New England picks up Memorial grad Roberts

Published 11:15 pm Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dreams do come true.
Elandon Roberts, a former standout for Port Arthur Memorial, was taken by the New England Patriots on Saturday in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.
“I am just glad to be a part of the New England Patriots,” the former University of Houston linebacker said. “My phone rang quite a few times today. I am just glad that it was with the Patriots.”
Roberts became the first Memorial alumnus to be drafted since Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles in 2008.
Roberts finished his college career with a sensational senior year. He led the Cougars in tackles (142), solo tackles (88) and tackles for losses (19). The 88 solo tackles led the nation. Roberts added six sacks.
“[Getting the phone call] was everything I thought it would be,” Roberts said. “It was a dream come true. You see all your hard work right there in front of you. I am just so glad to be a New England Patriot.”
Roberts landed on a team known for greatness. The Patriots have won four Super Bowls since 2001, 18 division championships, eight AFC championships and have reached the playoffs the last seven seasons.
“The New England Patriots are a great organization,” Roberts said. “I am just glad to be a part of them. I am very excited to work with Coach [Bill] Belichick and see the culture up there.”
Roberts spent the last several days with his family in Port Arthur. His father, Eli, said his son got several phone calls on Saturday, but then when the Patriots called, there was a different look in Elandon’s eyes.
“He was on the phone at the time with another GM with another team,” Eli Roberts Sr. said. “As soon as he got off, the Patriots called. You could see the difference in his expression and you could hear it in his voice. We knew it. He said ‘Yes sir, Mr. Belichick.’ Then, we were all excited.”
Roberts’ former coach at Houston, Tom Herman, took to Twitter to send out his congratulations.
“So proud of @Roberts_44,” Herman’s Twitter account said. “As good a leader and teammate as there is in the country. He will be a force in the NFL.”
Roberts was at his best when Houston played in one of the biggest games in school history.
The Cougars faced Florida State in the Peach Bowl and defeated the Seminoles 38-24. Roberts had 10 tackles in the game. The Cougars defense, led by Roberts, held highly touted Seminoles running back Dalvin Cook to 33 yards on 18 carries.
Roberts (5-foot-11, 234 pounds), who began his collegiate career at Morgan State in Baltimore, was not invited to the NFL scouting combine, so he had to rely on the Cougars pro day to impress NFL scouts.
The scouts clocked Roberts in 4.49 to 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash, better than most running backs. His official time was marked at 4.60.
Roberts bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times, had a 10-0 broad jump and jumped 36 inches in the vertical leap.
“I was elated,” Stephanie Roberts, Elandon’s mother, said. “I wasn’t expecting the Patriots. I wasn’t a New England fan before today, but I am good now. It has been a journey. I have always told Elandon: ‘It will be greater later,’ and it definitely has been.”
Roberts is now ready to get back to work on the football field and impress his new team.
“This is a story in its own,” Roberts said. “This can show kids that anything can happen with hard work and dedication. You have to stick with it and make sure when you get an opportunity to take it. I am so thankful to the University of Houston and once again, proud to be a part of the New England Patriots.”

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About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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