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Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

By Sammy Batten

QB protection comes in big package

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

East Carolina's new coaching staff has put an emphasis on finding offensive line prospects who excel at pass blocking as the Pirates transition to an attack that relies on throwing the football.

One of the first players the staff found out about who fit that mold was Tre Robertson of Roxboro's Person County High School. Robertson had already been offered a scholarship by the previous staff, and had received others from Kansas, Miami (OH) and Ohio University.

In Robertson, both staffs saw the size (6-foot-5, 317 pounds), quick feet and power required to keep hard-charging defenders off the quarterback.

The early interest paid off as ECU earned a verbal commitment from Robertson on June 11.

“I just liked the environment around the program and I felt at home in Greenville,'' Robertson said of his decision. “The coaches were really nice and everybody is friendly. I really liked that about East Carolina.''

The 2010 season will be Robertson's third as a varsity starter at Person. He initially made the Person County varsity as a freshman, but was eventually sent back to the junior varsity to get more playing time. All-PAC 6 4-A Conference honors came Robertson's way as a junior for a Person team that finished with a 6-5 record.

Robertson will play his senior year at Person under a new head coach in Lou Geary. Geary is the father of incoming ECU freshman linebacker Jacob Geary and is the former head coach at Cedar Ridge High School.

Assistant David Cline is a holdover from the previous staff who has seen Robertson develop up close. Cline said among Robertson's best assets are his ability to learn and his work ethic.

“He had a desire and passion to learn when he first came here,'' Cline said. “But I also think he's had to adapt to various styles of coaching, and he's shown a willingness to try whatever those coaches were explaining.

“He doesn't just rely on his size, either. A lot of kids his size would try to rely on brute strength coming off the ball. But Tre has learned how to block. He's learned how to be a good football player.''

Robertson's value to the Person County offense really became evident last season when the Rockets suffered significant personnel losses at quarterback.

“We lost our starting quarterback due to academics at the start of the year, and our backup quarterback suffered an injury that took him out for a few games,'' Cline said. “So we started the season with a third-string quarterback.

“He (quarterback) didn't win any style points. But Tre made sure that boy was protected the whole time.''

“My strength is my pass blocking right now because we threw the ball a lot last year,'' Robertson said. “I think East Carolina liked that about me.''

The question now is, can the Pirates hang onto their prize blocking recruit.

Robertson intends to continue looking at other schools, including N.C. State, North Carolina and South Carolina. “I'm going to make some official visits,'' he said. “I've followed UNC for a while and I've been to their camps. I made my commitment (to ECU) at this point because I feel like it's the right thing to do. But I do want to see what else is out there.''

Cline believes Robertson will be a success wherever he winds up.

“During my time here we've sent three kids to Western Carolina, one to Wake Forest and had a kid walk on at Elon,'' Cline said. “I can safety say that Tre is every bit as talented as those guys. He has all the ability to become a good player at the next level. He'll do whatever it takes to make a contribution.''

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08/06/2010 01:56:03 AM


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