2x All-American Jacob Roberts talks about N.C. A&T’s move to the CAA and Football Journey

Melvin Harris, theSCORE Editor

Aggie football had a hard transition year from the MEAC to the Big South. Linebacker Jacob Roberts believes that Aggie fans should have bigger expectations going into their last year in the Big South. 

N.C. A&T football finished with a 5-6 record in their first season in the Big South. Roberts finished with 84 total tackles and 5 sacks on the season. Roberts says that the Aggies had troubles finishing games and believes that is a point of emphasis for next season. 

“Just start fast and finish strong,” Roberts continued. “That’s something we couldn’t do last year was finish strong. We got to work better in the second half, everybody has to be on the same page and get the job done.” 

Roberts hit it on the nail when it came to finishing games on a strong note. The Aggies went into the half with the lead in six of their games but could not capitalize in the fourth. 

Aggie football will be officially moving to the Colonial Athletic Association on July 1, 2023 to avoid impact on the Big South Conference’s automatic qualifier status for participation in the FCS postseason playoffs. Roberts says that A&T was “forced” out of the MEAC and Big South, but will be served better in the CAA at the same time. 

“We really had no choice but to leave the MEAC or the Big South. I know people see it as NCAT just leaving conferences but it’s not that… we had other teams leaving which would’ve had us in a four or three team conference and we can’t compete in a three team conference,” Roberts said. 

The 2x All-American is ready for what the Colonial has to offer. Roberts has a tradition before every game so he can be on his A-game. 

“I normally talk to my mom before the game in the locker room. We pray as a team and listen to some Lil Baby before we head out,” Roberts said. 

Mallard Creek High School from Charlotte, North Carolina helped shape Roberts to the player he is today. Roberts played with Georgia’s defensive lineman Jordan Davis who has entered the NFL Draft. 

Mallard Creek’s football program has been nothing short of exceptional, especially with Roberts on the team. Creek’s win percentage with Roberts holding down the defense was 87% and more times than not they competed for the state title. Roberts believes his time at Creek helped develop him not only as a player but as a man as well.

“I feel like it helped prepare me a lot, we had some of the best coaches in the state and nationwide. They coach some of the players that are already in the NFL right now,” Roberts continued. “Our coaches put us in the position where they teach us if we were college athletes already, so when we go to college we already know what to do and how to take on things.”

With this preparation and his visit to Aggieland, Roberts was sold on being an Aggie for the next four years. The rest is history.

“A&T was my first offer, so my first visit was a homecoming game. Once I saw the atmosphere, walked around campus, met all of the players and coaches I just knew this was it,” Roberts said. 

Roberts left his mark on the MEAC in his brief time there, being named Celebration Bowl Defensive MVP as and second-team All MEAC as a Freshman. Most recently he was named a FCS Sophomore All-American in his first season in the Big South. 

N.C. A&T football season kicks off against rival North Carolina Central on Sep. 3, 2022.