Scout Watch: The Citadel at North Carolina

With the college football season starting this week,'s Chris Steuber has the latest and confirms that 11 NFL teams will attend North Carolina's home opener. has confirmed that representatives from the Arizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets and San Diego Chargers will be in Chapel Hill on Saturday night to see North Carolina open up against the Citadel.

Roberts had a breakout '08 season, and has scouts curious about the kind of year he will have in '09.
AP/Richard Shiro

On paper, this appears to be a huge mismatch between the No. 21 Tar Heels and the Bulldogs, who are a team that’s just happy to have a chance to play a top team in the country. And as much of a mismatch as this appears to be, it’s amazing that the top prospect in this game will be making plays for the Citadel, and that player is wide receiver Andre Roberts.

It’s not like the Tar Heels don’t have any highly touted senior players, because they do in offensive tackle Kyle Jolly, defensive end E.J. Wilson and the imposing defensive tackle tandem of Aleric Mullins and Cam Thomas. But, Roberts is the reason why eleven teams are attending this game on Saturday.

At 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Roberts is undersized, but explosive and can create a lot of problems for the opposition. He’s a dangerous weapon in space and downfield, but he has to improve as a route runner in general and show toughness over the middle. He has a knack for finding an opening in the defense and offers a reliable target to his quarterback. He doesn’t have elite speed, but is very quick and moves well laterally. He’s a playmaker in the open field and is a threat to take it the distance every time the ball is in his hands. Roberts finished the 2008 season with 90 catches for 1,268 yards and 14 touchdowns.

In addition to the fine senior prospects the Tar Heels have, the two players that scouts are excited about are junior linebackers Quan Sturdivant and Bruce Carter.

At 6-foot-2, 232 pounds, Sturdivant is coming off of a stat-stuffing sophomore year where he recorded 122 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, two sacks and two interceptions. An instinctive player with the ability to disrupt the action at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield, Sturdivant is the straw that stirs the defensive mix. Carter, who possesses good pass rushing skills and a rangy frame, collected 68 tackles, 11 for a loss, five sacks and an interception. The two standouts in the Tar Heels front seven enter the ’09 season with high expectations, and if they duplicate or exceed their production from a year ago, they will be faced with a tough decision concerning their football futures at seasons end.

A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the network and on If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at:

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