Oklahoma OL Roark Weighing His Options

An Ohio State assistant coach is due to look in on Ada, Okla., offensive line prospect Craig Roark this week. Click here for an update on this standout line prospect and a list of who has already offered.

The Insiders.com has not released its national top 100 list for 2004 -- that list is coming sometime in June, national recruiting editor Jamie Newberg said.

But it seems like a safe bet that once that list is published Ada, Okla., offensive lineman Craig Roark's name will be on it.

Roark (6-3 ½, 290, 4.93) has already built an impressive list of scholarship offers. He has 15 major college offers, including Baylor, Nebraska, Alabama, SMU, Arizona, Kansas State, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio State, Kentucky, LSU, TCU, Florida State, UCLA and Florida.

Regarding Ohio State, Roark said, "I like them. I would say it is probably because of the success they have had with linemen and just their players in general. They get to the next level and they compete and they just have that tradition.

"Their offensive line coach (Jim Bollman) will be here Friday to see me. We have a padded camp during the spring."

It is curious that the top two schools in Roark's home state, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, have not offered. Expect that to change very soon, though.

"The way I understand it, they are both about to offer," said Roark, who lives about an hour from Norman and two hours from Stillwater.

Roark was asked if offers from his instate schools would sway him.

"I think at one time that may have been true," he said. "But, to be honest with you, with what I have seen from some of these other schools, I think I will probably take some visits. I'm not saying I would not go there to either of those schools, but I definitely want to look around. I have not narrowed my list at all."

In fact, Roark said Oklahoma assistant Bo Pellini, a former Ohio State player, saw him work out recently and said he would recommend that the Sooners offer him sooner rather than later.

He is also expecting Miami (Fla.) and USC to possibly offer at some point. One school that has made a strong impression on Roark is Nebraska, where he attended the spring game. Former Oklahoma coach John Blake is recruiting Roark for the Huskers.

"I was impressed with the attention they gave me," he said. "It was like I had my own personal interview. I wasn't with the other recruits. It was like being on an official visit without being on one actually.

"Right now, I like Nebraska because they are recruiting me the hardest. Last week, I got 15 handwritten letters from them. They send me stuff all the time. They treat me well. I love their tradition with linemen. They get linemen to the NFL and that speaks a lot about them. I went to their spring game and they really rolled out the red carpet for me. I got to do the tunnel walk with the players and they had a locker and jersey with my name on it. It was really cool.

"Then, I went into a meeting with (new Nebraska coach Bill) Callahan and he told me that I was the best offensive lineman that they had seen on film. And then, he gave me a hug and personally, I think that's pretty cool when they can do that."

Roark still has to play his senior season. But he has already been invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Game scheduled for January in San Antonio. Being regarded as one of the country's top offensive line prospects has been interesting, Roark said.

"It is pretty crazy," he said. "I never expected it. I never expected this kind of attention. It's an honor."

Regarding summer camps, Roark said he plans to attend the Oklahoma camp June 2 and Oklahoma State's June 5. Beyond those two stops, he is hopeful of eyeballing many of his favorite schools.

"I am hoping to take a lot of visits this summer," he said. "I know I'll go out west to Stanford, UCLA and USC. Then I'll also go to all the Florida schools. I'm also going to check out Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State. It should be fun."

Analysts project Roark as a center or guard at the college level.

"I think my best assets are the way I use my leverage," he said. "I think I am aggressive as a run blocker. I use my leverage to throw people around.

"Schools are recruiting me for center even though I've never played center. I'm a better run blocker than a pass blocker. I'm aggressive, athletic and agile. My quickness is better than my speed. I've run a 4.5 shuttle. We don't pass much on our team so I need to work on my pass blocking. But I've never allowed a sack -- but we basically just run the ball at Ada. We don't pass."

Roark benches 385 pounds and power cleans 285. He holds a 3.8 GPA, including a 4.1 for the current school year. He is more than qualified with a 25 on the ACT.


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