It was not long after lunch when I reached Deon Rogers on Monday and by then it had already been for him a very long day.
It began about 4 a.m. when he and Treasure Coast High School teammate Jeff Luc arose in an Athens hotel room for the ride to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport to make an 8 a.m. flight. By now he was back in Port St. Lucie, Fla. — just north of Miami on Florida’s east coast — driving to practice to begin preparations for a first-round playoff game Thursday night.
“Yeah, I’m pretty tired,” said Rogers, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound linebacker who committed to Georgia this past summer. “But it was a really good trip. I really enjoyed myself. It was kind of like this summer. I had fun with Coach [John] Jancek and Coach [Mark] Richt and the other players. I’m loving Georgia and I’m feeling real comfortable there.”
That’s good news for the Bulldogs. Next to Frostproof, Fla.’s, Nickell Robey, Rogers is probably considered the shakiest of their commitments for the 2010 class. He has taken an official visit to Ohio State and has trip planned still to LSU. That’s why some of the recruiting services refer to him as a “soft commitment.” Rogers laughs at that distinction.
“I’m still committed to Georgia,” he said. “I like it the most of all the colleges I’ve been to. I’d say it’s a medium commitment. I’m visiting LSU but Georgia is still my favorite.”
Of course, any discussion of Rogers has to include Luc. Luc is the top-rated linebacker in the South and he and Rogers are best friends. They have discussed attending the same college, though it’s not a prerequisite.
” I think he enjoyed himself a lot,” Rogers said. “I think it was real good for Georgia.”
Luc didn’t return the phone calls and text messages I left for him Sunday and Monday but he did talk to UGAsports.com.
“Georgia has a good chance of getting me,” Luc told Kipp Adams, “and I let the coaches know that
That’s as much as anybody has been able to get out of Luc, who has always played his recruitment close to his vest and has never named a leader. He now has taken official visits to USC and Tennessee and he’s also considering Florida, Florida State, Miami and LSU.
“Georgia offers all of the things that schools close to me do, they are all pretty similar colleges,” he said. “I am equally open to leaving the state, so talk of me being a lock to stay in Florida is not true. I am still working on enrolling early, so we will see what happens.”
Another visitor to Athens this weekend was Warner Robins defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker. I had a long conversation with Whitaker Monday afternoon and will fill you in with a full report in the morning. But in a nutshell, regarding his unofficial visit to Georgia, he said the trip to Athens “was great. I’m still tired from it.” Whitaker said he will “more than likely” return for an official visit to UGA. The 6-foot-3, 290-pound senior is also considering Auburn, Cal, North Carolina and South Carolina. . . .
VANDY GETS ANOTHER GEORGIAN
In other recruiting news over the weekend, Union County wide receiver Blake Gowder committed to Vanderbilt on Sunday night. Gowder had been to Nashville on an official visit over the weekend. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior also played defense in high school. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1238 yards and 14 touchdowns, four rushing TDs and one interception return for a TD. As a linebacker Gowder had 73 tackles.