Roberson Still Likes UCLA

Malik Roberson

The Gardena (Calif.) Serra running back, Malik Roberson, is still getting plenty of attention from the Bruins...

Gardena (Calif.) Serra running back Malik Roberson (5-7.5, 180) is just happy to be back at it.

After suffering a torn ACL last spring, that robbed him of his junior year, Roberson recently returned to the football field, the Oakland NFTC his first activity in nearly a year.

"Just to be back working out with the team and getting the heart back with the team has been a relief," said Roberson.

Roberson started slowly at the Oakland NFTC, looking hesitant early on, but then gradually looked more comfortable and relaxed, and like his old self.

"The Nike Camp in Oakland made me want to get back to it. It gave me confidence and it opened my eyes," said Roberson. "It was my first camp back so I was kind of fearing the cuts. I still didn't know what I was able to do, I was learning as the camp went on. But once I figured it out, my confidence just shot up."

Schools haven't backed off from Roberson, despite the injury, and the seven schools that have offered continue to pursue him.

"UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon State, Colorado State, San Jose State, Boston College and San Diego State have all offered and they are all still after me which means a lot," said Roberson. "A lot of people came by Serra, and with basically so many people there, you never know who they're looking at, but they've told me and my coach they're still recruiting me."

Roberson said that Arizona State is recruiting him the hardest and UCLA, who offered him prior to the injury, is still giving him plenty of attention.

"UCLA said I still have an offer and Coach (Adrian) Klemm and Coach (Jim) Mora are still recruiting me," said Roberson. "Coach Mora continues to have a good program and they improve each and every year and they finished the season. That's something that is not normal with a lot of schools, finishing well. But they don't quit, they come out and keep at it."

USC has been keeping a close eye on Roberson and could offer if he continues to progress.

"USC is one that wants to see me come out to their camp and of the schools who haven't offered, they're probably the most interested in wanting to offer me," said Roberson. "I– love the new SC staff and I'm the type of back the coaches like. They came from Bishop Sankey and think I could be a part of that. I love what they're doing to the team. Coach (Tee) Martin is the main one recruiting me."

Both UCLA and USC want Roberson to camp with them this summer.

"It's a hard decision because they're the same time," said Roberson. "And I don't want to over do it. But both programs, I could see myself playing for. I went to spring practices at both schools and loved it."

With five teammates signing with either USC or UCLA in 2014, Roberson said none have pushed him for either school.

"We're all brothers and honor and respect each persons recruitment so we don't really talk recruiting," said Roberson.

Roberson said he's grown and added 15-20 pounds since last spring.

"I definitely think cardio and getting my wind has been a big par of the recovery, but I definitely got bigger in the mean time up top," said Roberson.

Roberson also said the injury helped him with certain aspects of the game.

"I became much more a student of the game," said Roberson. "I was hardcore watching more football film, going over the notes with my quarterbacks and running backs. My heart was out there even if I wasn't."

Roberson is eager to prove he's all the way back and have the same impact he did his sophomore year, when he helped the Cavs win the CIF State D-II title.

"First, it's your senior season, so you want to have a big year anyway, but being that I missed my junior season, I'm even hungrier to get back out there," said Roberson.

Roberson said that as he grows, the likelihood of playing running back in college is more possible.

"Schools still want me as a running back, as a fast back, with the potential of going into the slot and using me there, but mostly using me as a back," said Roberson.

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