Hawkeyes Pick Up Commitment from PA CB Terry Roberts

June 5, 2017

Written by Rob Howe

Hawkeye Nation

Since he was eight years old, Terry Roberts has been looking up to Jovon Johnson. Monday, the Erie (PA) Cathedral Prep cornerback decided to follow in the footsteps of the former all-Big Ten performer.

Roberts committed to Iowa after camping at the school on Saturday and picking up a scholarship offer on Sunday. He has been attending the same high school as former Hawkeyes Bob Sanders and Ed Hinkel. Johnson graduated from Mercyhurst Prep in Erie.

Roberts calls Johnson a mentor and a second father. He said the former Iowa standout, who ranks third on the all-time interception list with 17, was ecstatic when he found out Roberts would be a Hawkeye.

“He was so excited. I started working out with Jovon when I was eight years old. Every since then, we’ve been working out. It’s been me and him,” Roberts said.

Roberts said he felt early on during his visit Saturday that he’d found his college home.

“Once I arrived, I looked around the city and something was telling me that this was the city for me. When I got to the facility, the atmosphere hit me. After meeting with all the coaches and seeing the environment of the city and the football program, I knew it was for me,” he said.

Roberts (5-10, 170) is the seventh known verbal commitment in Iowa’s 2018 recruiting class. He’s the first projected defensive back in the group.

Hawkeyes defensive coordinator Phil Parker, who also coaches the secondary, watched Roberts work out in late April at Cathedral Prep. He invited him to camp with Iowa.

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“I thought I might as well take the trip because you never know what could happen,” he said.

Roberts had been flying under the recruiting radar, for the most part. He didn’t have a star rating from Rivals, Scout or 247 and held offers from Duquesne and Notre Dame College in Ohio. He was scheduled to camp with Pittsburgh, Penn State, Syracuse, Boston College, West Virginia and Buffalo this summer before committing.

The Hawkeyes never have paid much attention to recruiting rankings. They snagged Sanders and Johnson out of Erie when neither held another Power 5 offer. Roberts showed off his potential at camp.

“They told me that they really like my hips, the way that I move, the quickness of my feet. They liked how I just went out and played and didn’t let anyone get in my head. I just did me and that led to my great performance,” he said.

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As a junior, Roberts recorded 32 tackles, picked off two passes and defended eight more. He returned two punts for touchdowns and grabbed two scores as a receiver.

Assistant Ken O’Keefe helped Parker in leading the recruitment of Roberts. They all connected.

“Coach O’Keefe is a really cool guy. You can talk to him about anything. He’ll be there for you. You can joke with him, but once it comes to football, he’s all business, same with coach Parker,” Roberts said.

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Roberts said he enjoyed touring the football facility and learning about Hawkeye history from recruiting director Tyler Barnes. He then met with the head coach and that sealed the deal.

“When I arrived in coach (Kirk) Ferentz’s office, he gave me a firm handshake and offered me something to drink. The whole time I was in his office I was like, they’re making it feel like home, like I’m their son. They made a good impression on me,” Roberts said.

Roberts is looking to study Business in college, perhaps specializing in sports management.

Here’s a look at Robert’s junior highlights:

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