University of Washington football recruiting got off to a sluggish start for 2022 because of pandemic limitations, decommitments and delayed decisions. Ben Roberts, a defensive lineman out of East High School in the Salt Lake City area, just upped the tempo with his weekend pledge.
As NFL quarterback and former California leader Aaron Rodgers advises in a situation such as this: "Relax."
Roberts gave the Huskies a significant boost with his Sunday decision following his visit to Seattle. He'll make opposing players uncomfortable while enabling everyone on his side to take a deep breath.
He also extended a solid Husky recruiting connection, making him the next player in line from East High to commit to the UW, following the lead of fellow D-linemen Voi Tunuufi, Jordan Lolohea and Sam Taimani.
Size: At 6-foot-4 and 290 pounds, Roberts is an ideal fit for the 3-technique defender on the side of the guard and he also can set the edge lining up on the outside shoulder of the tackle.
Speed: Roberts is explosive as a defensive lineman. He gets to the quarterback quickly, can chase down a running back and is extra smooth in changing directions while reacting to a running back making his move.
Strength: Two aspects of his strength that stand out on film are his ability to shed blockers to make a tackle and his propensity to absorb a chip when met by a pulling guard.
Footwork: The excellent player development at East High School again is on display in Ben Roberts. He has an explosive first step and stays low to beat offensive linemen. His wide base makes changing directions happen quick when reacting to ball carriers making their cuts.
Football IQ: One major data point that shows a D-lineman’s IQ is the ability to set the edge when the play goes the opposite direction. Many top prospects will over-pursue but Roberts stays disciplined to stop big plays when things get reversed.
Scoutlook: Ben Roberts is an excellent prospect for the defensive staff at Washington. His size and athletic ability enable him to play multiple positions at the next level. He projects as a multiple-year starter with the ability to be a three-down lineman because he can rush the passer and be effective in stopping the run.
Husky Comparison: Benning Potoa’e