Malcolm Roach is one of my favorite players, an athlete who seems to have been lost in the media attention focused on the Texas QB battle, OL reports, Breckyn Hager, Gary Johnson and a crew of freshmen DBs who aren’t content to wait their turns.
I haven’t forgotten Roach. He’s truly unique, having logged starts at traditional linebacker, 4-3 defensive end and 3-4 4i in three years at Texas.
Neither has Tom Herman. Here’s what he says make Roach so special:
Versatility, I mean, we are literally -- guys, we’re talking about a 6’2”, 282-pound middle linebacker. So we have no hesitation putting him at middle linebacker, because he can run around, he can bend, he can move, he can shed blocks.
I mean, you should see, like, when he’s the running back’s responsibility in pass protection and he blitzes and the sea parts and he’s coming at this poor running back full speed, it’s like asking a running back to block a three technique in pass protection. You wouldn’t do that.
So his versatility is off the charts. He’s really, really matured as a leader. He has said some things in team meetings and in front of the team out on the field that, I mean, he sounds like a coach. Which is not surprising based on the fact that his dad is a coach and he grew up in that environment.
But this is a guy that went from kind of the loveable jokester in the locker room to being the mature leader that deserves to be on our council.
So he can play middle linebacker. He can play our outside linebacker. He can, in a pinch, put his hand down and let him play defensive end. He can rush the passer. He can drop in zone. I mean, he’s just extremely versatile.
Roach reminds me a little of this guy....
And if you don’t know who that is, you’d better ask somebody.