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Posted on Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Four-star Brogan Roback watches EMU spring game from sidelines but doesn't plan on staying

By Matt Durr


Four-star quarterback Brogan Roback smiles on the field after the EMU spring practice on Sunday, April 14.

Daniel Brenner |

Standing at 6-foot-4, quarterback Brogan Roback watched from the sidelines as the Eastern Michigan University football team finished its last practice of the spring. Roback -- a signee from St. John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio, rated a four-star recruit by and -- is the Eagles’ highest rated recruit in program history. While he knows there is a long road ahead of him to getting on the field at Rynearson Stadium, Roback said Sunday's game provided plenty of motivation for the fall.

Because there isn’t much distance between Toledo and Ypsilanti, Roback has been able to watch some of the team’s spring practices while waiting to officially join the team in the summer. While he can’t work directly with the team, being able to watch from the sidelines has helped him get a better feel for what he might be in for once he arrives on campus.

“The offense looked good, which obviously I was looking towards that. But it’s just a flash of what it could be in the next season,” Roback said. “Coming up here and learning the plays and formations kind of gets me ahead of the game.

“Meeting the guys and the receivers and the running backs and the lineman…you know I couldn’t ask for anything else but to be up here. It definitely gives me an edge.”

Billed as a pro-style quarterback, Roback ran a pass-first version of the spread offense in high school and was clocked with a 4.6 second 40-yard dash time.

At one point, Roback received offers from other Mid-American Conference teams such as Akron, Bowling Green and Toledo. He also received interest from Michigan and Penn State when he was a junior. Roback said the decision to come to Ypsilanti was easy once he met coach Ron English and his staff.

“I like coach ‘E’ a lot and we got coach Parrish now, who I didn’t know when I committed, but when he came over, he sold me,” Roback said. “Especially because of his history, being over at Michigan and being with the (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) when he won the Super Bowl and being with coach (Jon) Gruden, who is one of the most well-respected coaches.


Four-star quarterback Brogan Roback watches the EMU spring practice on Sunday, April 14.

Daniel Brenner |

“But mostly the players and the coaches and the location. My sister plays volleyball here so I’m kind of familiar with the place. I just liked the people here.”

While watching the game Sunday, Roback looked comfortable with his future teammates. Being comfortable will be a key point in Roback’s development whether or not he starts for the Eagles this fall.

If he lives up to expectations, he shouldn’t be on the sidelines long, but he has some work ahead of him. Tyler Benz won the starting job four games into his redshirt sophomore season last year and surely won’t step aside for the highly touted blue chip recruit.

But a little competition never hurt anyone.

“I’m itching to get out here. It’s kind of a tease, we’ve been out of the game for a while now. We’re anxious, but it was good to see all these guys out here working,” Roback said.

Matt Durr is a freelance reporter for



Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:16 p.m.

When are you going to fix this misleading headline? You'd flunk a logic or composition course for constructing such a headline that makes people think the young man is leaving Eastern. Despite all these comments you refuse, somehow, to change it. It this a matter of "pride"?


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 6:11 p.m.

Pete- I don't question your swallowing of your pride or your lacking of intention to mislead. However - do you really think that the headline reflects exactly that? If it said "staying there" I might agree with you. But, as it is written is it clearly not reflecting that (see all the comments).

Pete Cunningham

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

I swallowed my pride long ago. The headline remains because, as I said before, there is no intention to mislead anyone. Brogan Roback watched the EMU spring game from the sidelines, he doesn't want to stay on the sidelines, he wants to play in the game. The article and headline reflect exactly that.

Pete Cunningham

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:13 a.m.

The headline is meant to mean Roback doesn't plan on staying on the sidelines. Don't blame, Matt. I wrote the headline with no intention to mislead anyone.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 3:21 a.m.

Sorry that complex grammar confudles you @Ross. I will try to keep it at your level next time and limit my commas.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 1:39 a.m.

Fine, Pete, but, c'mon, change it. That's 4 commas in that sentence. Seriously.


Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 12:57 a.m.

@Pete - I think we all get what you meant by saying that. However, its reads, logically, like the 4-Star is not going to be staying at EMU which is very, very different than just some blue chip getting antsy to play. I imagine every athlete everywhere is antsy to play their sport.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 11:12 p.m.

This just ticked me off too. I read it wondering how EMU got a 4 star QB in the first place then was mislead by the blogger thinking he wasn't "staying". You got one more "click" from me. Hope you're happy.

Lindsay Root

Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

Headline doctor needed


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

Agreed, c'mon Matt, change the article title. EMU just having a 4-star QB recruit is enough to get me to read the article with interest. But now I'm just annoyed that I was mislead.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

Article title makes it seem like he is transferring... might want to change that. Though it is the only reason I read the article that was essentially about a kid standing on some grass.


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 7:58 p.m.

If he's not stayng where is he going? Back to Toledo to finish his senior year?


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

All about the clicks. This is a great blog, but as reader we have to remember that it's just a blog. Anyone can publish a website and call it "news"


Mon, Apr 15, 2013 : 6:42 p.m.

Ditto. I don't get it either.