Roberts Gives Texas High Marks

The Texas Longhorns hosted a number of the state's top sophomores for the spring game. West Orange-Stark receiver Mark Roberts was in Austin for the spring game and came away quite impressed. Burnt Orange Beat spoke with Roberts to discuss his early impressions.

The Texas Longhorns have made the West Orange-Stark Mustangs a program of emphasis in the Golden Triangle area. Every year, the Mustangs program, led by legendary head coach Don Hooks, produces Football Bowl Subdivision prospects and the 2011 class will be another strong class led by receiver Mark Roberts.

The 6-3, 172-pounder played on the varsity as a sophomore and while he didn't produce eye popping stats on a team that features juniors James Haynes and Trey Franks at the receiver position, his talent and potential jumped out in limited opportunities.

With a long stride, deceptive speed, long arms and the ability to play the ball in the air, the lanky sophomore has caught the eye of a number of college programs that have made their way to Orange to check out Haynes and Franks.

One of the programs that has taken notice is the Texas Longhorns, who sent out an invite to Roberts to attend the spring game. Roberts gladly accepted and had a great time.

"Man, it was great," said Roberts. "I got there about 12:30. They showed me around a little. We were introduced to all of the coaches. I watched the corner backs and receivers during the game. I now know I've got to be more physical and explosive off the line of scrimmage. We left during the fourth quarter, but it was a great experience."

Roberts, who runs on the Mustangs 4x400 relay team, says the Longhorns along with one other school have always been at the top of his list.

"I like Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Oregon. Texas Tech too. I grew up liking Texas and the Florida Gators. I'm hoping to make summer camps at LSU, Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma. Maybe Florida too, but the schools close for sure," Roberts said.

The cousin of former Port Arthur Memorial and Oklahoma State defensive back Calvin Roberts says he and his teammates are focused on getting past the third round of the 3A playoffs in 2009. West Orange-Stark lost to Gilmer 35-23 last year.

"Right now, we are playing 7-on-7 against Little Cypress-Mauriceville when we can. We are about state. My goals are just to keep winning, hopefully advance past the third round and on to win state," Roberts said.

Roberts and his Mustang teammates will be competing in the 3A regional track meet at Turner Stadium in Humble May 1-2. The Mustang track team, coached by Toby Foreman, are considered a strong favorite to take home the 3A team state championship.

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