Fallston High School senior Kevin Roberts spends many hours over many days working on his strength and accuracy as he kicks footballs through the uprights at the Fallston high turf.
It’s a passion for the 5-foot-9, 140-pound Roberts that started with the realization before high school that he was kicking the wrong kind of ball.
“I quit soccer to play football and my dad was like, ‘You should try kicking’, and I kept on trying that since ninth, 10th and 11th grades and he was like, ‘You could go to the next level and play’,” Roberts said.
So, the work continues.
“I just keep working on my accuracy and mechanics and getting stronger and then I’ll be comfortable from anywhere on the field,” Roberts said. “The furthest when I was practicing, I hit a 55-yarder and I’m starting to get them down. On my recent Twitter account, I posted 10-for-10 from 50.”
Roberts, who is not committed to a college yet, said he uses Twitter to display his talent and communicate with coaches.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of high school football, Roberts has been pretty busy on the field.
“I’ve been traveling all around the country. I’ve been to Florida, Georgia and I went to Las Vegas this past weekend,” Roberts said. “It’s a Chris Sailer camp and I earned a 4.5 star rating. It’s just basically to get the word out on my kicking abilities.”
Chris Sailer Kicking camps are recognized as the nation’s top-ranking resource for kicking. There were roughly 160 kickers at the Las Vegas camp and Roberts says all the kickers are ranked.
“A 4.5 star rating in Chris Sailor Kicking, which is a national kicking service used by colleges to help with recruiting,” Roberts said. “A 4.5 rating lets the coaches know you are capable of playing up to the FBS level.”
Roberts is showing a 194 ranking among 407 Class 2021 kickers. Roberts says there are no camps coming up that he will attend.
So, when and where might Roberts find a school to kick for?
“Recruiting for this year’s seniors is a lot more competitive because of the NCAA waivers that say all athletes don’t lose a year of eligibility. Roster spots are limited because there are few seniors leaving which would open spots up for freshmen,” Roberts said.
There has been interest, though.
“They have been showing lots more interest, all over, from FBS to DIII schools. They’ve been showing lots of interest. I just have to keep on being patient and hopefully an offer comes in,” Roberts said.
Roberts has a list of schools that he’s been accepted into, but none have made formal offers in terms of football.
“I have been accepted to a number of schools so far including Old Dominion, East Tenessee State, Eastern Kentucky, Wagner, IUP, Bloomsburg, Slippery Rock, Shippenburg and Stevenson,” Roberts said. “I have taken unofficial visits to half of these as well as Florida Atlantic, Youngstown State, Kent State and Akron.”
Although he listed Slippery Rock, Roberts knows that the school is not having a new freshman recruiting class this year. “So that was big news when I heard that,” he said.
Roberts also says he’s undecided on a major at this point.
At Fallston, Roberts has improved academically during his time at the school.
“I had my ups and downs my freshman and sophomore years, but last year, my junior year, and this first quarter, I was outstanding,” Roberts said. “This first quarter I got distinguished honor roll, 3.75 and I’m keeping that up right now. All A’s and a B right now, so I just have to keep it up.”
While he studies and tries to maintain his grades, he’s also hopeful for some form of a football season. “Hopefully, really, I just miss the competition and hanging out with my teammates and coaches. I just hope to be there in February or whenever it comes,” Roberts said.
He also knows of the reality of no season. “I will be a little mad, but on the other hand, not having a season actually helped me with my kicking, getting stronger and kicking every other day,” Roberts said.
Season or not, Roberts is excited about the annual Big 33 Game, that pits Maryland high school football stars against the like from Pennsylvania.
“I was nominated by the National Preps to play in the Big 33 game, so that was nice to hear,” Roberts said. “Whether I get selected or not, it’s an honor to possibly represent Maryland.”
“I want to say thanks to [Fallston varsity football] coach [Jimmy] Grant who has been helping me out during the recruiting process and I’m very thankful for that,” Roberts said. “After last season, I began working with a kicking specialist, a coach, Desi Cullen. He has been training kickers in the DMV (DC, MD, VA) for years and has a number of kids in big time D-I schools and has been a huge help to my success.”