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Junior LB Austin Roberts on U: "They really loved me at camp and I love the campus."

10/22/2012, 8:15pm CDT
By Chris Monter

Rorberts attended the Gophers home opener vs. New Hampshire.

Austin Roberts, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior linebacker from Rice Lake (WI) High, was a second team All-Big Rivers Conference team selection last year as a sophomore. Roberts, who has helped lead the Warriors to a 4-3 start, attended the Minnesota home opener versus New Hampshire. Gopher Hole recently caught up with Roberts to learn the latest on his recruitment
 
Robers, who is known more for his wrestling exploits, has highlighted a Warrior defense that has allowed just 27 second half points this season. 
 
Roberts was 37-12 last season in wrestling and advanced to the Division 2 state tournament, where he faced three seniors who all placed at state and went 1-2. Roberts, who was the first Rice Lake wrestler to advance to state since 2008, was one of seven Warrior who qualified for the sectional. Only two were seniors.
 
Roberts will be joined on the team by younger brother, Jake, a freshman.
 
Gopher Hole: Did you get a chance to go to many college camps this summer?
 
Austin Roberts: I was all over this summer. I went to Iowa State, Wisconsin, Northwestern, University of Illinois, Notre Dame and then I went back to Iowa State and came here (Minnesota) to end the summer. I stopped along the way at Purdue and Drake.
 
Gopher Hole: Do you feel that you pick up a lot of things that can help you as a player at those camps?
 
Austin Roberts: Yes, I do actually. From Rice Lake, no one comes to Rice Lake to recruit you, so you have to go out there and put your name out. I feel that I did a pretty good job of that this summer. I love it.
 
Gopher Hole: What schools are you hearing from the most right now?
 
Austin Roberts: I have been getting letters in the mail, nothing really football specific. Minnesota is the first one that has taken me on a recruiting trip.
 
Gopher Hole: What are you hearing from Minnesota?
 
Austin Roberts: So far, they invited me to a game. They really loved me at camp and I love the campus. I haven’t been in contact with them much. I’ve been focusing a lot of high school football. I know that I should be more on that, but I have been focusing on my season.
 
Gopher Hole: What position are you playing for the Warriors this season?
 
Austin Roberts: Inside linebacker.
 
Gopher Hole: Do you like the hitting aspect of the position?
 
Austin Roberts: Yes. That is why I play the game. I love to hit kids. I also play a little bit of tight end and they are putting me at split end now. I’m not quite sure what I am doing out there, but I like it.
 
Gopher Hole: Do you think that having an defensive background helps you on the offensive side in terms of knowing how to defend an offensive player?
 
Austin Roberts: It helps a lot to know what they are trying to do. When someone tries to do something to me on defense, “I’m like that was a good move. I could do that to them when I’m on offense.” 
 
Gopher Hole: Do you play any other sports at Rice Lake? 
 
Austin Roberts: Wrestling. I am actually an All-American wrestler. I placed third in nationals this spring at the 220-pound weight class. 
 
Gopher Hole: Are you hearing from schools wrestling-wise? 
 
Austin Roberts: No. I am focused more on football. I went to state last year for wrestling as well and I won state for Greco Wrestling and placed second in free style in the state. I’m not really into wrestling as much as I am into football. I love wrestling, don’t get me wrong, but football is my passion.
 
Gopher Hole: Do you think that wrestling in terms of foot work and strength training helps you a lot as a football player?
 
Austin Roberts: Yes. It teaches you a ton of stuff. It helps you with every sport, honestly. Coach always says that wrestlers are the best football players and best tacklers, so it is nice to have.
 
Gopher Hole: Do you feel that is one of your strengths that since you can take people down in wrestling that you are also a good tackler?  
 
Austin Roberts: It definitely helps. Guys were making fun of me earlier this season. I made a tackle on a guy and they were like “That was just like a double leg take-down,” so it helps a lot.
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