Name: Derick Roberson
High school and hometown: San Antonio (Texas) Brennan
Position: Defensive end
Height and weight: 6'3.5, 225 pounds
Ratings: A four-star prospect by 247Sports, Rivals, and Scout, Roberson is a top-100 national player in the 247Sports composite rankings and a top-10 strongside defensive end.
Offers: Roberson holds offers from Alabama, LSU, Texas, and Texas A&M. He committed to Texas in August of 2012.
Twitter: You can find Roberson on Twitter @priencecharming.
Texas commitment Derick Roberson against San Antonio Edison (via Dustin McComas)
The classification of Roberson as a strongside defensive end seems odd given that he's several years away from possessing the mass to hold up at the point of attack against the running game consistently. And then there's his measurables from last spring ($) -- a 4.7 40, 4.25 shuttle, 33-inch vertical, and a nine-foot broad jump. All in a package that is best characterized as possessing significant physical upside.
Throw in 14 sacks as a junior and 65 tackles for loss combined over the last two years, and it seems clear that Roberson is an extraordinary edge threat.
Remaining physical upside suggests that a prospect will need to work in the weight room in college, exactly the situation for Roberson, who is still coming into his own in the weight room. That area of his development could be the biggest factor in whether or not he can contribute right away in college.
As a pass rusher, Roberson has a few different moves and can get off the ball so quickly that opposing offensive linemen can sometimes struggle just to get a hand on him, at other times using a little hesitation move or shoulder dip to turn the corner and get to the quarterback. There's also evidence of a spin move and a club move that can keep offensive linemen from getting their hands into his body, as well as an outside-inside move that would make Von Miller proud.
On one play, he simply hurdles an opponent trying to cut at his legs and deflects a pass.
However, Roberson's first step is not always consistent in terms of explosiveness -- sometimes it is there and sometimes it isn't.
When he does get to the quarterback, Roberson has a knack for hitting extended throwing arms, influencing throws to allow his teammates to make plays on the ball, and wrapping up to finish with jarring hits.
Against the run, Roberson is probably at his best chasing down plays from the backside, sending notice that simply running away from him and leaving him unblocked isn't the solution to dealing with him. He can also keep his hands active to defeat blockers or shoot when reading zone plays, or use his speed to catch perimeter run plays. He has to be careful about not getting his body turned, because if he does so in college he's going to get eaten up by stronger linemen.
Overall, Roberson has all of the athletic ability necessary to be a good weakside defensive end in high school if he can hone his jump off the ball and continue to refine the variety of pass-rushing moves that his film proves he does have in his arsenal. If Roberson can maximize his significant potential, he could be an all-conference type of player.
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