Ring of Honor inductee Ell Roberson: Football, family, experience

The 2022 Class of the Kansas State Football Ring of honor was inducted during halftime of the football game on September 3, 2022. The class includes Larry Brown, Ell Roberson, Tyler Locket, Darren Howard, Arthur Brown and Collin Klein. Their names and jersey numbers will be permanently displayed in Bill Snyder Family Stadium. (Macey Franko | Collegian Media Group)

After eight years, former quarterback Ell Roberson arrived back in Manhattan alongside other former players such as Darren Howard, Arthur Brown,  Larry Brown and Tyler Lockett to be inducted in the K-State Football Ring of Honor during the season opener.

“The city has changed so much since the last time, it almost feels like a whole new place,” Roberson said.

In his time at K-State, Roberson was a fan favorite and his performance backed that up. Roberson is ranked fifth in career passing yards and ninth in single-season passing yards. However, he tops the Wildcat record books as first in single-season passing touchdowns with 24.

“We were just playing football man, we didn’t want to try to do anything special, we just did what we were supposed to and played the game we love,” Roberson said.

Roberson also played with K-State’s all-time yardage leader Darren Sproles. Between Roberson and Sproles, they accounted for 85 rushing touchdowns in their careers. Sproles outscored Roberson by only five touchdowns.

“He got more touches in the red zone. It’s really funny actually, Coach [Snyder] would call a run play in the red zone and Darren already scored in the game, so I would just audible out of it and scramble in to score,” Roberson said. “He and I would just joke about it and like I said, we just went out there and played to have fun.”

After his years at K-State were said and done, Roberson went undrafted in the NFL and eventually played in the CFL for the Montreal Alouettes. In Montreal, Roberson played quarterback in his first year and got moved to wide receiver in his second and final year. Though his career in the CFL didn’t last long, he said he gained many great life experiences.

“You know obviously I wanted to get drafted, but looking back at it now, I’m glad that I never was drafted,” Roberson said. “I know that sounds crazy, but me going to Canada brought me some great networking opportunities, great friends and most importantly, it brought me one of my daughters. So, I’m genuinely thankful for everything that has happened to me because I know it happens for a reason.”