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BELATED 68 DAYS TO KICKOFF - Stephen Roberts

Patience, intelligence, speed.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Auburn Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

As we continue our march to kickoff, we take a look at the top 100 recruits to sign with Auburn of all-time*. The rankings are based on 247’s composite recruit rankings, which unfortunately only date back to 2000.

THE RECRUIT

Roberts came out of nearby Opelika as one of the top ten players in the state of Alabama, and he committed to Auburn just after the Miracle at Jordan-Hare in November of 2013. It was a big get, as history has not been kind as far as local kids staying home to play for the Tigers. In fact, he’d been an Alabama commit at one point during his recruitment, but he flipped and chose to stay home. It was a good decision. He wasn’t the biggest guy coming out of high school at just 5’11, 187 pounds, but he was able to use his speed to flourish as a cover guy in the back end.

THE PLAYER

After seeing only a few plays on the field as a freshman in 2015, Roberts saw more and more time in 2015 and 2016. As a sophomore, he played in 7 games and finished 26 tackles and 3 pass deflections before starting 11 games in 2016. That season he would accumulate 57 tackles and a pair of interceptions for his best statistical campaign, and he’d return in 2017 to anchor a defensive backfield with his senior leadership.

Time and time again, he would use his speed and agility to find the right angle to make a great tackle. In many instances, he took down guys that were way more talented than he was, as you can see in the clip below from the Iron Bowl in 2017.

That’s likely the biggest play he ever made. It’s a perfect tackle, and he was able to destroy Bo Scarbrough’s mojo (and Alabama’s) in the Iron Bowl that year. If he doesn’t make the stop, the game likely changes completely, but Alabama was 100% stifled after that stop and never scored again. He was also a fairly talented pass defender, again using speed and his recognition of opposing offenses to make plays.

After a solid finish to his senior season, he went undrafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, but he was able to sign on with the Philadelphia Eagles in an UDFA deal.