that he was committing. He was unaware of any other commits before he left Lincoln, but speculated a little bit about the possibility of more commits.

"Crosby would be the closest I would guess. I think that all three of the guys (Wilson, Crosby and Wallace) would have a really good chance to commit. I don't know anything for sure yet. They aren't home quite yet."

Roark also had a chance to meet with Richie Incognito at the game. "Richie came and found me and gave me a big ol' hug. He told me that the door was there for him to come back, he had to make that decision though and walk through it. He told me that he was coming back. That was some good news."

While hanging out with the other visitors and having a chance to talk to Richie was very important, one of the best experiences that Craig had while in Lincoln was to experience the tunnel walk.

"Getting to do the tunnel walk. What we did was the captains go out first and then the other coaches other than Bill Callahan all come out ahead of time. We got to go out with them. Oh my gosh, it was awesome."

"As we were walking out Coach Dennis Wagner wanted me and Phillip to lead it out. Phillip told me that I could have it. As we were walking out Coach Wagner put his arm around me and told me that he needed me now. It was awesome. It gave me chills. Everyone was screaming and they knew my name. I just wanted to play right there."

"Phillip loved it. It was awesome. We were talking throughout the entire game about how we chose this over Oklahoma, this was awesome. Oklahoma is nothing like this and everything. We were just pumped."

Craig and his family saw all that they needed the see last time to earn Craig's commitment. There wasn't anything that they had to check into this weekend at all to remain a solid commitment. But, per Craig the weekend really solidified his already solid commitment.

"I really had a blast. I think that the fan support was even more than I thought it was. Everyone knew my name. They were all yelling my name and saying 'Craig is the man' and 'I love Craig Roark'. I could hear it everywhere. Everywhere I went. It was awesome. Chad loved it to."

Nothing was really said between Chad and the coaching staff. However, early indications are from scrimmages and the first game that Chas is every bit as good as Craig, per one report that Craig has seen, and will be recruited just as much as Craig was this summer.

Big Red Report Top Stories