The Roof family has an opportunity to experience a new type of bonding this fall as the father-and-son relationship is set to be taken to new heights.
T.D. Roof, one of the newest Georgia Tech signees, has the opportunity to play under his father Ted, the defensive coordinator for the Yellow Jackets.
A child may play for his father through the little league ranks and reunite later on in the playing career. But that hasn’t been a possibility for the Roof family as the 53-year-old defensive mind has coached collegiately since 1988 in some capacity. Now, that opportunity arises.
“I think it’s going to be very special,” T.D. Roof said, “I’ve never played for him yet, so I don’t really know how that’s going to go. It’s going to be something that he and I can look back on later in life and say, ‘Man, that was really cool, I got to play for my dad and he got to coach his son.’ ”
Roof was a two-way standout for Buford, as he made the varsity team prior to the playoffs as a freshman and was a part of four consecutive state championship appearances — which is no easy task with a program that signs numerous players to Division I programs each year.
In his senior season, Roof totaled 94 tackles (three for loss), seven quarterback pressures, four sacks and two forced fumbles at his primary position at linebacker. Offensively, Roof plays as a running back but brings the size similar to a fullback. That showed as he totaled 459 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.
While Ted couldn’t serve as an on-the-field coach, the two would always discuss T.D.’s game and help him improve his craft whenever needed.
“If he sees flaws in my game, he’ll always help me fix them,” Roof said. “He’s never on my butt about doing this or doing that, but if I go to him and ask for advice, then he’ll tell me. It’s been neat.”
With Georgia Tech offering Roof and his father being on the Yellow Jackets’ staff, it could be imagined that T.D. could be persistently convinced to attend his father’s program.
While he did put in some effort, the elder Roof opted to pass the duty onto other Georgia Tech assistants and helped T.D with his recruitment from a broader spectrum and look at each of his nine offers.
“He did recruit me to come there a little bit, but it was really (former quarterbacks coach and B-backs coach) Bryan Cook, who is now at Georgia Southern. He and (head coach Paul) Johnson recruited me the most, and my dad was always a dad first, no matter where I was going to go,” T.D. Roof said. “He was going to help me whether I went to Tech or anywhere else.”
T.D. Roof was offered by the Yellow Jackets on March 30, and took about six weeks to make the decision and committed on June 6. He was also pursued by East Carolina, which presented an intriguing opportunity to play alongside his brother Mic, who has since decided to sign with UNC-Charlotte instead.
“I’m thankful and so appreciative for the opportunities that were given to my sons,” Ted Roof said. “But at the same time, they weren’t given to them, they earned them – just like all of the other kids that were given scholarships. Now what they accomplished in high school is erased, and they start with a clean slate. They’ll have to prove themselves.
There were many different aspects, including the chance to play with his father, that led him to decide upon playing in-state and sticking with his pledge for eight months before signing the national letter-of-intent.
“I like the history of Georgia Tech’s program,” Roof said. “The rivalry with Georgia also excites me. I think there are a select few rivalries in this country that are really amped up, and I’m looking forward to playing in that environment. For both teams, everyone circles it.”
Roof is an undersized player at 5-foot-11, but showed the potential to attract more attention from top-tier programs due to his success on each side of the ball. When asked about his brother’s game, Mic showed some brotherly love.
“I think he might be the shortest linebacker in the ACC,” Mic said, joikingly. “Nah, he’s a good player. He brings a lot of speed and athleticism to the game.”