Sophomore football prospect earns major scholarship offers with blazing 100 race, suffers knee injury in next meet

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally
Gardena Serra sophomore running back and sprinter Malik Roberson —
Gardena Serra sophomore running back and sprinter Malik Roberson —

In the span of 10 days, Gardena (Calif.) Serra High running back Malik Roberson earned a handful of major Division I scholarship offers, including three from Pac-12 schools. Roberson earned the additional attention the old fashioned way; he didn’t tear up a prep combine, he torched foes on the Spring track & field circuit.

Yet, just as track gave Roberson an enhanced profile and, in all likelihood, a fast track to scholarship offers from UCLA, Oregon State and Arizona State, it also may have set those pursuits back, leaving him injured less than a week after those scholarship offers came in.

Track giveth and it taketh away.

As noted by the Los Angeles Times’ Eric Sondheimer, Roberson was injured while competing in the long jump at the California Masters Meet at Cerritos College in Southern California. The sophomore standout apparently over-extended his landing, leaving him with a troubling knee injury.

Gardena Serra track coach Scott Altenburg told the Times that Roberson would undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the knee ailment. The results of that MRI have yet to be made public.

The timing of the knee setback is a particularly painful subject for Roberson, who had quite literally been handed major football scholarships in the calendar week leading up to the Masters Meet following his 100-meters performance at the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Championships. Roberson ran a 10.46 to win the 100 meters in the Division 4 race.

That time turned plenty of heads, with Arizona State and Oregon State offering football scholarships within two days of Roberson’s blazing performance. Just a sophomore, there’s every reason to believe that Roberson will continue to gain speed apace, which would make him one heck of a collegiate speedster.

Now he’ll have to prove that he can bounce back from an injury to get there, a trait which could make him even more attractive to those major football programs, or put a major damper on his sophomore Spring surge.

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