For running back Jay Roberson out of Belleville (Mich) Belleville High School, this weekend's official visit only served as a confirmation of what his unofficial visit suggested ... that he was destined to become a Army Black Knight and attend West Point.
You see, this was not Roberson's first visit to the West Point campus, as he was able to sojourn to the Northeast when he attended the Army-Rutgers game played at Yankee Stadium, followed up by an unofficial visit to the campus.
"The venue was real nice," says the 6-foot-2, 195 pound all-purpose back when discussing his November visit to New York. "The stadium is crazy, the atmosphere, the fans were into it ... it was a real good game."
"For most prospects that were up there for the first time is different for us, because this has been an ongoing conversation and process since November," shares Jay's dad, Jerome. "So we've been dealing with this for about three months and so it wasn't an overnight decision for Jay. But honestly, from the first time he was there unofficially, he like the academics, the facilities and he loved the New York area."
"But Coach Ellerson did say wait for 48-hours, but Jay called Coach Ross because we all kind of knew that if everything was in line, that he would commit to Army."
And commit he did .... bypassing the 48-hour designation. "I just committed to Army 5 minutes ago," Roberson shared with GBK on Sunday evening, upon returning from his official visit to West Point. "I just got home."
"Once I got home, I called Coach Ross (Joe) that we made it home safely and that's when I committed. He was really excited and said he was proud of me and that it was a great decision."
Needless to say, Roberson's parent are not only proud of their son's decision, but according to Roberson's dad, Jerome, it is the right fit.
"We had initially went down in November when we went out for the Army-Rutgers' game at Yankee Stadium," shares the senior Roberson. "So we kind of had a decent idea of what West Point was about. At that point, we knew about the academic and athletic part of it, but didn't understand the military commitment part of it. This weekend allowed us to get a better understanding of what the commitment part was about."
"He had some other schools interested, but at the end of the day, I believe that Army provides him with the best opportunities to grow as a person, to grow as a student and to grow as an athlete. We've always talked to Jay about when you are making a college decision, you need to look beyond the next four years, but next 15-20 years down the road. So Army provides him with the best opportunity to grow beyond football."
During his time on campus, Roberson's player-host was Michael Hudson, as two joined the other prospects and their family members on Friday. "It was real good and they showed us a good time .... a lot of good people there," says Roberson. "Friday evening we went to dinner with all the coaches and other recruits. Then we got a little tour with our host of the facilities."
Things really fell into place on Saturday, as Roberson and others on hand had the opportunity to see West Point in full effect. "We got a tour of the entire West Point campus and the football facilities again," he adds, with the excitement still in his voice. "We only talked about football for maybe 30 minutes, everything was about the academy and academics. Other places I have gone, it's been 50/50 .... this was different."
And how would Roberson rank Army football facilities? "I give it a 10 out of 10 ... the stadium and weight room were the best things I saw."
Roberson, who had offers from Central Michigan as well as New Mexico is being recruiting as a slot and has the athletic pedigree even by his own omission. "I have really good vision and I'm fast, but I can go outside or inside and I run instinctively, where I can make players miss," says Roberson, who also a member of Belleville's basketball and track teams. In track Roberson runs the open 200, 400x100, 400x200 and 4x400. For the school's 400x100 placed 4th in the state in 2011.
With Roberson's pledge, the Black Knights are able to add another quality running back to the 2012 recruiting class. The prep bound running back is being projected at either of the slot positions in Army's triple option offense.
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