- Chantel Jennings, ESPN Staff Writer
Most people would think that being the son of an NFL tight end coach would result in long, laborious, tactical conversations about the position and schemes.
And don’t get it wrong, Watch List wide receiver Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) has had a few of those conversations with his father, Colts tight ends coach Alfredo Roberts. But more often, the two will talk about the recruiting process, with Alfredo giving advice to his son about how to handle it as a player.
“He was at FAU before he was in the NFL so he’s able to give me the recruiter’s perspectives,” Austin said of his father. “He has been a really big help so far.”
The 6-foot-2, 208-pound receiver (who some colleges are looking at as a flex-tight end-wide receiver) holds nine offers from the likes of Florida, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Stanford and Indiana.
Because academics are a big item for the both Austin and his father, Stanford has stood out.
“The power of that degree, it’ll open so many doors when all is said and done,” Roberts said. “Who knows, I may end up playing eight years in the NFL or I may never get a chance, but that degree sets you up for life.”
But Ohio State and Florida aren’t far behind.
Ohio State provides a school, closer to home, that has it all -- academics, campus atmosphere, and a rising football program.
And for the Florida native, the Gators have always been interesting. But the family’s move to Indiana has provided its own challenges.
“How football is for Florida, that’s how basketball is up here. But still, [football in Indiana] is very competitive,” Roberts said. “Carmel is in 5A and we play the best teams week in and week out. People may think that Indiana isn’t known for football but there’s a lot of talent everywhere.”
The junior will be visiting IU this weekend for the Indiana-Michigan basketball game and hopes to make a few more visits this winter and spring for basketball games and junior days. He also hopes to pick up a few more offers so that he has a better idea of which campuses he needs to get on to this summer.
Of late, Alabama and Michigan State have started reaching out to Roberts, and every week college coaches are stopping by Carmel High School (Stanford and Florida expected later this week).
“If there are a couple schools from that I’m really interested in and if I don’t get offers from them in the spring then I might have to go to their camp and show them my skills,” Roberts said. “But it’s early right now and I don’t have a great idea of where I want to go yet. The future is exciting.”
448dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert