Coach Spotlight: Marcquis Roberts
"Marcquis had a great season," Hockman said. "He's been starting ever since his freshman year and has a high football I.Q. Some comes from his instincts and the rest from his knowledge playing the game. He plays smart, makes good decisions or educated guesses at what the offense is going to do. He puts himself in the right space to administer the tackle."
Wearing No. 48 for the McEachern Indians, Roberts was in on 104 tackles as a senior, 67 solo. He rushed the quarterback for eight sacks and had an additional four tackles for loss. When Coach Hockman gave him the ball on offense he was good for seven yards per carry for more than 400 on the season with seven touchdowns.
"We played Marcquis when he was young because he was so physically mature for his age," said Hockman. "Each year he would continue to develop both physically and mentally. He's so mentally tough and competitive that he'll almost will himself to make plays.
"In his junior season, we were 16 down to Woodstock. He stripped the ball from Tanner Skogen, their leading rusher, and carried it back 60 yards for the score. We went on to win the game in overtime, and that was really the turning point."
Scholarship offers came from Cincinnati, South Florida, West Virginia, Virginia, Wake Forest, and South Carolina. The Cincy Bearcats were thought in the lead for Roberts. The same day his teammate, Rory Anderson, gave his pledge to South Carolina, he did as well.
"They had said things about playing together earlier," said Hockman, "but I don't think one's decision influenced the other one's much. I think it really helped South Carolina recruit two players from the same school more than anything else. They could justify spending twice as much time here.
"Marcquis felt very at ease with the coaching staff and Coach (G.A.) Mangus, who is from Cobb County and has recruited the area well from South Carolina and for other schools. It was also a plus that Marcquis has family in Columbia."
Roberts was named All-State (GA-AAAAA) honorable mention this season helping the Indians to a 10-2 record and a berth in the 2nd round of the playoffs. He was also selected and played in the Georgia North/South All-Star Classic.
"Marcquis has done well here," said Hockman of his high school experience. "In the classroom he's a B student. He's very gregarious with a big personality. He has a real presence about him. Marcquis is the type of guy who can get along with all kinds of people."
McEachern will finish on May 24th. They plan a signing day ceremony to celebrate the scholarships. Hockman says wide receiver Chris Davis is likely headed to Middle Tennessee State, linebacker Jefferson Ashiru will decide between Connecticut and Stanford, and offensive lineman Xavier Hemingway will likely decide between Connecticut and Southern Miss. That leaves the possibility open of Hockman sending another pair off to the same school this summer.
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