FAYETTEVILLE — Former North Texas tight end Jake Roberts is impressed with Arkansas’ new hire to coach his position.
Roberts, 6-5, 250, is very impressed with Arkansas hiring Morgan Turner who had spent 13 years at Stanford previously. Turner has a strong reputation of sending tight ends to the NFL.
“It’s second to none (success getting TEs to NFL),” Roberts said. “I mean consistently for a long time put tight ends in the NFL. That’s something you can’t even ignore. It’s hard to ignore. I’ve seen the pedigree of tight ends that Stanford seeing how he consistently puts guys in the NFL. And he doesn’t just put them in the NFL. Those are guys that have a lot of success in the NFL. Colby Parkinson, Coby Fleener, I mean Dalton Schultz with the Dallas Cowboys. It seems like everywhere you look in the NFL there’s a tight end that Morgan Turner coached. It’s definitely something that has made Arkansas really appealing to me.”
In addition to Turner, Roberts is very impressed with Sam Pittman.
“He seems awesome,” Roberts said. “Just the short phone calls we’ve had. He seems like a great man. Obviously he’s doing well over there and turning the program around. It’s something that makes me excited talking to him.”
Roberts said initially it was Turner and Kendal Briles who reached out to him. He will have two years of eligibility remaining. Roberts entered the transfer portal on Dec. 20 and the Razorbacks offered him the next day. He talked about upcoming visits.
“The visit window opens January 4-8 and that’s when I’m going to try and get out there for a visit,” Roberts said. “I will try to be there on the 4th.”
Roberts also talked about the other schools in addition to Arkansas that he’s considering.
“Baylor is a school that I’m interested in,” Roberts said. “SMU and then Cal Berkeley.”
In addition to the four schools he mentioned, Roberts also has received offers from Tennessee, South Florida, Texas State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, Rutgers, Oregon State, Indiana and Nebraska. While he will visit Arkansas in early January, it’s a place he’s already familiar with out of Norman (Okla.) North High School in the Class of 2020.
“I’ve been there twice coming out of high school,” Roberts said. “But I just never got the offer. I loved it coming out of high school. I mean it was a beautiful place but I never got the opportunity. They didn’t want me then, but it’s pretty cool to have the opportunity now. At least better late than never. That’s definitely a place I want to come check out.”
Chad Morris was the head coach at Arkansas during Roberts’ recruiting process. Roberts talked about what it would mean to play in the SEC.
“I mean that’s a dream of mine,” Roberts said. “It’s the best of the best. You can’t get any better than the division Arkansas plays in. You are playing the Alabama’s, the LSU’s, week in and week out. That would be big-time and push me to grow as a person and a player. To say I played in that division is something I could carry with me the rest of my life.”
At North Texas this season, Roberts caught 28 passes for 394 yards and three touchdowns. In his career, Roberts played 37 games at North Texas. He caught 43 passes for 541 yards and three touchdowns. Roberts talked about his 2022 season and what he feels like possibly the next two at his new school hold for him.
“I had one touchdown get called back,” Roberts said. “I think I had a solid season, but I think I can do more. I think that’s just getting started for me. I think I can put some even bigger numbers with the right fit and right place. It’s just something I’ve go to find the right fit for me so I can excel and build on what I did this year. Stats are cool and all, but I want to be playing good football and contributing helping the team win.”
At Norman North, Roberts started the final two years of high school. He hauled in 27 catches for 286 yards and two touchdowns in his pair of varsity seasons. Appeared in 10 games as a senior where he caught 18 passes for 197 yards (21.9 YPG) and two touchdowns.
Click here for Roberts’ tweet announcing he was entering the transfer portal.
Click here for Roberts’ tweet announcing offer from the Hogs.
Arkansas currently has signed five recruits from the transfer portal. They have added quarterback Jacolby Criswell, 6-1, 205; Texas A&M-Commerce wide receiver Andrew Armstrong, 6-5, 189; Florida offensive guard Joshua Braun, 6-6, 335; USF linebacker Antonio Grier, 6-1, 223; and Pitt defensive end John Morgan III, 6-2, 265. They still have more needs.
“I think we need to get another lineman,” Pittman said. “We need to get a tight end. Certainly wide receiver, we may need two or three coming out of there. Defensive backs. We’ve got to get a few. Linebackers still. I really like our linebackers. All these guys on our team I really like but we just don’t have any depth, with guys leaving and guys going to the NFL and things of that nature. But linebacker’s there. I think we’ve got the pass rusher that will help the pass rushers that we have. But I think we probably need to go inside and get another big man as well. That’s probably talking about 10 or 12 guys and we have those scholarships available.”