Looks like Steve Alford's connection to Indiana has finally paid off. Ok, not really. Just couple of days after I put up a post on UCLA football having a disappointing recruiting summer Jim Mora's staff got a nice boost on the trail today (ht mileslink):
For Carmel High School receiver Austin Roberts, the best offer was saved for last.
After Roberts received more than 20 scholarship offers, UCLA finally offered last week. In a few days, UCLA went from what Roberts described as a dark-horse possibility to his favorite.
Roberts announced his verbal commitment to UCLA in an interview with The Indianapolis Star on Wednesday. Prior to the UCLA offer, Roberts had been primarily focused on offers from Ohio State, Florida, Alabama, Miami and Louisville.
Roberts head coach calls this "a perfect match" (via Steve Wiltfong from 247sports.com):
"I really think they've done a great job, them being Austin and his family through this whole process," Carmel head coach Kevin Wright said.
"When we first talked a year ago, they talked about as far as priorities what they wanted is a great school from an academic standpoint. They wanted to go to a school where they had football tradition and a great staff. Finding the right fit for him as far as an offensive scheme because he is a hybrid guy. Some guys recruited him as a tight end, some as a big receiver. The kid is 6-2, 217, runs 4.5 in the 40 legit, and has a 39-inch vertical jump. UCLA is getting a guy that fits really well in their system. They're getting a high-character kid. They're getting someone from a football standpoint that is not only a good athlete but has a good football IQ and is a good student. I think both sides are excited and I think it's a perfect match."
Roberts delivered the news to Bruins coach Jim Mora on Saturday while Mora was vacationing in Paris. Even Mora told Roberts he felt it was a long shot Roberts would accept because the offer came late in the process.
Roberts (6-2, 215) is the no. 1 player in Indiana (according to Rivals.com and ESPN). He is the fourth commit for this year's class (SBN's Peter Berkes is technically correct when he listed Roberts as UCLA's 5th commitment of this season but don't forget one of them decommitted to Alabama). Here is some video highlights:
Austin Roberts 2014 WR (JR HIGHLIGHTS) Carmel, IN (via 247SportsStudio)
The kid is from out of California but he has some solid connections to the program (and LA):
His father, Alfredo Roberts, worked with UCLA receivers coach Eric Yarber on Raheem Morris' Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff. The elder Roberts is currently the Indianapolis Colts' tight end coach. Austin also has family in Los Angeles, including his maternal grandfather.
Oh and he also rejected an offer from Southern Cal because he "felt UCLA was a better fit." Sounds like a Bruin to us. Welcome to Westwood Mr. Roberts.