Roberts Recaps Junior Day Visit

Donavan Roberts

Sooners Illustrated was able to catch up with 2012 RB, Donovan Roberts out of Norman HS in Norman (OK) after his visit to OU for their first junior day this past Saturday for the 2012 recruiting class. Roberts talked about what all they did and about his conversation with Coach Gundy on the running back situation for next year's class.

Living in Norman and attending Norman HS that is just 5-minutes from the University of Oklahoma has made it real easy for Donovan Roberts to get familiar with the Sooners. Roberts attended multiple Sooner home games this season and the first junior day for the 2012 class had the same set up as a Sooner home game.

"Most of the things that we were able to do was kind of just the normal routine when I go up there on Saturday when I go watch them play," Roberts explained. "Like they all signed you up and we say in the Switzer Center. And then they gave us a tour and then we got to go in the weight rooms and the locker rooms. Then watched them practice in the indoor facility."

The Sooners are preparing for a contest with the Connecticut Huskies in the Fiesta Bowl in Phoenix (AZ) on January 1, 2011. With 3 weeks left to go until game day the Sooners are already hard at work trying to get ready.

"They looked real good," Roberts stated. "Real sound, they were just doing a lot of things to prepare for their bowl game. It was a lot more up-tempo I felt that day. They had it split off, instead of all being on the field they had it split off on the 50 and 50 and everybody was doing a lot of different stuff."

Roberts was one of three running backs that were in attendance this past Saturday. Along with him was another one of the state of Oklahoma's top rushers in Alex Ross from Jenks HS. They all got their chance to sit down with Coach Gundy together at the end of the visit.

While sitting with Coach Gundy, the former Sooner quarterback took the time to breakdown to the in state stars about the running back situation for the 2012 class.

"We were sitting there and he (Gundy) was sitting there talking to us. He was like, ‘long story short we have one scholarship.' I don't want to say one scholarship left but he was saying they are only going to offer one more running back in our graduating class. He said it could be me, it could be Alex, it could be somebody out of this room but he doesn't know.

"He was letting that be real clear with us with that and he was telling us what expectations he wants at the University of Oklahoma and what he sees in people. He takes running backs out of what character they can do. He doesn't just base his recruiting off of just the highlights that they have because if you get to OU he knows you can play football. He looks at the small things like blocking, how you handle (yourself) under pressure and stuff like that. The thing that got me was just like, he says one indefinitely that he's gonna get from our graduating class, two maybe at the most. That's if he talks to his staff if they come to it but from like at this point it's just one."

With talk amongst fans in the state of Oklahoma on who is the better running back between Roberts and Ross, the 5-foot-11 and 185-pound Roberts says the two prospects have a competitive rivalry.

"I think I would say a friendly rivalry but we don't talk," Roberts explained. "I'd say it's one of those things. I mean he knew he was the best on his side of the state and I knew I was the best on my side. People question me and people question him on whose better in the state and it's a competitive rivalry thing."

"We were there and the coaches were talking to him and the coaches were talking to me and then they would switch and go talk to him and come talk to me. We were never really by each other we kind of kept our distance until we had to sit in the classroom with them."

While on the visit Roberts was able to spend time with some friends and past Norman HS grads while also spending time with head coach Bob Stoops.

"When we got to eat after their practice Stoops sat by me," Roberts said. "And I was sitting with DemMrco and Ryan and all of them and Mossis because I have known Mossis and Ryan since I was little and everything like that. He sat down and he talked to me."

"And then when we went into the locker room and got to look at all their trophies and stuff. He chatted with me and asked me if I'm maintaining my size and asked me what I am doing in the off-season, just regular chatting stuff. I'm real familiar with all the coaches and everything; it was mostly like junior day was for like players and coaches to interact that really haven't talked."

Overall, the Sooners first junior day was a good experience for Roberts.

"I feel like it's coming to that point where January is about to hit and colleges are about to start talking more. And once like the big schools start offering or coming into the picture that's when everybody else will. And I just take everything into consideration and just drive that I am being able to looked at by so and so and stuff like that. You know, look at it as an opportunity to work harder on and off the field."

"I feel pretty good about it. I was glad I got the chance to go down there and represent somebody from the junior class. I got to see a couple of people that I went to the camps with over the state," Roberts said.

Stay tuned to Sooners Illustrated as we will continue to follow and bring you updates on Roberts throughout his recruitment process.

Midlands Recruiting Manager Greg Powers contributed to this report.

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