One of the early jewels in Chuck Amato's recruiting class of 2007 was the verbal commitment he received back in August from OL Desmond Roberts from Northampton High-West in Gaston, NC. The 6-5, 260 pound lineman is rated the No. 21 player in North Carolina and a three-star prospect by Scout.com.
Northampton has raced out to an impressive 5-0 start in 2006 with Roberts anchoring the offensive line from his center position. The senior lineman also got a chance to play a little defense earlier this year- a role that Roberts relished.
"They let me play a little defensive tackle in the first few games," said Roberts. "I really love defense and I've been asking the coaches since ninth grade to let me give it a shot. But I'm back to full time on the offensive line now."
On the recruiting side, things are a lot quieter now that Roberts has committed to NC State although a couple of schools are still trying to change his mind.
"Once I committed to State, Virginia Tech stopped calling," he said. "UNC stopped calling. But Louisville and Penn State are still trying to get me to come up to one of their games. I was supposed to be going to the Penn State-Michigan State game but I'm taking the SAT that day so I won't be making it. I might make it to another game up there, though. I figure if they want to give me free tickets I ought to take it because I won't ever get a chance to go again."
While some may take that to mean Roberts is soft in his commitment, he said that is certainly not the case.
"I'm still solid for NC State," he said. "I would just be going up there to see a game."
Roberts was recently on hand for State's win over Boston College and was thrilled with what he saw.
"That was fun," he said. "We were up in the stands and I just had a feeling we were going to pull it out. Andre broke that long run and then Toney had another long run and I was like, yeah, this is going to be a good game. We left at the beginning of the fourth quarter because we wanted to beat the traffic, but I went to a friend's house and got to watch the ending on TV and that was crazy."
While on his visit last weekend, Roberts also had a chance to talk to one of State's top in-state defensive prospects and he plans to do a little recruiting of his own down the road.
"I got a chance to talk to Tydreke Powell while I was there," said Roberts. "We didn't talk so much about recruiting. It was more just talking about how our seasons are going. I got his cell number so I plan to give him a call."
Notes: An all-conference selection, Roberts led a powerful offensive line that was the driving force behind Northampton West High's surprising run to the state championship game.
Roberts landed scholarship offers from South Carolina, NC State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Penn State, Louisville, and Maryland prior to committing to the Wolfpack. He projects as a center on the next level.
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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