After taking extra time because of the COVID-19 pandemic to mull over his college decision, John Carroll running back Roman Hemby will head to Maryland to play football.
Hemby announced his decision on Sunday, cementing his roots at the state’s flagship university and looking to build a legacy that lasts a lifetime.
The 6-foot, 195-pound running back is rated as a three-star recruit in the 2021 class, the 117th ranked player at his position and the 49th best player in the state of Maryland, per 247Sports. He drew offers from West Virginia, Temple, Virginia, Boston College and several other Power 5 programs.
He is the 20th commit in the Terps’ 2021 class, which entered Sunday ranked 19th nationally and fourth in the Big Ten, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Last season, Hemby became one of the guiding lights of the Patriots offense as the Swiss Army knife, scoring 16 total touchdowns — 12 as a rusher and four as a receiver. The rising senior running back had 729 yards on the ground and 348 yards as a receiver, leading the team in both categories. He models his play after two NFL running backs that can change the game both rushing and receiving: Le’Veon Bell and Alvin Kamara.
“Growing up, I really liked the way Le’Veon Bell played,” Hemby said. “The game kind of slows down. My first varsity game — it was fast. Everything was moving really fast, but as I got older, I realized that the game slows down for me and using his “Slow to, fast through” philosophy and just letting the game play itself and not rushing.
“That’s what I’m trying to learn and I’m still working on it. Being a slow guy and being able to read defenses, that’s what I’m working on. Le’Veon Bell and Alvin Kamara are probably the two running backs that I model my game after and watch faithfully to be as much like them as possible.”
Before the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association postponed fall sports, Hemby was unsure whether he’d be able to ever suit up in a John Carroll uniform again. Hemby expected to be one of the team leaders during his senior year and wanted to build onto a 6-4 record in 2019 and lead his team to a B Conference championship.
He took to training every day with Bill Ackerman at Spartan Sports & Wellness in Bel Air. The grueling summer days provided the necessary adversity to make him a more resilient athlete and he became used to the daily grind. The 3-star running back didn’t play basketball during the offseason and his pure focus became to make he and his team better for the long haul.
“My guys and I — we went after it,” he said. “[We were] building relationships, seeing guys in here [Spartan Sports & Wellness] everyday and we were working. It’s different when you can see your guys and you know that they’re working, you can hold each other accountable and we were doing that. We had a lot of momentum going into this year and hopefully we have a season, but I know without a season that everybody is set because we put the work in during the offseason.”