Oklahoma took the chance, and it’s paying off. The Sooners were content and confident that junior college defensive lineman Austin Roberts was going to get his academic situation under control and arrive in Norman for the 2015 season.
It took until mid-August, but it finally did happen. Roberts arrived last week and has done as well as you can possibly expect through just one week of practices.
“He’s a big, athletic young man,” defensive line coach Diron Reynolds said. “He has a lot of upside. We just have to continue to get him caught up. When he gets caught up, think he’s going to take off.”
Roberts committed to OU and to Reynolds back in June, but he still had multiple academic hurdles to overcome before arriving in Norman. He put in the work during summer school, and once his transcripts were finalized, was on the first flight to his new home.
Roberts is already one of the biggest defensive ends on the team, standing at a legit 6-foot-6 and weighing close to 265 pounds. Reynolds liked what he saw of Roberts on tape and is hoping he’ll bring that pass rushing ability to OU as well.
Originally from Georgia, Roberts could have went to SEC schools if he was OK with being a 2016 class recruit. He wanted to play now, and OU is giving him the best opportunity.
“He’s ready to go,” Reynolds said. “He’s hungry. He has the opportunity to do a lot of good things.
One reason why is Reynolds said he has Roberts watching a lot of Charles Tapper. Roberts has been practicing as the backup to Tapper so far. Tapper, a senior from Baltimore, was voted as one of the team’s five captains earlier this week.