January 15, 2014

Coach: Relationship brought DB to Purdue

Brandon Roberts' relationship with Purdue was born years ago.

Only neither he, nor the coach recruiting him, knew it yet. When Greg Hudson was the linebackers coach at Florida State, he recruited Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga. And Roberts was then an underclassman cornerback who would soon be getting division I offers.

"This was one of (Hudson's) schools," Lowndes coach Randy McPherson said of the Purdue defensive coordinator. "So Hud has been looking this kid for three years and Brandon has been talking to Hud for three years."

The relationship led to a Purdue offer, then a commitment. Roberts did so in mid-December, a few days after his Dec. 6 official visit to West Lafayette. Then, he chose the Boilermakers over offers from Washington State and Georgia Southern, and had interest from Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and others.

"He's the kind of kid who wants to get away from home," McPherson said. "They went up there and visited the campus and they loved it."

Roberts, one of six defensive back recruits in the 2014 class, brings some physicality to the secondary, McPherson says. The soon-to-be signee is 6-foot, about 185 pounds now, with some room for growth.

"We play in a very physical league here," McPherson said. "This league down here in southern Georgia is really, really competitive, some outstanding teams and you have to be physical.

"He's over 300 pounds on the power clean, which is strong," McPherson said. "He's probably a 10.8 to 10.7 in the 100 meters, a track kid. He's a good football player, you all are getting a good one without a doubt."

Roberts was recruited to Purdue as a cornerback, but might be able to play safety or nickel as well. At Lowndes as a senior, he also played running back and returned kicks. He had about 700 all-purpose yards, and 65 tackles and five interceptions on defense.

"I guarantee he'll contribute to that team at some point," McPherson said. "I can't speak for next year, because I don't know what Purdue has, but soon or later, he's going to be on the field.

"He's got a lot of experience, playoff games, regular-season games. I can't even tell you enough about the league here, always big crowds here on Friday nights, so being able to play under pressure is not going to be a problem."

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