Heels 'Step Up' with Roberts

North Carolina definitely made real progress with 6-foot-5, 260-pound offensive lineman Desmond Roberts from Gaston (N.C.) Northampton-West during an unofficial visit to Chapel Hill Wednesday.

"Carolina really stepped up," said Roberts. "I'm really considering Carolina after this visit."

Originally supposed to be among the large group of Division I-A recruits at the Tar Heels' Junior Day on Saturday, Roberts had to reschedule the visit to Wednesday. Visiting during the school's busy hours worked in the Tar Heels favor as it gave Roberts a chance to see the student life.

"Well, N.C. State never really gave me a full tour of the campus and the campus life," said Roberts. "But, when we went to Carolina, we went mid-day, saw how everything worked [with the student life], saw the Pit, and saw the atmosphere of the student body during the day. It was really a nice experience.

"I knew a couple of guys there that don't play sports, but they graduated from my [high] school when I was a freshman. They sat down and talked with us and told us how nice the campus is."

Roberts, who is being recruited to play center by assistant coach Ken Browning, also saw plenty of the football side of UNC including receiving his official scholarship offer and meeting with the coaching staff.

"I got there around 10:30," said Roberts. "We toured the building, ate, [and] then toured the rest of the campus. We went back to the football building, we met with Coach [Ken] Browning, and we also met with my new position coach, Coach [Mark] Weber. Before I met with Coach Browning, I sat down and talked for a little while with Coach [John] Bunting and he officially gave me the scholarship offer. We sat down and watched the practice. Each offensive lineman had a playbook, and Coach Weber gave me a few pages out of the playbook."

Before and during the spring practice session, Roberts got to closely observe Weber, the new offensive line coach.

"Coach Weber, he's a real nice guy," said Roberts. "To tell you the truth, he breaks it down a whole lot better than [former offensive line coach] Coach [Hal] Hunter. Not saying Coach Weber is a better coach, but Coach Weber really breaks it down – he's more of a teacher. He teaches you the ins and outs of each play for each person – how they should come off the ball, how should they come to their block. He really broke it down play-by-play, step-by-step."

Over the summer, Roberts will revisit both N.C. State and North Carolina for their summer camps. It would mark the third time he has camped with the Wolfpack, and the second with the Heels in as many years. He is also considering camping at Florida, South Carolina, and Wake Forest.

Roberts, who also claims scholarship offers from N.C. State and South Carolina, doesn't plan to make a verbal commitment until after taking most – if not all – of his official visits.

SCOUTING REPORT: "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

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