Tyler Roberts honors uncle, Decock with hair donation

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fans could always identify Tyler Roberts on the end of the Troy defensive line because of his flowing blonde locks.

But over the holiday break; Roberts got that familiar mane chopped off. But it was for good reason.

Roberts, a sophomore defensive end for the Trojans, donated his hair to Locks of Love to honor his uncle and Troy soccer player Kailani Decock.

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Roberts’ uncle passes away from cancer four years ago, and Decock battled cancer throughout 2012, with it ultimately going in to remission.

The hair donation was Roberts’ way of pitching in the effort.

“I wanted to do it as past of Project 19, but I had some conflicts that I couldn’t work around,” said Roberts. “My uncle passed away four years ago from cancer, and it really hurt. I sat back and saw all of that, and wanted to lend a hand in whatever way I could.”

Roberts went over a year-and-a-half without getting his ears lowered, but knew from the start that he wanted to donate his hair to Locks of Love.

“Donating it was the whole reason to grow it out,” said Roberts. “I knew I wanted to grow it out and donate, but I just had to find the right time to do it. I was at home over the break, and just decided to get it done.”

Roberts said his morning routine is a little different now that he is minus over 12 inches of flowing blonde locks.

Instead of running off to class fresh out of bed, he now spends a little more time in front of the mirror.

“It actually takes a little longer for me to get ready in the mornings now,” said Roberts with a smile. “I would just put it all under a ball cap and go. But now I have to spend time on it to make sure that it is laying flat and not sticking up everywhere.”

Despite playing the entire 2013 season, Roberts said that no lineman ever tried to grab a handful of his hair.

And also don’t expect Robert’s to give any style tips to teammates anytime soon.

“I guess the longest hair now belongs to K.D. (Edenfield, Troy receiver),” Roberts said. “His hair looks better than mine anyway, so I will let him keep styling it.”

Troy will undergo spring practice in April.