NC State was one of the first programs to offer offensive lineman Desmond Roberts from Northampton High-West in Gaston, N.C., and he has emerged as a major target for the Pack in the weeks since.
The 6-5, 265 pounder was on hand for the adidas Elite Camp at NC State this past Saturday and performed well in front of several college coaches. He ran a respectable 5.5-second laser-timed 40-yard dash and looked impressive in one-on-one drills. Roberts is extremely powerful in his lower body and has proven to be a major force at center, especially in the run game at Northampton.
To date, Roberts has picked up offers from Virginia Tech, NC State, East Carolina, UNC and South Carolina. Although the Pack has been named the leader on several occasions, a recent trip to Virginia Tech has apparently eroded the Wolfpack's stronghold. Robert's talked about where he's been and where he's planning to go over the next few weeks.
"I went to Virginia Tech for their spring game and I hope to get to East Carolina sometime this month," said Roberts. "I'm also planning to go to Florida this summer for camp."
Robert's trip to Blacksburg certainly bolstered the Hokies' chances according to the rising senior and now they find themselves in a nip and tuck battle with the Wolfpack.
"NC State is tied with Virginia Tech right now," said Roberts. "I have family in Blacksburg, and I have family 15 minutes from Raleigh."
Roberts talked about both programs.
"State, their program is nice," he said. "I like all the coaches. The main difference is, I really haven't had any contact in person with any of the players.
"When I went to Virginia Tech, their stadium is nice, the equipment is nice. The campus, facilities, everything was good. But I got a chance to talk to some of the players and they really enjoyed Virginia Tech as far as how much they could do up there compared to the city and plus, stay out of trouble."
Roberts added that he doesn't plan to drag his recruiting out.
"It's going to be a hard decision though," he said. "It'll hit me soon, I know. I'm going to try to make a decision no later than football season. If not, I'll know by the time football season is over."
SCOUTING REPORT: "It is rare to see a 6-5, 260 pound prospect playing center on the high school level. Then again, Desmond Roberts isn't your average high school player. While he is technically sound at center, Roberts has all the tools to be a solid guard on the collegiate level. Most impressive is his drive off the ball, ability to get underneath the defender and flexibility. Roberts moves like a player that is 50 pounds lighter. He does a super job of engaging the opposing defensive lineman and driving his man off the ball. It's not uncommon to see Roberts 10 yards down the field, leading the charge on running plays. A young player, Roberts is still growing and could project as a guard or tackle on the next level." -- Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams
"About as quick a center as you will find, moves well off the ball and finds the second level quickly. Very aware of his surroundings, great as a primary blocker and when helping maintains good contact while finding his free-flowing linebacker. Great natural bend, good frame that could put on more weight, and a great leader on the field." -- Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit
COACH QUOTE: "Desmond is just a baby. He's 16 and won't turn 17 until November. He wears a 17 shoe and is still growing. Everybody is all over him." -- Northampton West head coach Diego Hasty
#55 Desmond Roberts Video
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