Last season there may not have been a more talented defensive backfield in the nation than the one at Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas. Lamarcus Joyner, Cody Riggs, Keion Payne and Brian Robinson were all highly touted prospects that all went on to sign with major college programs. This year a new defensive back is poised to emerge from those four shadows.
Marcus Roberson may be the most talented defensive back in the country that didn't start as a junior. In fact, at 6-foot-1 with the ability to play safety or corner, Roberson may just be one of the most talented defensive backs in the country, period.
With Spring Practice underway at St. Thomas Aquinas, college coaches are finally getting an opportunity to see Roberson in the spotlight and they are liking what they're seeing. Already this spring Roberson has amassed a load of offers from major programs including Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Purdue and Minnesota. Recently Florida joined the race as well.
"It was exciting because now I'm getting seen by the bigger schools," Roberson said of the Florida offer. "Now some of the other schools are getting a chance to see me."
Despite several major offers to this point, including the reigning in-state power of Florida, Roberson doesn't have favorites. In fact, what may be considered his favorite is a school that isn't in his home state and has yet to show serious interest.
"I'm looking to take visits in the summer so I'm not really worried about that now," he said. "After spring I'm probably going to take visits and start figuring that out. My dream school is like LSU or something. I just always liked that school and it's in the SEC too. That's just one of my dream schools."
In many cases, a Florida prospect that picks up an in-state offer becomes a forgone conclusion to stay in state. That isn't the case with Roberson. He is very open to getting out of state - to an extent.
"[Staying in state] isn't really a factor," he said. "I'm looking for schools with passing offenses like in the Big 12. I just don't want to pass the middle of America. I wouldn't want to pass like Texas."
The more schools that get wind of Roberson's openness to leaving Florida, the more offers he will likely receive, particularly as he steps into the spotlight in the St. Thomas Aquinas secondary. He is excited at the opportunity.
"It feels exciting," he said. "I have to really step it up and show people what I can do. It feels good. Now we just have a whole new group of people so we gotta bond. It's going to be kind of the same."
More of the same is a good thing for St. Thomas Aquinas.