Sunday, March 10, 2013
Watch List WR talks Tide offer, visits
By Greg Ostendorf
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- New assistant coach Mario Cristobal sought out yet another target for the University of Alabama.
Austin Roberts (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) is not an offensive lineman and he doesn’t live in the state of Florida, but Cristobal began recruiting the ESPN Watch List wide receiver when he was at Miami. He recently introduced Roberts to the UA coaches, and last week, the Crimson Tide offered a scholarship.
“I almost choked on my gum when my coach told me,” Roberts said. “I was like, ‘For real? Alabama?’ I kind of didn’t believe it for a half second, but then it’s like, 'OK, this is real.'”
Roberts moved to Indiana from Florida last summer. The day after receiving his offer, he talked with Alabama head coach Nick Saban over the phone.
“It went really well,” he said. “The conversation opened my eyes to a lot of things about Alabama that I didn’t know. We talked about what position I’d be playing there, what Alabama was all about, just general things. It was kind of an introduction to the university.”
As for his position, Roberts plays wide receiver for Carmel High School, but he’s 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds. If he keeps growing, Saban said he could also play the H-back position for the Tide.
“He said they evaluated me. They see me being their big, red-zone, possession wide receiver, but if I keep growing, I may end up being an H-back for them,” Roberts said. “I’ve got a little bit to grow if I want to play H-back, but it’s good to possibly have that option.”
Other interested schools, including Florida, Miami and Ohio State, are all recruiting Roberts to potentially play the H-back position.
The junior has 14 offers. Last fall, he visited Indiana, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Purdue. He’s scheduled to visit Michigan State on Wednesday, and he plans to visit both Florida and Miami next month during his spring break.
A trip to Tuscaloosa, Ala., also is in the works for this summer.
“The [coaches] said they’d really love me to come down either the spring or the summer to show me what the university is all about,” Roberts said. “It’s a must. I’m definitely going to be going down there sometime this summer.”