Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
Houston offensive lineman has share of state ties
An Arkansas football helmet is shown during SEC Media Days on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
One of the top 20 junior prospects in the nation has ties to the state of Arkansas, and because of that he has a good amount of interest in the University of Arkansas.
Offensive lineman Jaeden Roberts, 6-6, 350 pounds, of Houston North Shore has numerous family members on his mother Twanisha's side living in the Little Rock area.
Jaeden Roberts highlights
"What interested me in Arkansas was that they have a really good program, and they have for years," Roberts said. "I have a lot of family that lives in that area or lives down there which I really like."
Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Florida State, Georgia, Texas, Texas A&M, Southern Cal and Nebraska are some of his 19 scholarship offers. The Hogs offered him on Monday.
His family in Little Rock was thrilled about him receiving the Arkansas offer.
"They said they were proud," said Roberts. "They said it's a good way for me to see them, and they can come to games."
ESPN rates Roberts a 4-star prospect, the No. 1 guard and No. 20 overall prospect in the nation for the 2021 class. He has recorded 5.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash and a 24-inch vertical.
Roberts said his uncle and aunt, Johnny and Ann Shelton, are the biggest Razorbacks fans in the family that live in the capital city.
"They were just happy to hear the news," Roberts said of the Arkansas offer. "We haven't really had a chance to talk about it as much."
He's communicating with offensive line coach Dustin Fry.
"He's excited about getting me down there and is saying I can make big changes in the program," Roberts said. "He's a good guy when I talk to him, and I can tell he's very passionate about what he does and that he wants to make the team better."
He's hoping to get to Fayetteville soon.
"I want to get a chance to go to the next home game or whenever I'm not playing," Roberts said.
Roberts' teammate and highly regarded running back John Gentry committed to the Razorbacks in June.
"He told me that they had a plan for me and that we can keep the North Shore powerhouse going," Roberts said.
He has impressive numbers in the weight room with a 340-pound bench press, 500 squat and a 690 dead lift. Gentry is high on his teammate.
"He's big, strong and smart," Gentry said. "He's hard working and stays ready to learn new things."
Gentry, who has a best of 10.72 seconds in the 100 meters and 21.6 seconds in the 200, is confident he can convince Roberts to join him in Fayetteville.
"I will get him to be a Razorback," Gentry said. "I wouldn't want to run behind anyone else."
North Shore won its third state title last year on a 45-yard Hail Mary pass as time expired to win the Class 6A Division I championship at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming of CBS Sports Network also rates Roberts a 4-star recruit.
"He's a big-time tackle with great size, long arms, quick feet and has a tenacious style of play," Lemming said. "He plays for one of the premier programs in Texas.
Email Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports on 09/15/2019
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