Alabama has landed the commitment of another big in-state recruit, 4-star cornerback Steven Roberts.
Roberts is ranked as the No. 10 player from the state of Alabama, and he's the No. 23 cornerback in the 2014 class, both according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. He's from Opelika, Ala. and plays at Opelika High School.
Greg Ostendorf @GregO_ESPN
CB Stephen Roberts on the phone with Nick Saban. He just committed to #Bama. Story coming. http://t.co/79jzeKlzaL2013-4-24 18:08:43
Ostendorf also wrote a report on the commitment. Here's an excerpt:
Roberts, whose other finalists included Auburn, Clemson and Vanderbilt, becomes the Tide’s fifth commitment for 2014.
“I chose Alabama because they kind of fit my style of play and the way I play,” Roberts said. “They’re a great defensive team, and that’s what I play, defense. They have a great atmosphere, fan base, everything is just great. Most of the corners get picked and succeed.”
For Smart, Roberts represents the fourth commitment that he's been responsible for, along with 4-star cornerback Kalvaraz Bessent, 4-star inside linebacker Shaun Hamilton and 3-star safety Chris Williams. It's safe to assume that Smart is only getting started, as he's easily one of the best recruiters in college football.
In-state recruiting is important to the success of any program, even for an elite program like Alabama, so Roberts' commitment will go down as a critical recruiting win for Saban and his staff.
The Crimson Tide were able to keep Roberts away from Auburn, which is always nice if you're an Alabama fan, and in the process they've received another talented cornerback recruit. In fact, Ostendorf also Tweeted that scouts believe Roberts could be as talented as No. 1 cornerback recruit Marlon Humphrey:
Greg Ostendorf @GregO_ESPN
Stephen Roberts is Alabama's fifth commitment for 2014. Scouts say he could be in the same class as Marlon Humphrey.2013-4-24 18:10:32
That's not a bad comparison for the No. 23 ranked corner.
Roberts has good size at 6'0'', 177 pounds, and he's very lanky for a corner. He has tremendous ball skills, great footwork and a very good plant step coming back to the ball. He gets a good break when the ball is in the air and he's a prototypical "ball hawk".
He also has the speed and agility to flip his hips and run with a receiver going vertical. He has good vision, so he's able to turn his head, locate the ball and make an athletic play on it.
The fact that he's an in-state recruit is really the cherry on top of this commitment, because overall, Roberts has tremendous upside.
Note: All scouting and analysis done via tape study from this video provided by the 247SportsStudio on YouTube.