First offer a big one for Roberts

Stephen Roberts

6A football in the state of Alabama was dominated, once again, by Hoover (Ala.) High in 2012 as the Bucs cruised to another state title. But the team they beat twice en route, Opelika (Ala.), has some talented underclassmen and one of them was offered by Nick Saban over the weekend.

Among several prospects invited to Tuscaloosa for a big Junior Day Saturday was what was thought to be a bit of an unknown junior from Opelika (Ala.) High.

A versatile player in helping lead the his team to the state title game, Stephen Roberts created some buzz in the 6A playoffs. It all seemed to pay off once the defending national champs extended a scholarship offer out to the 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back.

"It kind of shocked me for a minute, because I was just going up for a visit," said Roberts. "Then they offered me, I was surprised."

"Nick Saban called me into the office, with my parents too, and he was like 'I like how you play,'" he continued. "'You play fast football, and I hope you come to Alabama.'

"Alabama's my first offer."

Projected to play cornerback at the next level by the Tide's coaching staff, the realization of that possibility was a big deal for Roberts.

"I love Alabama, I've been wanting to go there since I was a kid," he admitted. "Most of Nick Saban's corners go to the pros, too."

Surrounding the offer at the event was the process of getting acclimated to campus more.

"They showed us around, I met most of the coaches on defense," Roberts shared. "They showed us the weight room, new facilities, about nutrition and everything. They showed a lot of love."

One coach most prospects haven't been able to meet and speak with on that defensive staff is new secondary coach Greg Brown, but the new offeree was able to on Saturday.

"He's really cool, he said he's going to teach us how to be lock-down corners," he said. "They showed a lot of love. All the coaches talk to you as a son, they make you want to consider Alabama."

Everything about the school and the football scheme fits Roberts' skill-set, according to his strengths.

"I like to play hard, I like to jam on the line and play lock-down," he said. "I'm very physical and aggressive."

Despite interest from Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Auburn and Georgia Tech - the first offer may go a long way in the junior's recruitment.

Said Roberts, "Alabama, they're number one. I want to learn how to play that lock-down in man (coverage) and Nick Saban plays man most of the time. He likes physical corners."

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