IU football going local for 2011 recruit

Bloomington North’s star running back, D’Angelo Roberts received his first scholarship offer Tuesday. And it came from the university just down the road.

Indiana’s football coaching staff called and said an official scholarship offer was in the mail.

Roberts, a junior, is believed to be the first player from Indiana offered in the class of 2011 by the Hoosiers, North coach Scott Bless said.

“It’s awesome for him,” Bless said.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Roberts has rushed for 1,633 yards and 20 touchdowns through eight games. He has caught seven passes for 212 yards and two scores.

Roberts, an honorable mention AP All-State selection and Herald-Times All-Area first-teamer as a sophomore, has been in the top three in rushing in the state all season.

“(Indiana) has had good chances to see him — with us being at their team camp,” Bless said. “He had a pretty good camp. We sent some film over. I think they know the competition he is playing against, so that’s not an unknown. And his numbers don’t lie.”

Indiana is not the only school that has noticed Roberts, North’s all-time leading rusher. He recently visited Illinois for a football game.

“They treated him pretty  nicely when he was there,” Bless said. “Gave him what appeared to be some special attention.”

Roberts, who ran a 4.51 40-yard dash during the offseason while also gaining 17 pounds of muscle, also is hearing from Louisville, Cincinnati and Michigan State.

He is the first player from North to receive a Division I scholarship offer under Bless.

Unlike basketball, where college coaches routinely offer scholarships to young players based on potential, football coaches often wait until the spring and summer after a player’s junior season to offer.

Here is a highlight video of Roberts’ season so far. Keep in mind that this is only runs that went for more than 10 yards. North is working on a second highlight tape, which will show some of the more impressive runs he has made this year, like turning a four-yard loss into a six-yard gain.

12 comments

  1. Before anyone asks, yes, I do have a problem with us consistently going after players with no BCS offers.

    Last weekend proved once again why we need BCS talent to play against BCS opponents. Kids with BCS offers are BCS talent. Kids without BCS offers aren’t BCS talent.

    Right now we’re a glorified MAC team which may have worked for this staff at Miami playing against juggernauts Buffalo, Temple, Kent State, Ohio, Akron and Bowling Green, but isn’t working here in the Big Ten.

  2. And before anyone asks, I know this is a 2011 recruit which is why this kid has no offers yet. Not talking about him, I am simply making a comment about our recruiting in general since this is the first article in a while about our recruiting.

  3. If anyone hasn’t watched Roberts play, I would recommend it. I am pretty sure there are some youtube videos of him running. He has a very good line to run behind, but this kid runs more like he has 215lbs instead of 175.

  4. Good points Bettor. Mike P, that is good to hear, because 175 sounds way too light to really push through tighter Big Ten gaps.

  5. After watching that clip above, this kid looks really good. Still cant believe hes 175! From what I’m reading, people would be surprised if we can snag him by the time he makes a decision. Good to see North products doing well.

  6. Bettor you knew it was coming. I don’t know how familiar you are with the recruiting process I suppose you follow it fairly well as a fan but it is highly unusual that a kid gets an offer this early and the kids that get any offers this early are the absolute best players in the class. IU offering this kid right now means they are the first program “on” one of the best players in the class. IU will be very fortunate to snag Roberts.

    To succeed in business you either have to be first or best. Currently IU is not the best so they better try to be first.

    And I am sure this kid can put on some weight. I know the Bless’, and they do a great job in the weightroom.

  7. I agree with JT. At this point in time for IU to compete for commits from the best recruits in the state they have to identify them earlier and offer them earlier.
    In the video this back has the tools needed. He has balance, field vision, burst though the hole, keeps his feet moving and heads north. If he can attain 200+ lb. and a sub 4.5 forty what a wonder to behold. Good luck Coach Lynch and staff on this talent.

  8. Guys,

    A few things I did not put in the original post.
    A year ago, Roberts was 158 pounds. He gained a bit more than 1,400 yards.
    He gained 17 pounds of muscle during the offseason, and ran a 4.51 40-yard dash.
    The goal is for him to gain another 15 pounds of muscle during the next offseason, and also have a tenth of a second off his 40-yard dash.
    Assuming he redshirts, he can put on another 10-15 pounds. And suddenly, he’s 200 pounds. And being as he is only a junior, he could grow another inch or two.
    I’ve seen a lot of high school backs, including the guy starting at North Carolina. D’Angelo is the best I have seen, and others who have been around a lot longer than I agree with me.

  9. Hugh,

    I am not trying to knock Roberts in anyway, he is a very good back that will only get better.

    You were not around for when Darren Evans racked up 7127 yards and 127 TD’s (61 his senior year) over his 3 years. I will never forget watching him run over Ben Davis for 243 yards and 6 TD’s on 12 carries.

    You didn’t get to watch Jewel Hampton take over after Evans graduated and earn a scholarship to Iowa for his senior year performance.

    Both Evans (Va. Tech) and Hampton (Iowa) were slated to be starters for their teams this year, and both suffered a season ending knee injury.

    You also didn’t get to see Aaron King from Carmel or watch Alex Turner from Columbus North punish people. Nor did you get to see Darius Willis in his high school career here.

    Roberts is as good as any of those last 3, and I think he will be as good if not better than Hampton next year.

    I’m not sure he will reach Evans status, but Roberts doesn’t have a line to run behind like Evans had either.

    The last about 5 years this state has turned out some really good running backs. Roberts will definitely be in the top 5.

  10. Dustin and I were able to watch Roberts against South earlier this year (along with Mike P. for part of the game). He’s a rugged back, but I really liked the burst he showed on the edge during one first quarter reception. He’s not in the very top tier of high school backs I’ve seen — I covered LeSean McCoy — but he’s clearly one of the better ones (I also covered Virginia’s Mikell Simpson when he was in Harrisburg, and think Roberts is a better all-around player).

    If Roberts could just work consistently with the right trainers in town he’d easily get to 200 by next year. He’s got the build for it.

  11. If he wants it bad enough the weight room benefit is all up to him. I am betting he likes the notoriety enough to get bigger and faster. Like I said earlier with his kind of burst he will be something to behold on turf.

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