|Height: 5-11 | Weight: 195 | College: Citadel|
Based on his collegiate career, Roberts might be well-advised to get into the restaurant business once he decides to end his football playing days, as he has certainly become one of the most prolific "table-setters" in school, Southern Conference and NCAA Football Championship Subdivision history. Along the way, he has not only proven to be one of the most electrifying receivers in the collegiate game, but also the FCS's national-leading punt returners.
While his 285 receptions in 45 games, his average of 6.36 receptions per game rank 23rd in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision history. 60.70% of his catches (173) were good for first downs. 16.14% of his grabs converted third-down plays (46) and he proved to have "Velcro" hands, dropping just six of 383 pass targeted to him (1.56%) in four seasons.
Despite lacking great bulk, Roberts excels at moving the chains, as 274 of his 285 catches produced positive yardage (96.14%, as he was tackled for a loss six times and stopped for no gain five times). He would finish his career catching 74.41% of the ball thrown to him, as the opposition managed to deflect 36 of those throws and Bulldog quarterbacks misfired on 56 other attempts.
As for his "table-setting" ability, Roberts' 37 touchdown receptions rank second in Southern Conference history and are tied for 16th in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision annals. The Bulldogs recorded 67 touchdown catches in his four seasons with the team, as he came up with a key reception that helped set up all but three of those scoring opportunities.
Roberts' ability as a pass catcher, rushing and returning punts saw him set up or score on 120 touchdown drives and 23 others that resulted in the team ending those series with field goals. In that time span, the team registered 155 total touchdowns, with Roberts having a hand in 77.42% of them. He also set up 23 the 42 field goals produced by The Citadel (54.76%). He was responsible for putting up 909 of the 1,205 points that the offensive squad recorded (75.43%) during his career with the Bulldogs.
Among his 285 receptions, 125 were good for at least 10 yards 43.86%), including 56 that gained 20 yards or more (19.65%). He made 33 of those receptions inside the red zone (11.58%), with 10 coming on goal-line plays. In addition to his 46 third-down conversions, he also kept four series alive by coming up with a quartet of fourth-down grabs.
Roberts' eight 100-yard receiving performances in 2008 rank seventh in Southern Conference history while his string of nine consecutive games with at least one touchdown reception in 2008 rank second in conference annals. For his career, he gained over 100 yards receiving seventeen times, a school record. He also had at least one touchdown reception in 26 contests.
With NFL teams utilizing the popular "Wildcat" offense more in recent years, Roberts' ability to take direct snaps and reverses greatly added to his pedigree. In 43 direct snaps, he produced 20 first downs and set up 11 touchdown drives, as one other possession ended with a Bulldogs field goal. He had 12 carries for over 10 yards, including one for longer than 20 yards and converted six third-down carries, gaining first downs on all six rushing attempts inside the red zone.
Further adding to his resume is Roberts' outstanding punt return skills. He led the nation with a 19.2-yard return average in 2008, the 17th-best season average in NCAA history. His 461 yards gained via punt returns in 2008 rank fourth on the Southern Conference season-record list while his three runbacks for touchdowns as a junior tied the league's annual record. In his final season, he led the league and placed sixth nationally with an average of 15.5 yards per punt return.
Roberts' 1,160 yards gained via punt returns established a school career-record, as he became the seventh player in Southern Conference annals to gain over 1,000 yards in that category, ranking fourth all-time in league history with his yardage total. His average of 13.98 yards per punt return is the 18th-best in NCAA FCS history and placed fourth on the league record charts.
Roberts amassed 5,215 all-purpose yards in 45 games for the Bulldogs, as his average of 12.45 yards gained per attempt is the fourth-best figure in conference history. His average of 13.24 all-purpose yards per play as a junior placed Roberts sixth on the Southern Conference season-record chart.
His 108 points scored in 2008 are the second-highest season total by a Bulldog. Along the way, he has generated over 1,000 yards receiving twice. He became just the third player in school history to score over 200 points in a career, as his total of 246 rank second in Citadel annals.
At Spring Valley High School, Roberts earned All-Region and All-Area honors as a senior, as he led his team to the region championship and the semifinals for the state title. He added Most Valuable Player honors for his performance in the 2005 North-South All-Star game. In addition to his success on the gridiron, he also excelled in track-&-field, leading his team to the state championship in 2003 and a second-place finish as a senior, the season he captured track All-State recognition.
Roberts enrolled at The Citadel in 2005. The true freshman played in eleven games, starting vs. Furman and Virginia Military Institute at the "Z" receiver position. He finished second on the team with 35 receptions, with 19 of those grabs producing first downs. He gained 557 yards (15.9-yard average) to pace the Bulldogs, as he also led the squad with five touch-down grabs. Seven other key receptions set up touchdown drives and four other catches put the team into position to be successful on field goals. He also gained 43 yards on four carries (10.8-yard average) and averaged 10.7 yards on 18 punt returns.
Roberts gained national prominence as a sophomore, earning All-American third-team and All-Southern Conference second-team recognition. He set the school season-records with 78 receptions for 1,060 yards (13.6-yard average) that included ten touchdowns. His average of 7.09 catches per game ranked 10th in the nation and his average of 96.36 yards per game placed him eleventh on the NCAA FCS chart. He also finished 23rd in the nation with an average of 11.08 yards on 27 punt returns. He amassed 1,350 all-purpose yards and showed his field alertness by recovering a pair of fumbles.
The talented athlete also competed on the school's outdoor track team in 2007. He joined the squad in mid-March, after football spring camp, competing in the 200 and 400 meters. He also ran the anchor leg of the 4x100m relay team that won at the Penn Relays for the fifth consecutive time in Citadel history, earning his first Penn Relays Championship watch.
In 2008, Roberts' jack-of-all-trades skill-set made him the most dangerous offensive player on the field. In addition to his school season-record 14 touchdown catches, he had key receptions on all of the team's 23 TD scores. He shattered his own Bulldogs annual records with 95 catches (second in the nation) for 1,334 yards (14.0-yard average), the fourth-highest season total in Southern Conference history.
The All-American choice also finished second in the nation with 7.92 receptions per game, fourth nationally with 111.17 receiving yards per game and led the FCS ranks to capture the punt return championship with an average of 19.21 yards per attempt (24 total). His three punt returns for touchdowns tied the conference season-record. He also scored once on 24 carries for 94 yards, recorded three solo tackles and placed 14th in the country, leading the league with an average of 160.0 all-purpose yards per game.
Roberts entered his senior season ranked as the best offensive prospect in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision ranks and was listed as the most underrated receiver eligible for the 2010 draft at the FCS level by The NFL Draft Report. He ranks tied for ninth in the nation and placed third in the Southern Conference with an average of 7.20 receptions per game, averaging 71.1 yards per game receiving. He also ranked fourth in the FCS in punt returns, averaging 16.0 yards per attempt.
Opposing teams saw Roberts lined up everywhere from punt returner to "X" receiver to quarterback. Roberts again served as team captain in 2009. Despite a lack of a quality quarterback, with three players sharing that position, the senior still put up very impressive numbers. He ranked 13th in the nation with 77 receptions and placed fourth in the Southern Conference with 792 yards in 11 games. He pulled down eight touchdown tosses and returned 14 punts for 217 yards (15.5-yard average). He added 66 yards on three kickoff returns, 77 yards on 12 carries (6.42 yards per catch) and recorded a pair of solo tackles while amassing 1,152 all-purpose yards.
Release: Good straight-line speed and superior quickness. Quick first step off the line, and separates from defenders after a cut or once past the second level with great acceleration. Will need to learn how to beat the jam from pro corners, but won't back away from the challenge.
Hands: Makes the easy catch consistently, and can make difficult catches look easy. Strong hands and good vertical in jump-ball situations, albeit against smaller FCS corners. Can track the ball over either shoulder. Maintains control of the ball after taking a hit down the sideline. Secure with the ball as a punt returner.
Route running: Most receptions come on screens, drag routes or down the sideline. Separates from nickel corners on quick outs, and can stop on a dime after securing the ball to head upfield. Will need to learn the finer points of route-running to find holes in zones from the slot, but his quick feet and sure hands should allow him to excel.
After the catch: Very elusive after the catch, often turning short throws into big gains using quick reverse moves, vision and acceleration. Protects the ball well, and plays stronger than his wiry frame would indicate. Fights for additional yardage after initial contact. Nice first step, cut back and quick acceleration on punt returns, but NFL special teams units will be tougher to gain yardage against.
Blocking: Willing downfield and goal-line blocker, but lacks the size and hand technique to sustain against larger corners. Could give more consistent effort maintaining the inside angle and getting to defenders in the open field. Gets a body on a defender to seal back-side edge when run blocking from motion.
Intangibles: Hard worker on and off the field, as is expected from students of a military school. Quiet leader, well-liked by his coaches. Received the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame's annual Bobby Richardson Sportsmanship Award in May 2009.
NFL Comparison: Harry Douglas, Falcons
In 45 games at The Citadel, Roberts started 35 times, including 12 at "Z" receiver and 23 more at "X" receiver Holds the school career-records with 285 receptions for 3,743 yards and 37 touchdowns, topping the previous marks of 133 catches for 2,078 yards by Victor Frazier (1982-85) His 285 receptions placed him second in Southern Conference history behind Terrell Hudgins of Elon College (395, 2006-2009) and rank eighth in NCAA Football Championship Subdivision history behind Hudgins, Jacquay Nunnally of Florida A&M (317, 1997-2000), Stephen Campbell of Brown (305, 1997-2000), David Ball of New Hampshire (58, 2003-06), Jerry Rice of Mississippi Valley State (301, 1981-84), Javarus Dudley, Fordham (295, 2000-03) and Chas Gessner of Brown (292, 1999-2002) His 3,743 receiving yards rank second in conference annals behind Hudgins (5,250) and rank 15th in NCAA FCS annals Roberts' 37 touchdown grabs placed him second on the conference career-record chart behind Hudgins' 52 scoring receptions and tied Cornell Craig of Southern Illinois (1996-99) for 16th in FCS history In 45 games, Roberts gained over 100 yards receiving seventeen times, setting the school record and ranking tied for second in league history, along with Rick Beasley of Appalachian State (1978-80) and Mark Stock of Virginia Military Institute (1985-88) behind Terrell Hudgins of Elon (31, 2006-2009) Roberts is the only player in school history to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in a season, as he accomplished that feat in each of the 2007 and '08 campaigns. Only Mike Barber of Marshall (three times, 1986-88) had more 1,000-yard receiving seasons in Southern Conference annals Roberts' holds the top three spots on the school season-record list for receptions (77 in 2009; 78 in 2007; 95 in 2008), in addition to the top two places for receiving yards (1,060 in 2007; 1,334 in 2008) and touchdown grabs (10 in 2007; 14 in 2008) His 95 catches as a junior placed third in league history, topped by Terrell Hudgins of Elon (117 in 2007) and DaVon Fowlkes of Appalachian State (103 in 2004) His 78 catches in 2007 tied Mike Barber of Marshall (1987) for tenth on the conference annual record chart, while his 77 receptions in 2009 rank 12th Only DaVon Fowlkes (1,618 in 2004), Terrell Hudgins (1,474 in 2007) and B.J. Adigun of East Tennesse State (1,389 in 1997) gained more receiving yards in a season than Roberts' 2008 total of 1,334 yards in Southern Conference history His 14 touchdown receptions in 2008 tied Fowlkes (2004) for third on the league season-record chart behind Randy Moss of Marshall (19 in 1996) and Terrell Hudgins of Elon (18 in 2007) Roberts' 95 receptions also rank 14th on the NCAA FCS season-record list, tying Jacquay Nunnally of Florida A&M (2000) His 95 catches broke the old school annual record of 69 by Scooter Johnson in 2002 and his 2008 total of 1,334 aerial yards surpassed the previous school season-record of 1,230 yards by Brian Baima in 1971 In 2008, Roberts had at least one touchdown reception in nine games, ranking behind Randy Moss of Marshall (11 in 1996) on the league's annual record list His seven 100-plus yards receiving games tied the conference season-record that he shares with B.J. Adigun of East Tennessee State (1997), DaVon Fowlkes of Appalachian State (2004) and Terrell Hudgins of Elon (2007) He also had a string of four consecutive 100-plus yard games receiving, one shy of Hudgins' league season-record of five in 2006 Roberts' 14 receptions vs. Wofford in 2008 broke the previous school game-record of 13 grabs by Rick Crosby vs. Colgate in 1972 His four touchdown receptions vs. Presbyterian in 2009 set the school game-record and rank tied for second in league history behind Cos DeMatteo of Tennessee-Chattanooga's NCAA FCS game-record six scoring grabs vs. Mississippi Valley State in 2000 Roberts' 1,160 yards gained via punt returns topped the old school career-record of 861 yards by Jeff Varnadoe (1970-71), as he became just the seventh player Southern Conference annals to top over 1,000 yards in that category, as he ranks fourth on the league's all-time record list His average of 13.98 yards per punt return is a school career-record and rank fourth in league history (18th on the FCS record list), topped by George Hannen of Davidson, 18.9-yard average, 1967-69), David Ames of Richmond (16.9 avg, 1955-57, '59) and Raja Andrews of Georgia Southern (16.0 avg, 2005-08 His three punt returns for touchdowns in 2008 tied The Citadel and league season-record (also by Carlos Frank in 1997) and only Tim Martin of Marshall (four, 1993-96) and Carlos Frank of The Citadel (four, 1996-99) had more punts returned for scores in conference history He became the first Bulldog to lead the nation in punt return average in 2008 (19.21 yards per reception), as that average ranked 17th on the NCAA FCS annual record books and placed him second on the Southern Conference season-record list behind Kerry Hayes of Western Carolina (24.9-yard average in 1994) His 461 punt return yards in 2008 set the school season-record, topping the old mark of 455 yards by Jeff Varnadoe in 1971 Only Devon Ford of Appalachian State (570 in 1974), DaVon Fowlkes of Appalachian State (478 in 2002) and Ant Williams of Georgia Southern (474 in 2002) gained more punt return yards in a season in league annals His eight punt returns vs. Charleston Southern in 2007 tied the school game-record, first set by Joe Isaac vs. Furman in 1966 (also ranks sixth on the Southern Conference game-record chart His punt return average of 29.0 yards (four for 116) vs. Webber International in 2008 set the school game-record and is the fourth-highest game average in conference history, tying Karlos Sullivan of Elon (vs. West Virginia Wesleyan in 2007) Roberts scored 246 points through 44 games, the second-highest career total in school annals behind Jack Douglas (300 points, 1989-92) In 2008, he became just the second player in school history to score over 100 points in a season, as his total of 108 rank behind Tory Cooper (126 in 2007) on the Bulldogs' annual record chart Became the first player in school history to amass over 4,000 all-purpose yards (5,215 yards), as his average of 12.45 all-purpose yards per play rank fourth in Southern Conference annals Gained a school season-record 1,920 all-purpose yards in 2008, as his average of 13.24 all-purpose yards per attempt is good for sixth on the league's annual record chart His 80-yard reception vs. Elon College in 2006 was the longest catch by a Bulldog since John Murphy's 84-yarder vs. Davidson in 1983 In addition to his 37 touch0-down receptions, one score rushing and three punt returns for touchdowns, Roberts has produced big plays that led to 120 touchdowns and 23 field goals for the Bulldogs, as he was responsible for 909 of the 1,205 points scored by the team (75.44%) with him in uniform He was responsible for 120 of the team's total of 155 touchdowns (77.42%), as 173-of-285 receptions produced first downs (60.70%), and he converted 46 third-down plays (16.14%) Caught 285-of-383 passes thrown to him (36 were deflected by the opposition and six others came after QB pressures, grabbing 74.41% of those throws) Gained positive yardage on 274 of his 285 receptions (96.14%) 23 of the team's 42 field goals made during the last three years came after big plays by Roberts (54.76%) On 83 punt returns, he not only scored three times, but had long runbacks that set up 31 other touchdown drives On those returns, he was tackled for loss just two times (had four runbacks for no gains) On 46 rushing attempts, he produced 19 carries for first downs, converting five third-down attempts, all coming on carries inside the red zone In 2008, Roberts became the first Citadel player to earn All-American first-team honors (The NFL Draft Report, American Football Coaches Association and The Sports Network) since Carlos Frank in 1997 (The Sports Network) Roberts put together a string of 10 straight games (final six in 2007, first four in 2008) where he caught at least one pass for a touchdown, a school record.
All-American and All-Southern Conference first-team selection as an all-purpose back by The NFL Draft Report Rated the best receiver from the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision ranks that are eligible for the 2010 draft by that scouting information service for the league All-Southern Conference first-team choice as a receiver, adding second-team honors as a return specialist On the preseason Walter Payton Award Watch List, an honor given to the best offensive player in the FCS ranks Served as team captain for the second-straight year and those leadership skills were put to the test, as the offense struggled with three quarterbacks auditioning for playing time throughout the season Led the team, ranked third in the conference and finished 13th nationally with an average of 7.00 receptions per game, placing fourth in the league with an average of 72.0 yards receiving per game The flanker led the team with 77 receptions for 792 yards (10.29 avg) and eight touchdowns on 101 passes targeted to him (three drops and eight other pass attempts were deflected by the opposition), as he registered 44 first-down grabs (57.14%) while converting 14-of-26 third-down throws 29 of his receptions (37.66%) were good for at least 10 yards, including nine (11.69%) for 20 yards or longer Had thirteen catches inside the red zone, with five coming on goal-line plays Was tackled for a loss four times and stopped for no gain on another two throws Rushed twelve times for 77 yards (6.42 avg) and gained 66 yards on three kickoff returns (22.0-yard average) Added 217 yards on 14 punt returns, as his average of 15.50 yards per punt return ranked sixth in the nation and led the Southern Conference Averaged 104.73 all-purpose yards per game Also recorded a pair of solo tackles (both came after a Citadel interception).
First-team All-American selection by The NFL Draft Report, American Football Coaches Association and Sports Network, adding second-team honors from the Associated Press Finalist for the Walter Payton Award, adding All-Southern Conference first-team recognition as a receiver and return specialist Earned All-State accolades from the Orangeburg Touchdown Club The team captain shifted to the "X" receiver position, as he set school season-records with 95 receptions for 1,334 yards (14.0-yard average) and 14 touchdowns Came up with crucial receptions or scored himself on all 23 of the team's 23 touchdown receptions, as he also had crucial grabs to set up six series that ended with Bulldogs field goals Led the league and ranked second in the nation with an average of 7.92 receptions per game His average of 111.17 yards receiving per game also paced the league and placed fourth in the nation 45 of his catches were good for at least 10 yards, including 24 grabs for 20 yards or longer Hauled in 13 of those passes inside the red zone and produced 62 first-down catches, as 17 of those receptions converted third-down plays and three others converted fourth-down snaps Was tackled for loss on just two of his 95 grabs Snared 95-of-134 passes targeted to him (nation-leading 70.896%), as the opposition generated 30 pass deflections and six quarterback pressures from the incomplete pass attempts Fumbled twice, but the team recovered both of those miscues, as he also recorded three solo tackles and recovered two fumbles after turnovers by other Bulldogs teammates Ranked fifth on the team with 94 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries (3.9-yard average) and completed his only pass attempt for 15 yards while being utilized under center in various "Wildcat" formations Produced nine first downs on his 24 carries, converting three third-down attempts while running for at least 10 yards on five of those runs In addition to his score, he had three other carries that led to touchdowns for The Citadel, making five of his attempts inside the red zone Became the first Bulldog to lead the nation in punt returns, averaging a school season-record 19.21 yards (second-best season average in Southern Conference history) on 24 attempts, setting another school mark with 461 yards His three punts returned for touchdowns tied the school season-record Had 16 punt returns for at least 10 yards, including five for 30 yards or longer, as he gave the team field position to convert 14 touchdowns and seven field goals from his runbacks Became the second player in school history to score over 100 points (108) in a season, as his average of 9.0 points per game ranked second in the league and 11th in the nation Gained a school season-record 1,920 all-purpose yards, finishing as the Southern Conference leader and 14th nationally with an average of 160.0 all-purpose yards per game Had at least 10 catches in three games and gained at least 100 yards receiving in seven games (tied the conference season-record) While he scored a career-high 108 points, his big plays were responsible for the team recording 267 of their total of 288 offensive points (92.71%).
All-American second-team choice by The NFL Draft Report, adding second-team honors from the Associated Press and The Sports Network Took over the starting "Z" receiver duties, appearing in all eleven games, as he switched to jersey #5 from the #81 he wore as a freshman Despite ranking tenth in the nation and third in the league with an average of 7.09 catches per game and placing 11th nationally with an average of 96.36 yards receiving per game, Roberts was mysteriously left off the All-Southern Conference first-team (earned second-team honors), as he set then-season records (would break these marks in 2008) with 78 receptions, becoming the first Bulldog to gain over 1,000 yards receiving (1,060 for 13.6 ypc) in a season, as ten of those grabs were good for touchdowns Had crucial catches that set up a total of 25 touchdowns and five field goals for the Bulldogs 48 of his grabs resulted in first downs, as he converted eight third-down throws and another on fourth-down 38 of his catches were good for at least 10 yards, with 14 of them gaining 20 yards or more Was tackled for loss on just one of his 78 catches Ranked third in the league and 23rd nationally with 27 punt returns for 289 yards (10.7 avg) Returned 12 of his punts for at least 10 yards, including two for 30 yards or longer, as he gave the team field position to register ten touchdown drives and one field goal Added two first downs on six rushing attempts, as two of those runs set up The Citadel scoring drives Fumbled four times, producing one turnover, but also recovered two fumbles Scored 60 points, but came up with big plays that were responsible for the team scoring 246 of their total of 354 offensive points for the season (69.49%) Caught 78 of the 106 passes targeted to him (73.58%), as eleven of those incomplete tosses were deflected by the opposition and one other was a wild throw after a QB pressure.
Freshman All-American second-team selection by NFLDraftScout.com Despite starting just the Furman and Virginia Military at the "Z" receiver spot, he appeared in a total of eleven games, finishing second on the team with 35 receptions, leading the squad with 557 yards, a 15.9-yard average and five touchdowns On his 35 grabs, he produced 19 first downs and converted seven third-down throws, as 13 of his catches were good for at least 10 yards, including nine for 20 yards or longer Came up with key receptions that set up 12 Bulldog touchdown drives and four other series that ended with field goals, as two of those snatches came on goal-line plays Was tackled for a loss just once on his 35 catches, ranking fifth in the Southern Conference with an average of 50.64 yards receiving per game Added 43 yards on four rushing attempts and placed second in the league (23rd nationally) with an average of 10.72 yards on 18 punt returns for 193 yards
Recorded a pair of solo tackles and recovered two fumbles, but lost the ball twice on three fumbles Added two solo tackles, as he also returned 18 punts for 193 yards (10.72-yard average), as he helped set up six touchdown drives and one series that ended with a field goal, thanks to his long run backs on special teams Recorded big plays that were responsible for 168 of the 234 offensive points scored by the team (71.97%) His 80-yard reception vs. Elon College was the longest catch by a Bulldog since John Murphy's 84-yarder vs. Davidson in 1983.
TRACK & FIELD
Joined The Citadel outdoor track team in Mid-March, 2007, earning his first Penn Relays Championship watch Made his Bulldog track and field debut at the Furman Invitational (4/07), as he finished third in the 400-meters, running 50.91 Also at Furman, he finished second in the 200-meters with a time of 23.49 Ran a personal-best 200-meter time of 23.05 at the Chanticleer Invitational (4/14) Finished fifth in his preliminary heat of the 200-meter dash at the Southern Conference Championships (4/21), running 23.29 Ran the anchor leg of the 4x100-meter relay that clocked 41.94 at the Southern Conference Champion-ships (4/22), garnering All-Conference honors Also ran the anchor leg of the 4x100-meter relay team that won at the Penn Relays for the fifth consecutive time in Citadel history.
No major injuries reported.
Campus: 4.38 in the 40-yard dash (hand-held) 4.49 in the 40-yard dash (electronic) 1.50 10-yard dash 2.49 20-yard dash 4.10 20-yard shuttle 6.81 three-cone drill 37-inch vertical jump 9'10" broad jump.
Attended Spring Valley (Columbia, S.C.) High School, playing football for head coach Jimmy Noonan (former Citadel football player) Earned All-Region and All-Area honors as a senior, as he led the Vikings to the region championship and the semifinals for the state title Added Most Valuable Player honors for his performance in the 2005 North-South All-Star game Also lettered in track, leading his team to the state championship in 2003 and a second-place finish as a senior, the season he captured All-State recognition.
Accounting major Son of Dorothy and Stephen Roberts Born 1/09/88 Resides in Columbia, South Carolina.