Trinity Classical Academy senior quarterback Rick Roberts has made his choice and will be moving to Thousand Oaks in the fall to play football for California Lutheran University.
“It’s a relief that it finally got decided and all wrapped up,” he said. “It’s been a couple years now of talking to a couple schools and finding what the best fit is.”
During his four years at Trinity, Roberts threw for 4,757 yards and 61 touchdowns. In just his senior year, he threw for 39 of those touchdowns and over half of his total yards with 2,854, throwing only eight interceptions. He also scampered for four touchdowns, three of which came in his final season.
“Rick was a great quarterback for us,” said Trinity head coach Les Robinson. “He helped put our program on the map in terms of the 11-man game. We’ve become a threat statewide in our division.”
Roberts announced his commitment to the Kingsmen on Saturday via Twitter. However, with Cal Lutheran, he will not need to sign a National Letter of Intent. Instead, the deposit he put on his first semester’s tuition acts like his NLI.
“It’s a done deal as of now,” Roberts said. “I submitted my deposit for the school. Once you send your first deposit for tuition, it’s a done deal.”
Roberts will not be attending Cal Lutheran on an athletic scholarship, as that is not the standard for Division 3 schools. However, he did receive a partial academic scholarship. The details of his scholarship have yet to be fleshed out, though.
He made his decision to play for Cal Lutheran in mid-January after taking one of his final college visits. He returned to Southern California from a trip to Texas where he had interest in a few schools. When he got home, something just felt right about Cal Lutheran.
“I was considering Austin college. When I came back from there, I knew Cal Lutheran was where I wanted to be,” Roberts said. “Cal Lutheran was the second visit I ever took during my junior year. They’ve always been at the top of my list ever since then.”
Robinson is glad to see Roberts will be staying close to home. He also foresaw him choosing the Kingsmen, as a decision like that would have been on par with Rick and his relationship with the school.
“For a while we thought he was going to Texas, but it was great he made the commitment to Cal Lutheran. We’ll be able to see him a couple times,” Robinson said. “I think he made a great choice. He’s had a relationship with that coach for a number of years. I wasn’t surprised when he made that choice.”
Roberts made his decision based on the people that come out of the university. He said he has visited many college campuses, but none were like Cal Lutheran.
“There’s something special,” Roberts said. “A majority of the coaching staff are alumni of Cal Lutheran. Coach McEnroe is running a great program where people want to be involved.”
That also plays into his plans to be a college football coach after he graduates. Some of the most well-known coaches around the country are Cal Lutheran alumni. Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Cory Undlin and Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman are both Cal Lutheran graduates.
“That’s an amazing connection to have,” Roberts said. “Just knowing the connections there is something no other school could offer. The type of school that it is and the people that are there make an incredible fit for me.”
Despite the desire to be a college football coach, Roberts does not plan to major in sports management, or anything athletic for that matter. He plans to major in education. If being a college coach falls through, he wants to be a teacher and coach high school football.
His dream of becoming a college coach would have been cut short if he didn’t make it into a college football program, and for that he has many people to thank. Among them were his coaches and teammates at Trinity.
“It’s a testament to the people that got me here,” he said. “With all the hard work I’ve put in its great to see it pay off into something more. I feel so blessed to have those people around me because without them I wouldn’t be where I am.”
But he has time before he has to worry about getting his first coaching job. For now, Roberts has his final term at Trinity and four years of Kingsmen football to look forward to.
“It’s going to be fun to play at a high level. Play for new coaches and a new scheme,” Roberts said. “I’m excited for it.”
While Roberts is excited to get his college career underway, Robinson is excited to see just what his former quarterback can accomplish at the next level.
“I feel like Rick is not the best quarterback he can be, yet, and I know he’ll get it done. He’s just a natural,” Robinson said. “Especially in mind he understands offensive schemes and defense, as well. I think he’s only scratched the surface of what it truly is to be a quarterback.”