Lakeside High School’s Rashad Roundtree likes playing football because of the attention you get while on the field. Because of the way he plays he has been receiving plenty of attention off it.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior is a five-star recruit and listed as Rivals’ 20th-ranked college prospect in the country and the No. 2 safety. Being in the spotlight is nothing new in the Roundtree household as his father, Richard Roundtree, was elected Richmond County sheriff in 2012.
“I think I’ve got him beat right now,” said Roundtree of who got the most attention. “Locally everybody was about him but most of the whole country is on me, so I’ve got him beat.”
On Aug. 2, Roundtree tweeted his top six schools: Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Georgia, Michigan State and Ohio State. He’ll make up his mind in time, but his senior football season comes first.
“I’m really just enjoying my last year with my brothers, my teammates,” said Roundtree. “It’s the last time we’re going to be on this field. I just want to enjoy that atmosphere of high school.”
Roundtree started playing football when he was 10 and was a quarterback/middle linebacker all the way up to his ninth-grade year. He was switched to safety, a move to which he didn’t object.
“It was a new position, I was excited because I never played it before and that’s where they needed me to fit in so that’s where I went,” he said.
As a junior, Roundtree had 97 tackles with four interceptions, helping the Panthers reach the Class AAAAA state playoffs. Having a player of his caliber makes things a little easier for Panthers’ first-year head coach Steve Hibbitts.
“He’s just fun to watch on the field, the kids rally behind him,” Hibbitts said. “He can do a lot of great things this year and we’re expecting a lot of great things from him.”
When the football season concludes, Roundtree will immediately make the transition to the Panthers’ varsity basketball team.
“I love to play basketball, too,” Roundtree said. “Just anything to get out there with my friends and play around is always fun.”
He was on the Lakeside basketball team that advanced to the state playoffs in 2014 and understands his role on the court.
“I don’t expect to light up the scoreboard or be LeBron James or anything,” Roundtree said. “Take a charge, do whatever it takes to help the team get a W.”
At this point, professional football is off the radar somewhat for Roundtree, who never really even thought about playing college football.
“I mean you dreamed of it but I never really tried to go for it,” Roundtree said of playing collegiately. “I never really aspired to go for it, it was just the kind of thing that happened.
‘‘You work hard. I always just pushed myself. After college if that’s just the place they say I can go, I can go pretty high, then I’ll take it. If not, it’s not going to be that big of a deal to me.”