Since the Outland Trophy winners from 1946 through 1987, did not receive the authentic Outland Trophy, Downtown Rotary Club of Omaha has presented Authentic Trophies to the following past recipients: George Connor, Notre Dame, the first recipient (’46); Joe Steffy, West Point Military Academy (’47); Bill Fischer, Notre Dame (’48); J.D. Roberts, University of Oklahoma ('53); Mike McGee, Duke ('59); Bobby Bell, University of Minnesota ('62); Loyd Phillips, University of Arkansas ('66); Ron Yary, USC (’67); Larry Jacobson, UNL (’71); Rich Glover, UNL (’72); John Hicks, Ohio State ('73); Lee Roy Selmon, University of Oklahoma ('75); Mark May, University of Pittsburgh, Ross Browner,
Notre Dame ('76), Jim Ritcher, North Carolina State ('79), (’80); Dave Rimington, UNL, (’81-’82); Dean Steinkuhler, UNL (’83); Chad Hennings, Air Force Academy (’87), and last year to Randy White, Maryland ('74).
The 2016 Past Outland Award Trophy recipient is:
University of Oklahoma ('78)
Greg Roberts grew up in East Texas in a small town outside Houston called Nacogndoches. The oldest of 4 children, he was raised by their mother who worked as a registered nurse. In high school, Greg played defensive linebacker and offensive tackle for a team that happened to run the wishbone. He played in the Texas All Star Game where he met Billy Sims and formed an instant bond. Greg was recruited to play football all over the country and choose the Sooners. He and Sims asked Coach Barry Switzer to room together and they remained roommates for the next 4 years. Although recruited to be linebacker, he was switched to guard which proved to be a perfect position for him. Over the four seasons, Greg played more and more with the Sooners finishing with a 41-6-1 record, winning three Big Eight Titles and going to three Orange Bowls.
In his Junior year, he played a disappointing game against Texas with Earl Campbell who he had played against in high school and was the Sooners only loss to Texas in his 4 years.
During his senior year, most of the Sooners' plays were run over his right guard position, as OU led the nation in scoring and rushing and finished second in total offense. Using his incredible speed and strength, the wishbone was rolling with Roberts opening hole after hole for Heisman Trophy winner and his roommate, Billy Sims. The regular season ended with a loss to Nebraska and then a twist with a rematch in the Orange Bowl to even the score. He was a two-time consensus All-American and Roberts became the fourth Sooner to win the Outland Trophy.
In 1979, He was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa’s quarterback Doug Williams who was Roberts’ teammate from 1979-82, said “he immediately upgraded the team's offensive line. He was a mauler but also very good at pulling and blocking on the run. It was no coincidence that the team improved from 19th in rushing offense in 1978 to eight in 1979.”
He was drafted in the second round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1979. Played 4 seasons and was 2nd Team All Pro in 1981.