Feeling The Love

Donovan Roberts

Norman (OK) High tailback Donovan Roberts (6-1, 200, 4.5) and his parents will visit Arkansas on Wednesday and he plans to announce his college choice between the Razorbacks, Pittsburgh, Michigan and Arizona later that day.

If everything goes right on Wednesday, the Razorbacks could have one of the nation's top 2012 tailbacks in the fold.

Norman (Ok) High standout Donovan Roberts (6-1, 200, 4.5) will visit Arkansas with his parents on Wednesday and likely will announce his decision later that day.

"I really have it down to a solid final four – Arkansas, Pittsburgh, Michigan and Arizona," said Roberts, who has offers from six different conferences. "Arkansas is at the top of that list. I plan to announce a decision on Wednesday right after my visit."

Roberts, who rushed for 2,002 yards and 32 touchdowns last season and is ranked as Scout.com's 36th best tailback nationally, came over for a Razorback scrimmage on April 2 and was blown away.

"It was my first trip to Arkansas and I just fell in love with the place," Roberts said. "It is a place that doesn't have any pro teams or really any other major college teams so the whole state is behind the Razorbacks. That's a special feeling. An awesome one. Over here it's a ‘You a Poke?' or "You a Sooner?' In Arkansas, everybody is a Razorback.

"My dad came with me last time, but this time I'll get to have my mom with me as well," Roberts added. "She's been to the state of Arkansas, but not to the school. She wants to see what they have to offer as far as academics and just get a look at the overall campus and how everything works over there."

Roberts, a three-star prospect who also has scholarships from Kansas State, Iowa State, Tulsa and Indiana and interest from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and others, got his offer from Arkansas last week.

"It felt great to get that offer because I think so highly of Arkansas and the really respect those coaches and the way they run their program," Roberts said. "It is first-class all the way and it is all business on the field and off the field when it comes to commitment to academics.

"I love the way that they basically shut things down for spring practice and only worry about improving the team they have on hand at the time," Roberts added. "One they were done, they got back to recruiting and got an offer right out to me. That was very impressive."

He certainly was a workhorse last season while carrying the ball 302 times, including a school-record 54 in one overtime game.

Roberts, ranked as the fifth-best 2012 prospect in Oklahoma per The Oklahoman newspaper, has bonded with Arkansas running backs coach Tim Horton.

"Coach Horton and I connected from the very start and I just have such great respect for him," Roberts said. "I think he would get the most out of me in college."

Horton has mentioned to Roberts that Arkansas is the only school in the SEC to have four straight 1,000-yard rushers.

"He let me know that, but he didn't do it in a cocky manner," Roberts said. "He let me know that they had done a good job identifying talent and that they were really impressed with me and wanted me to come help keep that tradition going.

"You know Coach Horton has done a great job because he has been a coach there for five years and he has put not just three backs in the league, but three great backs (Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis) in the league already," Roberts said. "That says a lot."

Roberts thinks he is in the same mold of current Arkansas tailbacks Knile Davis and Ronnie Wingo.

"Arkansas recruits a lot of great backs that are the same type of backs – big, strong and fast that are all-around guys," Roberts said. "I like to think I am working to become that same type back. I am running track right now and trying to do what they do – have great speed in that first 10 yards to break runs."

Roberts had some prior knowledge about the Razorbacks from his head coach Greg Nation, an Arkansas native.

Nation was a quarterback and defensive back for Henderson State and coached at Central Arkansas Christian (1988-89), Tulsa Central (1992-93), Tulsa Edison (1993-94) and Bristow (1994-96), for the Tulsa Talons of the Arena Football League2, eight seasons as head coach Bishop Kelly and also as an assistant at the University of Tulsa.

"He knows a lot about Arkansas and Fayetteville because he spent a lot of time there and that is where his wife graduated from," Roberts said. "He's had a lot of good things to say about Arkansas and now so do I."





Donovan Roberts

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