Roh To Shift His Focus

Today is the last day of school for students at Chaparral High in Scottsdale, Ariz., and four-star defensive end Craig Roh can now finally turn his head away from maintaining his 4.3 GPA in the classroom, and focus on recruiting.

Expect to see Craig Roh trim his 33 scholarship offers down to a lucky 10 programs over the next two weeks.

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Roh often wonders how he is going to do it.

"It's going to be hard," he said. Places like Notre Dame, LSU, USC, Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, Arizona and Arizona State have offered. "There is a lot of really good choices. My Dad knows a lot about these schools, and we're going to take in account a lot of factors, and hopefully narrow it down and eventually find one school."

Sounds like Notre Dame will be one of the programs to make the initial cut.

"I think for sure," Fred Roh, Craig's father said. "I think Notre Dame will definitely be in the top 10. He visited there. It's one of six or seven schools he's visited. He liked it a lot and had a fun time. I think they'll definitely be in the top 10, plus it's an hour and a half away from where my family lives."

Fred is from Grand Rapids, Mich, and graduated from Grand Valley State as the basketball program's second all-time leading scorer. Craig visited Notre Dame for the first time in April, attending the Irish's spring game.

"I've been getting emails from them, and letters and stuff," Roh said of his contact with Notre Dame since visiting. "And they came to my spring practice a couple times."

Roh has been emailing with Irish defensive line coach Jappy Oliver.

"I just tell him about my schedule," Roh said. "It's mostly stuff like that, summer plans and stuff."

Roh will soon have to figure out what he likes and dislikes about each school. He commented on what he sees as positives regarding the Irish.

"Notre Dame's tradition," he stated. "Their tradition, where they're going to be football wise. Even though they had a tough year, they're still Notre Dame and widely known throughout the world.

"When we went up to Notre Dame, It was just crazy the support and stuff, and how many people are integrated into the Notre Dame program."

After Roh and his family settle on some favorites, they will then decide what schools to visit over the next couple months. Besides Notre Dame, Roh has also been to Stanford, UCLA, USC, Arizona, Arizona State and Oklahoma. The only school for sure to get a look this summer is Michigan, where Roh has never been before.

Every year, the Roh's take a trip to Grand Rapids, and that week of June 27th thru July 5th, they will make their way over to Ann Arbor at some point. Another stop at Notre Dame is possible.

"We're a little short on time and we haven't been to the University of Michigan at all," the elder Roh said. "It depends on where we fly into. If we fly into Chicago. we may make a trip around the lake and pop in. I'm not sure who is going to be around, around the fourth of July."

This past season, Roh racked up 99 tackles including 15.5 sacks. Oliver has told him how he fits into the Irish's future plans.

"They see me almost as a weak side rusher kind of end, like a pass rusher," Roh explained. "I think they also said they drop their d-ends back into coverage a lot, and that is something they see me doing."


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories