In-Person Scout: Derick Roberson

LonghornDigest.com breaks down Derick Roberson after catching him at the Texas High School State Championships.

One of the knocks — if you could call it that — on Roberson's game coming out of his junior season was that he wasn't quite as explosive as you would have liked from a pass-rusher. He was fluid and could change direction, but he didn't explode off the line. Now, it figured to be more a technique thing than an athleticism one, as Roberson is a very good basketball player with an outstanding vertical, so the athletic ability was there.

And Roberson himself mentioned this offseason that he worked most on his first step. He improved his 40 time from a mid-4.7 clocking to one closer to the 4.6-flat range. And included in that was an ability to burst past blockers at a much better rate.

It should be noted that Friday's game was hardly the first time that LonghornDigest.com saw Roberson this season, taking him in at Texas camp this summer and then for two games prior to the Texas State Championship against Denton Guyer. And Denton Guyer figured to be one of the tougher games for Roberson to show his ability, as he was going head-to-head with arguably the most elusive quarterback in the state (Kyler Murray would have an argument here, but I digress). Additionally, while San Antonio Brennan's defense was unbelievably dominant in the season — pitching nine shutouts in 15 games and allowing just 3.4 points per game in those 15 games prior to meeting Denton Guyer — it hadn't played a team with Guyer's collection of offensive talent.

Roberson's numbers weren't off the charts, but he made an impact in helping to slow a team that was only once held below 35 points this season, the previous round against Dallas-area power Highland Park. Guyer rarely attempted to block him with one player, got the ball out quickly when the Wildcats did throw the ball, and rarely ran the ball in his direction.

On one play, Roberson split an attempted triple team to pressure Heard, with the quarterback avoiding Roberson to lob a touch pass into the end zone for a touchdown. And that was generally the way the game went for Roberson, who found himself one other player on defense away from likely having a big day. With a high-level end on the other side, perhaps Roberson would have had a chance to hit home more often, as teams couldn't routinely cut him and avoid him.

But even in such a game, Roberson flashed why he's such a big-time prospect. His quickness and athleticism, for a player who is now 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, is astounding. He'll have to add bulk, but with his frame (and his limited time working in the weight room) seeing him at 255-265 pounds isn't really a stretch.

He'll also need to continue to polish up his technique work, but with added weight and the strength that will come with it, there's no reason to think Roberson won't be one of the top weak-side ends in this 2014 recruiting class.


Horns Digest Top Stories