While Roach projects as a pass-rushing defensive end or outside linebacker at the next level, his versatility enables him to fill up the stat sheet in other rows, too. On top of the 20.5 sacks, 147 combined tackles, 25 TFL, 10 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and five defensive touchdowns he racked up, Roach also made a bunch of plays on offense for Madison Prep offensive coordinator James Dartez.
"I had 25 or 30 catches, somewhere in that range. I think I had seven touchdowns on offense. I think I had 543 receiving yards, and I think I had 200 rushing yards."
The 6-foot-3, 245-pound defender spent time at outside linebacker, defensive end, middle linebacker, tight end, fullback, slot receiver, and even wildcat quarterback last season.
Coach Dartez connected with RaiderPower.com to discuss Roach's prowess on the field and video-game type numbers.
"Malcolm is a special kid. If I had to pick his greatest attribute it would be his football IQ. Malcolm grew up around football, his dad (Madison Prep HC Mike Roach) is a coach, he was always in meeting rooms, breaking down film. His football IQ really makes a difference. This is the second year we've had football, a five-year-old high school. It's never been a high school before so a lot of people don't even know we play football. If he was at a bigger school, he'd have more offers."
Dartez went on to speak about Roach's versatility, recalling that he put Roach in at quarterback when the starter went down.
"Wherever he decides to go to school, he's gonna fit in. He's one of those kids that knows what he wants to do, but would do anything to help the team. He's just a football player. People recruit him for defensive end, he caught 30 catches as a tight end. Won the long snapping competition at an Alabama camp. We lost in the semifinal game in our second year of ball, and I put Malcolm in at quarterback and I think he had something like six rushing touchdowns. Wherever he's needed, he'll play, wherever he goes."
Coach Dartez had good things to say about Texas Tech. The offensive coordinator played wide receiver in high school and was being recruited while Kliff Kingsbury was tearing up passing records on the field. He even took a visit to Lubbock his senior year.
"When I was in high school I was trying to go to Texas Tech. I grew up watching Texas Tech, I was a receiver. I've visited the campus before, when I was in high school, and I just love the atmosphere."
The coach likes what he sees out of Roach on and off the field and is excited for the defender's future. He cites his dedication to the sport - having a personal trainer, staying in shape, breaking down film, etc. - as a reason for Roach's success on the field.
Many schools are beginning to recruit the fast-rising prospect, including Texas Tech. Former Louisiana Tech assistant and Texas Tech cornerbacks coach Kevin Curtis has built a relationship with the prospect, who Texas Tech is recruiting as a defensive end. New defensive line coach Mike Smith evaluated and offered Roach in person after a quick phone conversation with coach Kingsbury.
"He's violent. He had probably 25 sacks this year. We put in him coverage sometimes, but he's a very strong kid, has a sharp burst. He just kind of jumps out on film. He's doing all the things to make himself successful. Everybody has room to improve, but I know the work that he's put in in the offseason."
"Me and Coach Curtis have been talking to each other since the football season ended last year. That's when me and him developed a real good relationship with each other. He said he'd send the DL/OLB coach to come look at me. They said he wanted to offer me. Coach Curtis called me and just said we have to develop a great relationship with each other."
While the recruiting battle for the defensive lineman is just beginning, he likes what he sees in Texas Tech so far.
"I know they have a great tradition, good alumni, a good following, great football players have come out of Texas Tech, and coach said I'd get a great education if I went there."
Roach was asked what he's looking for in a school, and how he would feel about leaving the state to play football.
"I'd have to say a great football atmosphere, a great fanbase, a great history with a coach, and that's what I think about coach Kingsbury, when I watch him on YouTube, dancing with the players, they're always having fun. I think that's basically it. A home away from home, basically. As of right now I'm just trying to find a good fit for me and go and play football."
Roach is working on getting an unofficial visit set up to Lubbock this summer--he already has one planned to Arizona. While he is excited by the offers and interest pouring in from schools across the country, he doesn't have any favorites and doesn't plan on committing any time soon.
"Right now I'm just keeping everybody even, still keeping the process slow. I think probably after the end of football season, I'll really get in my head where I want to go and where I want to commit. As of right now I want to commit right after the season ends, probably. That's probably my timeline."
The Bayou state standout currently holds offers from Houston, Memphis, Texas Tech, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Ohio, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Tulane, and Grambling State. He also reports interest from Michigan, Arizona, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt, among others.