Joplin’s Roberts-Day fulfills late brother’s dream, commits to Baylor football

Kaian Roberts-Day committed to play football at Baylor over the weekend.

Joplin High School’s Kaian Roberts-Day committed to play football at Baylor over the weekend.

It’s a big deal for Roberts-Day not only because he’s just a sophomore and it’s a Big 12 school, but because Baylor is a special place for his family.

“It’s my brother’s school,” Roberts-Day says, “It’s shocking that they were the first school to actually talk to me.”

It’s a dream he and his late brother Kadin had talked about since they were little.

“That was actually our plan,” Kaian says of playing at Baylor, “That was what he and I planned to do. That was our goal.” 

“It’s kind of a sign that this is the one,” Joplin head coach Curtis Jasper says, “So he made his decision to go ahead and commit.”

Kaian’s brother Kadin passed away during a football practice last September.

The school, the city and the surrounding communities rallied around the team in the weeks that followed, propelling Joplin all the way to the state championship game.

“We are very good at supporting each other,” Jasper says, “Kaian included. There were a lot of days that we were supporting him, and there were some days that he was supporting us, including me.” 

Kaian has limited varsity experience to this point, with two years still left to play at Joplin High. However, with his combination of size, speed and length, it’s clear he has the tools to play at the college level.

And he’s just 16.

“His athleticism is off the charts,” Jasper says of Roberts-Day, “Now that he’s maturing into a junior…his expectations and our expectations of him are going to continue to grow for his production on the field.”

Roberts-Day is motivated to show he deserves the opportunity, and motivated to play at Baylor, knowing his brother will be watching.

“It definitely added that motivation,” Kaian says of getting to play for his brother’s favorite team, “I just wish my brother could be here with me right now to see it. He would probably be jealous.”

Roberts-Day projects as a defensive end, but says he has been recruited as an athlete with a position yet to be determined.

He is the first high school player to commit to Baylor’s 2022 recruiting class.