Liberty County High School defensive end Jacari Roberts has been selected to the RisingSenior.com Georgia Junior Bowl on Dec. 30.
The game showcases top juniors in the state. Former Panthers Shadrach Thornton and Raekwon McMillan previously were selected for the game.
LCHS head coach Kirk Warner also will coach on one of the teams.
Last year’s game was played at Grady Stadium in Atlanta in front of thousands of fans. Warner said specifics still are being finalized, but this year’s game is tentatively scheduled for a stadium in DeKalb County.
The Panther head coach said he submitted Roberts and running back Jacquez Williams for consideration. He said that based on statistics, it is tough to be selected for offensive positions.
“Unless you have off-the-charts stats … they got kids that have 1,700-1,800 rushing yards after seven games … I submitted both their names, and they chose Jacari,” the coach said.
Roberts currently leads the Panthers in tackles with 56 solos, 25 assists and nine tackles for loss. He also leads the team in sacks with seven and has hurried the opposing quarterback five times. He has deflected three passes and recovered two fumbles.
On offense, the junior standout has 12 carries for 58 yards and a touchdown and four receptions for 96 yards.
The Rising Senior Camp precedes the annual game. Warner said they have to report to camp the morning of Dec. 26.
This year, former NFL stars Jamal Lewis and Takeo Spikes will offer their training advice as celebrity coaches of Team Commitment (East team) and Team Dedication (West team).
Lewis, who played for the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns, will be Roberts’ celebrity coach. Central Gwinnett head coach Todd Wofford will coach the East squad with Warner on his staff.
“This is my first year actually coaching for the Rising Seniors team,” Warner said. “The previous two years, I got the opportunity to coach for the U.S. Army Under-Armour All-American game. I’ll be coaching the linebackers. This will be my first time coaching linebackers, and I am looking forward to it.”
According to the Rising Seniors’ website, the organization has formed an alliance with the NFL Players Association. The event starts Dec. 26 with Training Camp for Life, a series of interactive sessions and seminars led by active and former NFL players during the four-day camp.
“I told him he is under the radar right now, but if he goes up there and has an outstanding camp … that camp is just that good … they are going to have all kinds of scouts and recruiters … if he goes up there and does well, all kinds of offers could start to roll in,” Warner said. “That is what a lot or people have done in the past, and hopefully that will be the same situation for Jacari.”