Nevada fullback and 2017 Douglas High graduate Reagan Roberson said the Dec. 11 loss to San Jose State – which kept the Wolf Pack out of the Mountain West Conference title game – felt like a missed opportunity.
However, potential missed opportunities spurned the team’s ‘revenge tour’ this past season.
It’s one that Roberson said was a ‘bitter pill to swallow,’ but it’s not how the senior plans on ending his career.
Due to COVID -19, the NCAA allowed players to receive another year of eligibility and the former Tiger intends on taking full advantage of one more season in Reno.
“We got all of our stud players coming back so we really think we should run the table and get to the Mountain West Championship. We think we missed an opportunity this year,” said Roberson.
Finding his niche
Though the Gardnerville native was listed as one of the tight ends prior to the season kicking off, Roberson moved into the backfield this past year.
He didn’t fret over the role change and his continuous work with tight ends coach Timmy Chang gave Roberson an edge on the field he doesn’t think he’s played with before.
“He has really opened my eyes with the amount of knowledge out there when it comes to football,” said Roberson. “The game slowed down. … When you get older, it starts to slow down and you start to see stuff before it happens. I started to see that and it makes playing fast and aggressive really easy.”
Roberson described Chang as an offensive guru and the 6-foot-1; 245-pound bulldozer noticed in the season opener against Wyoming that his dedication off the field had led to a noticeable adjustment in live action.
While serving as fullback (and on special teams assignments), Roberson had some added elation talking about battling in the trenches.
“I was able to lead in for Toa (Taua). That was really huge,” Roberson said. “I started to realize this is really coming together. I was stoked because I started to realize my role on the field again.”
Embracing that role allowed the senior a chance to provide for his team in one of his favorite ways – meeting a linebacker in the A-gap.
“Playing in that I-formation is probably one of my favorite things because it’s one of the best tests of who you are,” said Roberson. “You and another dude running at each other and finding out who is the better man is probably my favorite thing about football in general.”
It was a role that wasn’t guaranteed this year due to circumstances around the ongoing pandemic that initially led to the Mountain West postponing its football season.
Once the MWC decided on an eight-game season, it was full steam ahead.
“I kind of just enjoyed my role and embraced my role of being a fullback and fitting in where I can and making an impact when I’m in.”
One more go ‘round
The loss to San Jose State was replaced, in some respects, by a dominating 38-27 win over Tulane in the Idaho Potato Bowl – avenging a loss in the same bowl game a year prior.
The backfield Roberson was lead blocking for ran for 230 yards and a score in the win over the Green Wave.
“Tulane was probably the best team we played all year and we played our best game of the year,” Roberson stated.
Following the 2020 revenge tour, the 2021 football season is boom or bust for the Wolf Pack.
With nearly the entire roster returning for one more season, Roberson has his sights set on hardware.
“Our team goal has been the same for the past couple of years. Mountain West rings and trying to get into a New Years six bowl,” Roberson said. “We think we missed an opportunity this year. … That will weigh on us next year.”
Roberson will graduate this spring and plans to declare another major for his final season. His plan following his gridiron days is to head into law enforcement.