Bradley Roby wasn't one of the most sought after players on Peachtree Ridge's state finals team last season.
The wide receiver put up good numbers, but on a team that featured LSU signee Kevin Minter and do-it-all receiver Mitchell Williford, he didn't really stand out.
That changed this offseason. The 6-foot, 176-pound senior made a name for himself at scouting combines and college camps during the spring and summer, making him one of the most highly recruited receivers in the state.
"I think it's mainly because of the 4.3 (second) 40-yard dash and 41-inch vertical I had at a combine," Roby said of the recruiting interest. "That got me on the map and on some people's radar. I've gone to some camps and shown what I can do. Speed, athleticism, grades, I think that's why some schools are interested in me."
Roby ran the 4.3 40 at a combine at The Factory in January. A few weeks later he picked up his first college scholarship offer from Vanderbilt. Six months later he had offers from a dozen major Division I schools.
He committed to Vanderbilt on Monday, choosing the Commodores over Auburn, Maryland and West Virginia. National Signing Day is more than six months away, but it's a commitment Roby is firm with.
"I don't want to be one of those guys that commits and then two or three months later says I don't want to go there. If I commit I want to stay there," Roby said.
While Roby's 40 time may have opened the eyes of some recruiters, it's his play on his field his coach believes has garnered him so much attention.
"I don't think the combine has a lot to do with getting a scholarship," Peachtree Ridge head coach Bill Ballard said. "I think the film is the No. 1 factor. Someone can run a fast time, but you have to legitimize that time on film.
"His time is important, but more important is he can play football. Otherwise they would have track guys out there."
Roby's 4.3 second 40 time wasn't just a fluke either. He ran 4.41 on an outdoor track at Ohio State and has drawn interest from the Big 10 power.
"People say that combines are bloated. No, I ran those times. It's pretty consistent," said Roby, who credits his family genes of strong legs for his speed.
Those aren't the only impressive numbers Roby has put up. He maintains a 3.85 GPA and scored 27 on the ACT. He can also squat 405 pounds.
"The ball skills he shows on film, he can do a lot of things and that's a big selling point," Ballard said. "He's got a lot of talent and is a smart kid. He's got a 3.85 core GPA, so there's a lot of talent there."
Roby missed the first four games of last season with a broken collarbone. It wasn't until the seventh game of his junior year that the receiver felt comfortable in the Lions' run-oriented offense.
He made 29 catches for 408 yards and one touchdown as Peachtree Ridge reached the Class AAAAA state finals. The Lions lost some key players, but Roby and about six other returning players are drawing college interest.
"I definitely think we can go back to state," Roby said.
"We have a lot of talent returning. People think because we lost key guys like Kevin Minter, Mitchell Williford, Ronnie Smith and Connor Norman that we won't be good. But we have a lot of guys returning."
It doesn't hurt that one of them can run really, really fast. "He can really jump and run and get his body in place for the football," Ballard said. "He's going to make a good college player."