You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Body found on New Carlisle bike path being investigated

Trotwood’s Roundtree thrilled to be a Bengals longshot

Roy Roundtree’s odds are as long as his smile is broad.

The Trotwood-Madison High School and University of Michigan graduate got his first taste of NFL life over the weekend while competing in the Cincinnati Bengals rookie minicamp as one of a dozen undrafted college free agents. And he said he loved every minute of it — even though he knows cracking a young, talented Bengals receiving corps may be tough.

“It’s been so much fun,” an excited Roundtree said Saturday after the fourth of five practices. “It’s been a joy playing out here and putting the Bengals helmet on, just going out there and making plays. (Wide receivers coach James) Urban said I’ve been doing good, and he told me to keep it up. That’s where my mindset is. I’m down here trying to get better.”

Roundtree was one of the first CFAs the Bengals reached out to following the conclusion of the NFL Draft, with the two sides agreeing to terms within minutes of the final pick.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said the coaches weren’t specifically looking at the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Roundtree when preparing for the draft, but the receiver kept catching their eye.

“Roy showed up when I was watching a lot of the defensive players in the Big Ten play,” Lewis said. “He made some contested catches, some runs after the catch. I don’t know when it was, but I walked past James Urban and asked, ‘Who’s the kid at Michigan?’

“He told me about him, and James talked to him before the draft, and right after the draft we talked to his people and told him that we’d like to offer him a shot here.”

A shot is all Roundtree wants.

“There’s only 53 on the roster, so it’s tough,” he said. “I know I’m only going to get better. I’m a rookie. It seems like freshman year at college all over again. You have to go out there and make a name for yourself. That’s why I feel like I’m here. I feel like I can play at this level. I just have to go out there and learn and react fast.

“I’m not the biggest fellow, but I’ve got a big heart and I’m going to do whatever I can, and I’m going to do it my hardest.”

It’s that same kind of enthusiasm and work ethic that made Roundtree so popular at Michigan.

He caught 72 passes for 935 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore, but a coaching — and philosophy — change following that season resulted in the Wolverines becoming more of a ground-oriented offense.

“I had the opportunity to talk to Coach Hoke (Michigan head coach Brady) last week, and he went out of his way to sing his praises,” Lewis said. “How the kid was able to go through the changing in coaching staff and offensive styles and offensive systems and just keep being the kind of guy you want to have on your football team. He told me how proud he was of that. The kid just kept coming to practice every day and working every day and being a great team guy. I think that’s the kind of guy you want to give an opportunity to.”

Added Michigan wide receivers coach Jeff Hecklinski, “He never complained and never questioned why he wasn’t getting the ball. From his junior and senior years, he really started to become a more complete receiver in terms of blocking and getting in and out of routes.”

All of those skills were on display over the weekend, and Urban took note.

“He’s competing like crazy and you can see he’s got a real good feel for the game,” he said. “He’s very coachable, and he’s been a lot of fun to be around.”

Roundtree even got a little pep talk from Bengals cornerback and fellow Michigan man Leon Hall. And when OTAs begin May 20, Roundtree will get a chance to line up and compete against Hall.

After that will be the full minicamp in June, followed by the start of training camp in July. So there is a lot of time left for Roundtree to impress the coaches enough to still be wearing a Bengals uniform when the season opens in September.

It may be a long shot, but Hecklinski said if anyone can beat the odds, it’s Roundtree.

“He’s a great kid and I think he’s going to do very well,” he said. “I look for him to be surprise. He’s very talented, he’s got a great attitude and a great personality. He’s going to do whatever it takes in order to make it.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Sports

5 things to know about Ohio State’s potential NFL draft picks
5 things to know about Ohio State’s potential NFL draft picks

Ohio State football doesn’t figure to match last year’s showing at the NFL draft, but it is shaping up to be another year for Urban Meyer and his coaching staff to crow about.  Here is what you want to know ahead of the 2017 draft in Philadelphia:  1. Pro Football Focus has seven Buckeyes in its top 300 prospects: Marshon...
Jake Replogle of Centerville honored by Purdue, Big Ten
Jake Replogle of Centerville honored by Purdue, Big Ten

Centerville High School graduate Jake Replogle has been named Purdue University’s male winner of the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor for 2017. Replogle was a stalwart on the Boilermakers defensive line during his football career, playing 39 games and registering 158 tackles, including 35 for loss and 7.5 sacks. He was an honorable mention...
Baseball: Xenia tops Southeastern in game that almost wasn’t
Baseball: Xenia tops Southeastern in game that almost wasn’t

Xenia and Southeastern both were staring at openings in their high school baseball schedules this week when Xenia coach Barry Claus sent Southeastern coach Craig Isaac a text. “When Alter decided they didn’t want to play us Saturday, I got in touch with Craig and asked him if we wanted to play,” Claus said after his team claimed a...
Sports Today: NFL draft day thoughts on the Bengals, Browns and Buckeyes 
Sports Today: NFL draft day thoughts on the Bengals, Browns and Buckeyes 

Welcome to NFL draft day!  The league’s nefarious plot to make us care about football year round continues to be a success, and no, I’m not complaining.  The first draft item to run across my feed this morning was about the Cleveland Browns considering taking second-round talent Mitch Trubisky with the No. 1 overall pick. ...
H.S. Results for 4/26: Kenton Ridge clinches share of title

The Kenton Ridge baseball team secured at least a share of the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail title with a 13-2 win over Springfield Shawnee on Wednesday. Kaleb Meeks led the way, clobbering a three-run home run and adding a double. Noah Schleinitz picked up the win on the mound, his fourth. Ben Ross and Bryce Cox both doubled for Shawnee...
More Stories