This week, we continue our summer series by exploring the Ohio State Buckeyes’ linebackers. Luke Roberts is an Ohio native who, like many of his peers, grew up dreaming of donning the scarlet and gray. He followed in the footsteps of many Buckeye greats before him and attended Lancaster High School.
While in high school, Roberts was named to the second team Division 1 All-Ohio squad. He finished his senior season with 118 tackles, 19 TFL and five sacks. Despite a strong high school career, his scholarship offers were limited, with the majority coming from MAC schools.
Although Roberts grew up watching the Buckeyes, his father graduated from the University of Arizona which ultimately rubbed off on Luke as a child. Arizona extended a scholarship offer to Roberts, early in the process, which left him with a tough decision. In the summer of 2011, however, Ohio State followed suit and became the immediate favorite for Roberts’ services when they extended an offer of their own. On July 13, 2011, Luke Roberts made the decision to become a Buckeye.
Although he did not see the field at linebacker in his freshman campaign, the coaching staff has raved about Luke’s work ethic. He is someone who is constantly fighting to get better in order to earn playing time. He will have every opportunity this year to crack the two-deep roster as his window of opportunity continues to get smaller. This is quite possibly one of the thinnest groups of linebackers Ohio State has ever seen. Aside from Ryan Shazier, everything is wide-open on the depth chart. The departure of David Perkins will help Roberts’ cause as well. It is safe to say that if he is unable to crack the two-deep this season, he might not get the opportunity again. In addition to Shazier, Curtis Grant and Joshua Perry figure to be the starters in 2013. This leaves Camren Williams and Luke Roberts as the only other pure linebackers on scholarship for the Buckeyes. Incoming freshmen, Mike Mitchell and Trey Johnson will definitely add depth at the position but it will probably take some time for them to become acclimated with the system. This being said, I expect Roberts to see the field this season at linebacker but if he is unsuccessful, he will contribute on special teams.