Any high school that faces the Hun School in Princeton, NJ this year had better be wary of the programs ultra-talented defensive backfield. At one safety spot will be the nation's top defensive back in Myron Rolle and at the other will be another sure-fire division one prospect in ATH Jaslee Rouson.
At 5-10, 220 pounds and boasting 4.5-second speed in the 40-yard dash, Rouson's best attribute may be his versatility. He's played RB and FB and, in addition to those two spots, could also project as a Safety or Linebacker on the next level.
Rouson recently told Pack Pride that playing in the offensive backfield was his first love but he's willing to play wherever needed to get on the field in college.
"My whole life I have always played tailback," he said. "Going all the way back to when I played Pee Wee football, I played tailback so I really had to swallow my pride when I came to the Hun School and they moved me to fullback. Although I'd prefer to play RB, really, I'll play where ever the coaches want me to play. I'd play guard if they asked me to, just as long as I was starting."
In 2005, Rouson will rarely see the sidelines. He will line up as the team's kick returner, punt returner, fullback and will also see time at running back and safety. That kind of versatility has landed Rouson early offers from Rutgers, Syracuse and Maryland. NC State has shown heavy interest as well, getting an up close and personal look at the rising senior at the Elite Combine held in NJ earlier this year.
"Coach Barry was up here for the combine. He was watching me and got all my info. They hadn't really talked so much about what position they like me for. But State is a school I really like because my whole family is from North Carolina."
Rouson talked further about NC State and some interesting connections to the Wolfpack program.
"Honestly, my dream has always been to play division one football," said Rouson. "But my family lives down there and my dad and Toney Baker Sr know each other. I've been friends with Toney Baker for a long time and I really like him because he's such a great guy and has such a great personality. Toney's dad was actually showing us film of a couple of his games and, although we're kind of built the same way and play the same position, I think the competition would be good because there's going to be competition wherever you go. I've heard a lot about NC State and I want to go see it for myself."
Rouson will get that chance as he'll make a tour of all the in-state schools during the week of August 8th.
"I'm definitely going to see NC State, Wake Forest, UNC and Duke," he said. That all has to do with family reasons. Most likely, wherever I go to school, my family is going to move down with me."
The rising senior told Pack Pride that it's unlikely that he'll wait around until signing day to make a decision. In fact, if he gets an offer from one of the in-state schools, he could pull the trigger at any time if it's the right situation for him.
"I get the right amount of offers, I could decide in the next month," said Rouson. "I don't see myself waiting to February to make a decision. Most likely it would be by the end of my senior season.
"I would commit in a heartbeat if it were one of the Carolina schools if I go down there and they're offering what I'm looking for."
Rouson is a fine student in the classroom and projects as a full academic qualifier. He hopes to major in Physical Education and one day become a personal trainer.