Trading his black and orange for blue and gold… Cyclone wide receiver Jake Roberts inks to become ETSU Buc

Published 1:53 am Thursday, March 17, 2022

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
Young boys have dreams and some never see those dreams come to reality.
However, that was not the case for Elizabethton High School’s senior wide receiver Jake Roberts who on Wednesday before family, friends, and teammates inked to play collegiate football for the ETSU Buccaneers checking off another box on his bucket list.
“This was really where I wanted to be from the beginning,” said Roberts prior to signing. “It’s my chance to play at a high level of football and it’s close to home. I’ve had family go there and my sister graduated from ETSU so it’s kind of in the family and I wanted to carry that on with football.”
For his head football coach at Elizabethton, Shawn Witten, the fact that Roberts is getting the opportunity wasn’t surprising to him as he has watched his star receiver from the time he was a young kid to the time he walked off the field as an integral part of a highly successful senior class.
“It’s an exciting day for our school and our community,” said Witten before Roberts signed. “Very seldom do you get a chance to stop and put it all in perspective. Jake’s senior class was a very successful senior class with 52 wins, four losses, four wins over Science Hill, five out of six wins over Greeneville, and avenged a loss to Anderson Co. four years ago by winning twice over Anderson Co. this season.
“Jake is our fourth 1,000-yard receiver in school history. He had 67 catches for 1,018 yards and 18 touchdowns this year and four interceptions to go along with 213 punt return yards. For his career, he had 100 catches 1,600 receiving yards, 30 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, over 600 punt return yards and he never dropped one. He played in 17 career playoff games with this class and scored over 1,000 points in basketball. He also made All-State this year.”
The receiver also showered praise on his coaches and especially Coach Witten.
“Coach Witten has done a great job of preparing me because of the way we run our practices,” Roberts said. “Our practices are really intense and college-like and I know I can do the work when I get to a higher level like at ETSU. I just want to get on the field and make a difference whatever that may be. The change of the new playbook will be challenging and at this level everybody is good because there is not a player on the field that shouldn’t be there.”
Witten had many words to describe Robert’s time as a Cyclone saying the 4.0 student “did it the right way”.
“Trustworthy, dependable, reliable, consistent, loyal, confident, and when it came time to suit up and go into battle he was ready. He never missed a practice, a workout, never called in sick, and never missed a passing session,” said Witten. “Jake was diehard and it was in his blood right off the bat to be a Cyclone since he was a kid. Today marks a job well done.”
And while the senior class may go in different directions, Roberts said he is looking forward to what being a Buc will bring.
“I am ready for the new relationships and friends that playing for ETSU is going to bring,” said Roberts.

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