Football season officially returned last week in Indiana, a full week earlier than the State of Michigan. It also marked the debut of 2014 WR, Austin Roberts at his new school, Carmel. Roberts and his teammates played host to Columbus North and sent the visitors packing with a 27-7 defeat.
“It was a fun game,” said Roberts. “I came out here with my heart and my stomach in my throat, but once I got through my first couple series, kind of stalemates, it kind of hit me and I said I got to step it up. The team's looking for a leader and I attempted to be a leader, but everyone came together and we were able to pull out a pretty big win.”
Part of the reason for Roberts’ added nerves Roberts was his new beginning. After transferring up from Plant high school in Tampa, Florida, he feels himself settling in nicely.
“My family wanted to stay together even though I did try to stay at Plant for two more years,” said Roberts. “We found Carmel, came up here during the spring and took a visit, trying to see if me and my brother could get a feel for the school. I feel like we made a real good decision and I’m really enjoying my time here.”
The time Roberts put in the weight room since his arrival in Indiana is paying large dividends in the form of production on the football field.
“I think it’d be breaking tackles after first contact cause I kind of surprised myself today when I caught a little hitch and it kind of turned into a 15 yard dragging four people so I was like oh man I didn’t know I could do that,” said Roberts. “Being locked in the weight room this summer helped me a lot.”
At 6-2 and 185 pounds, he has the physical tools to be able to dominate on the high school level, but Roberts will still be the first to say he’s far from a finished product.
“Definitely have to improve on playing the ball in the year a lot better,” said Roberts. “They targeted me on the jump ball and I wasn’t able to bring it down. I’m going to work on that the next couple weeks and hopefully I’m going to improve on that.”
Having seven scholarship offers in hand already, Roberts has seen a spike in his recruitment as of late. NCAA rules limit the amount of contact he’s been able to have to this point, but Roberts plans on taking a more active approach in the coming weeks.
“Stanford, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Florida, Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern,” said Roberts. “Its been kind of hard since they can’t contact me yet but with their camp starting and me just getting out of camp and starting school its been kind of a dead period but I’m going to try to contact as many as I can next weekend.”
One school Roberts has stayed in consistent contact with is Michigan. Michigan defensive backs coach Curt Mallory has already built a positive rapport with the talented pass catcher.
“I talk to Coach Mallory at least twice a month,” said Roberts. “He’s a cool guy and he really wants me to get up to campus, but I missed my chance for the barbecue. It’s a four hour drive so I’m pretty sure I’m going to make it up there at one point. I’m going to keep bugging my parents to let me go so I’ll get up there at one point.”
Although Roberts admits he initially didn’t know a whole lot about the Maize & Blue, Mallory has been getting him up to speed on everything there is to know about Michigan football history.
“Coach Mallory is very informative,” said Roberts. “When I found out Michigan was recruiting me I kind of knew just Denard Robinson.”
“I’ve been asking a lot of questions about history, tradition,” he continued. “More about that rather than where they see me playing. He’s been helping me out a lot in the recruiting process.”
One feather in the cap for the Wolverines will be the pro-style offense and balanced attack offensive coordinator Al Borges utilizes.
“I could see that happening,” said Roberts. “They obviously do like to run and throw the ball, and I love catching it and I love blocking, so it would be a good fit.”
Another advantage for Michigan is education. Roberts has his priorities in order as it pertains to academics with his long-term future on the mind more so than his immediate future.
“Academic integrity,” said Roberts. “That’s the most important thing. It’s not what you do in the next four years, it's the next forty years. It might sound a little cliché, but yeah.”
To watch GBW’s full interview with Roberts, including highlights from his game Friday night, click play below.
Carmel (IN) high school is home to 2014 wide receiver Austin Roberts. GoBlueWolverine made it down to the Hoosier State to catch the talented youngster in action in his season opener last week. After his team's victory he opened up about his transfer from Tampa (FL) Plant, his skills as a wide out, his relationship with Coach Mallory, and his plans to get up to Ann Arbor.
In high school road trip #1 of the season, GBW traveled to Indiana to see top 2014 WR Austin Roberts