Pope John Paul II running back Antwan Roberts has quickly become someone defensive coordinators scheme against on Friday nights.
Following a stellar sophomore campaign for the Knights, Roberts has gained traction on the recruiting trail picking up offers from Power 5 programs like Duke, Kentucky, Memphis, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin.
“All of those schools really like my vision, speed and after burst,” Roberts said of what coaches are attracted to. “Right now, the plan is to continue to just get better each day and become the best football player that I can be.”
More Power 5 schools are sure to come calling the Roberts household, and at 6’1, 180 pounds, it’s only a matter of time before Roberts becomes more than just name amongst Division II-AA coaches.
“It is special to coach a kid like Antwan,” Knights head coach Justin Geisinger said. “You don’t get kids like that every day. He is a very talented kid but he is a better kid off the field. I think he is really starting to come into his own and has matured greatly with his leadership. Having a running back like him helps out in a tough league like ours and he will help our young offensive line greatly this year. He is a smart kid, but what is exciting about him is his best football is yet to come.”
During his sophomore year, which earned DII-AA honors, Roberts rushed for 1,478 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns which also included an 8.42 yards-per-carry average. He added 326 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns and averaged 18.2 yards-per-catch.
All that said, his biggest number on the season was zero.
Roberts didn’t fumble once during his 12 games on the field in 2018.
“The biggest part of my game I want to continue to improve is to catch the ball better out of the backfield, read defense and just get bigger and faster overall,” he said of his game. “The thing that coaches have told me they liked about my game is my patience and vision - I think that is a gift that not every player has.”
Other SEC schools like Arkansas and Tennessee have shown interest in the local product but Roberts has yet to decide an early favorite saying he and his family will take their time to decide which school is best for him.
“I don’t have a dream school so every school will be taken into consideration with my family and coaches,” he said of his decision. “My recruitment is open to anyone and everyone. There is no early favorite and I’m just going to stay open minded and take this process day-by-day.
“Each school talks about life after football and what they can provide academically,” he continued. “There is always a feeling of wanting to stay close to home but where the best fit for me and my family is where I will choose. It’s all about the fit, the family feel and the educational value.”
There is little doubt Roberts will be one of the main features for the Knights in 2019 and if he can replicate his 2018 numbers it’s only a matter of time before the every college coach in America knows who Antwan Roberts is.