November 10, 2012
Is the NFL in Roberts' future?
UC back rushes for 301 yards, five TDs in 62-0 romp over State
Kenny Kemp
UC's Jordan Roberts zips past State's Bridgette Calem (12) on the way to one of his five touchdowns.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- NFL scouts sometimes make calls to University of Charleston coach Pat Kirkland and even pay an occasional visit to UC practices.

In their no-stones-unturned search for talent, they see the Golden Eagles' Jordan Roberts as an all-around athlete who's worth a look, his Division II status notwithstanding.

In light of Roberts' play in UC's season-ending 62-0 victory over West Virginia State at UC Stadium on Saturday, the scouts may ratchet up their interest a bit.

Roberts, a 5-foot-11, 218-pound senior from Madison, rushed 28 times for 301 yards and five touchdowns and set an NCAA Division II record by rushing for 273 before halftime, breaking the Division II first-half rushing mark of 229 set by Kentucky State's Alvon Brown in 2000.

Running through tackles like so many highway cones, he scored on runs of 19, 66, 9 and 24 yards in helping UC (9-2) to a 48-0 halftime lead and added an 8-yard scoring run in his only series of the second half.

NFL possibilities, said Kirkland, are realistic.

"The big reason the scouts like him is not only is he a good tailback,'' said the UC coach, "but he plays on all of our special teams. And sometimes that's where a lot of those guys get their niche and get their foot in the door.''

The former Kennedy Award winner has stirred up considerable interest, Kirkland added.

"Most of the NFL teams have contacted us,'' he said. "A number of those teams have been on campus looking at Jordan and a couple other guys, but obviously Jordan's the main one. He's got the speed, talent, work ethic. He's a very coachable young man. There's a number of Division II players in the NFL, and there's a number that get drafted each year. I would anticipate a lot going on for Jordan this spring.''

Roberts admits he holds NFL aspirations but, for the moment, hopes the Golden Eagles will be selected to play in the six-team Division II regional, which is part of the 24-team national championship playoff. The pairings will be announced later today.

"I think we put ourselves in a position to hopefully make the playoffs,'' Roberts said. "If we don't, it's going to hurt. I've got big dreams for this team and hopefully we can make the playoffs for the first time. And I have big dreams for myself. I'm proud of our coaches, our players, everybody that got me here. It would be a shame to end our season right now. I think we can compete with anybody.''

His 301 rushing yards easily surpassed the school's single-game record of 229, a mark set by Julian Lambert in 2003 and equaled by Roberts last year.

"I would say this game or the [UNC] Pembroke game was my best game in college,'' he said, "but I would say my best game ever was in high school when I scored eight touchdowns in the second round of the playoffs.''

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