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Malcolm Roach inks free agent deal with Saints

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AUSTIN, Texas – Texas defensive lineman Malcolm Roach, a native of Baton Rouge, La., plans to sign with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent following the 2020 NFL Draft.

"All my life I've dreamed about playing for the Saints," Roach said. "The way the draft went, it didn't work out in my favor, but I feel like God has a bigger plan for me. I'm thankful for everything that's happened, and I'm ready to go out there and prove to people what I can do. I'm ready to go in and make an impact with the Saints and try my hardest to make the roster there."

Roach appeared in 47 games with 23 starts during his four-year career at UT. He spent time at both defensive end and linebacker during that time, but closed out his collegiate career by playing in all 13 games (12 starts) as a defensive lineman for the Longhorns in 2019. As a senior, Roach logged 40 tackles (24 solo), nine tackles for loss, three sacks, three quarterback hurries and one blocked kick. He made at least four tackles in each of the last six games of the season, highlighted by a five-tackle, four-TFL effort against TCU in late October.

"I love Malcolm Roach. He's a captain and I think that says something," Texas head coach Herman said. "Malcolm is very respected by his peers. He has tremendous speed and strength for a guy his size. His 40-yard dash time at the combine didn't surprise us. It wasn't because he went to some guru or trainer for two months to train for the combine. That's just who he is and who he has been for us. He's extremely strong and versatile. He can play in a 3-4 and a 4-3. He can play a 3-technique or a 4-technique. Malcolm's a fun-loving guy. He knows when to turn the switch on to work, but when it's time to have a good time, Malcolm's going to have a good time, too. He really relates to everybody on the team."

For his career, Roach tallied 134 tackles (83 solo), 22.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three passes defended and the one blocked kick. He began his career at Texas by earning honorable mention as the Big 12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2016, and closed it out as a watch list candidate for the Lot IMPACT Trophy in 2019.

Roach was one of six Longhorns elected by their teammates as a captain for the 2019 season, and was a member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll in the spring of 2018. He is studying youth and community studies at The University of Texas.

Malcolm Roach
On his plans to sign with the New Orleans Saints:
"The Saints showed a lot of interest in me while the draft was going on. They only had about four picks and ran out of picks, but it's somewhere I've dreamed of playing all my life. I talked to the defensive coordinator and the d-line coach, and all of their coaches were calling me going through the schemes and everything like that. I feel like it was the best decision for me, going to a team that really wanted me to come there and getting an opportunity to make the roster. I'm thankful for that and thankful to be coming back home."

On his family's reaction:
"They're going crazy right now. They're happy. It's the hometown team, so they're very excited. Not many people get to say they play for their hometown team, so they're happy about it."

On his last time being on the Superdome field being the Sugar Bowl win now signing with the Saints:
"It's going to be really good. I've been away from my family for four years now, so now my entire family can come see me play in a game. I can't wait to get back on that field. Hopefully it's the start of a great career playing in the Superdome."

On feeling prepared to earn a roster spot:
"I feel very prepared. I feel like I'm ready to go in there and continue to get better and learn from guys like (current Saints) Malcom Brown and Cameron Jordan, but I feel prepared to go in there and make the team and play my heart out. The draft was one thing, but that's just an added chip on my shoulder to make me go even harder. I've been an underdog all my life, but it's nothing new to me, so I'm just going to attack it the way I attack everything else, and that's full speed ahead. I'm just ready to play my heart out every time I step on that field. I want to thank Coach Strong and Coach Haley for first giving me the opportunity to play at Texas, and thank Coach Herman, Coach Giles and Coach McKnight for coaching me for three years and helping me develop into the man I am today."

On other former Longhorns being in the league to guide him:
"It's really good being able to talk to guys. Poona (Ford) was probably the first person to talk to me, Chris Nelson reached out to me, P.J. Locke reached out to me. We've taken similar routes to the NFL, so those guys reaching out was very, very big, I appreciate getting all I can from them before I start this journey."

Texas head coach Tom Herman
On Roach being the son of a coach:
"Anytime we have a chance to recruit a coach's kid, that's kind of a notch in his belt for us because we know that kids who grow up around the game have a much greater understanding – they're quicker learners. The game makes sense to him. He understands blocking schemes, he understands pass protection schemes and he understands hand placements, hip movement, footwork. Just growing up around his dad and the game from such a young age, he's been able to grow and mature throughout the years."


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