Over the next five days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in The Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at junior cornerback Marcus Roberson.
Roberson was a highly recruited cornerback out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Roberson chose Florida over offers from Auburn, Georgia, Louisville, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Southern Cal among others.
Roberson didn’t take long to make an impact at Florida and started the first 10 games of his career, becoming the third cornerback in school history (Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkins) to start the first game of their career at corner. Roberson started the first 10 games of the season before a neck injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He entered his sophomore season healthy and played in all 13 games, starting four.
Roberson is your quintessential lock-down cornerback. He became just the third cornerback to start his first career game for a reason and that is because Roberson can be trusted to play man coverage and take his receiver out of the game entirely.
Roberson excels in man coverage and has really thrived in Florida’s “mirroring” defensive scheme. Roberson has great leaping ability and contends for every pass in the air.
He is light on his feet and can stop on a dime. Roberson has great hips and can quickly turn and run with receivers or accelerate back at top speed if needed.
Roberson’s biggest weakness is his physicality and tackling. Part of the reason that people fell in love with Loucheiz Purifoy is his physicality and propensity to make big tackles. Roberson shies away from the big hit and at times looks like he would rather force a man out of bounds or dive low on a ball carrier rather than standing his ground and wrapping up and finishing a tackle.
What to Expect
Roberson makes up for his lack of physicality by simply not letting people catch passes on him. Roberson along with Purifoy will play on either side of the field as starting cornerbacks and both will be playing this year with a chance to leave school early and be high-to-mid-round picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.