Da’Rick Rogers ’still committed’ to UGA but serious about Vols

Will longtime Georgia commitment Da'Rick Rogers (21) of Calhoun make the leap to rival Tennessee on national signing day? It could happen. (Special photo by Lane Bearden)

Will longtime Georgia commitment Da'Rick Rogers (21) of Calhoun make the leap to rival Tennessee on national signing day? It could happen. (Special photo by Lane Bearden)

CALHOUN — When Da’Rick Rogers sits down to make public his college decision on national signing day — if he in fact does it on that day — there will be at least two caps on the table in front of him. One from Georgia and one from Tennessee.

And there is a pretty good chance there will be a third one, too.

“Maybe Ohio State or something, just to throw everybody off,” he said with a laugh.

Rogers is a funny guy. He tries hard to keep things as light as he can these days. But the reality is Bulldogs’ fans probably don’t see much humor in the high-flying receiver’s recent decision to open up his recruitment to include the Vols.

Rogers, the No. 1-rated player in the AJC Top 50 state rankings and a UGA commitment since early June, decided last week to accompany Calhoun quarterback and best friend Nash Nance on an official visit to Tennessee this past weekend. The duo did in fact make that trip and Rogers reported that he was very impressed with new coach Derek Dooley, his coaching assemblage and, of course, the Volunteers’ football program.

“It was good,” said 6-foot-3, 215-pound Rogers, who set the state’s single-season receiving record with 1,641 yards this season. “I enjoyed it. I learned a lot. They have a lot of new staff, so I learned a lot about the new coaches and got a good feel of them. I got to know a lot about [new receivers coach] Charlie Baggett and Coach Dooley.”

Rogers went on to cite much of Baggett’s resume, that he’d tutored Randy Moss, Cris Carter and Chris Chambers in the NFL and Plaxico Burress and Andre Rison in college. And he talked about Dooley’s NFL experience under Nick Saban and leading Louisiana Tech from obscurity to its first bowl game in seven years in only two seasons.

The point? That Rogers was listening intently to the Vols’ spiel.

A little background here: I spent an hour-and-a-half with Rogers Monday at Phil Reeve Stadium in Calhoun as AJC photographer Jason Getz shot more than a few photos for a cool recruiting spread that will run in Sunday’s print edition and online sometime in or around there.

I found Rogers to be polite and honest as usual but guarded about what he said and especially about how much he said.

So just to be clear, I asked Rogers straight out if he was still committed to Georgia. “Yes, sir, I am,” he said.

Then I asked him if he was seriously considering Tennessee as an alternative. “Yeah, potentially,” he said.

But just as quickly Rogers kind of downplayed the whole experience. The main thing, he said, is that he had never been on an official visit to anywhere other than Georgia before this past weekend. He’d been on unofficial visits to a few places as a junior last year, but nothing more. He expressed regret that he hadn’t taken at least one trip out West, either to Oregon or USC.

“It was getting close to crunch time so I started thinking I just needed to check out some other places and that’s what I did,” Rogers said of the Tennessee visit. “I’m just making sure I’m going to the right school.”

And now that he’s cracked open that door just a smidge, there are tons of other programs rushing through to possibly get one last official out of Rogers. Southern Cal, Louisville, Arkansas and Mississippi State have all contacted him about doing just that. Those and others are trying to get into his home this week as the contact period continues before shutting down for good on Sunday.

I asked Rogers how the late recruiting push had him feeling.

“Oh, my head’s spinning,” he said. “It’s been spinning.”

For now Rogers said he’s not planning any more trips, though he did not rule it out completely. And as far as the Tennessee’s overtures, he said neither he nor Nance has sat down to fully contemplate and discuss the possibilities with their parents.

So we’ll all just have to wait until that day next week — or sometime before the signing period ends on May 31 — to see which cap Rogers puts on. Wonder then who will be laughing?

358 comments Add your comment

Freddy

January 26th, 2010
5:40 am

Second!!!!!!!!!!!!! This cat is not going to UGA

Freddy

January 26th, 2010
5:44 am

Tenn will steal him away.

dawgerbrown

January 26th, 2010
5:53 am

He seems to be a good kid that will honor his committment. Deep inside he knows UGA is the best place for him and his family. I don’t think he’ll pull a “Kiffin” on coach Richt and the bulldog nation.

Bulldog

January 26th, 2010
5:57 am

You’ll love Athens, Da’Rick. Best college town in America. And Dawgnation will return the love. Great things are on the horizon.

Athdog

January 26th, 2010
6:13 am

If I were in his shoes, I’d visit Southern Cal, Arizona State, Washington State, Hawaii, and then of course, sign with Georgia. I don’t think he’ll get in, based on what friends in Gordon County tell me, so all of the worry about him signing elsewhere might be a moot point, he may have to go elsewhere. Apparently, Tennessee will let anyone with a heartbeat in…sort of like Ole Miss and Auburn.
HBTD 8 of 9

blord

January 26th, 2010
6:13 am

ut is not stealing d.rick he’s just seeing other places are just as good as uga. hope he makes the best decision for him and we can’t wait to see you in knox if thats the place.

AllVol

January 26th, 2010
6:14 am

Come on to Tennessee Da’Rick…Do you really want to sit behing AJ Greene for a couple of years before you get some playing time…..or start at Tennessee?…….You decide

I wonder?

January 26th, 2010
6:15 am

1st, let me say “I am not a UGA fan”,,, but, I keep reading on these post that people say Chip just makes up the headlines to stir up people. I have never given it any thought “Until” this post. I have never seen anyone post so many headlines about recruits possibly changing their minds and going to other schools. It really makes me wonder of the integrity of this man stories. This is twice in 24 hours he has posted a blog about UGA players going somewhere else. PLEASE CHIP! Just report the facts and stop the jabs at UGA fans.

Gene Okerlund

January 26th, 2010
6:17 am

Has it ever occurred to anyone that the kid is just doing his boy Nance a favor? Clearly, Nance does not have the goods to be an SEC QB, so Rogers is tagging along so that Nance can get these big-time offers. I commend Rogers for helping his boy out.

BAMA FAN #2

January 26th, 2010
6:19 am

Hope the kid goes to Georgia and plays like AJ Green!! UT has hired a young coach that has class
and will do a good job in Knoxville. Derek Dooley has the ability to be a good recruiter and be a
head coach your program will be proud to have as a head coach!! UT hit a home run on this hire!!
GO DAWGS!!

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 26th, 2010
6:20 am

Sit behind AJ for a couple of years? Beyond AJ the WR corps is relatively thin. CMR selling point is in the fact if he is good enough he will play early- see AJ and Wooten. Each playing as a true freshman. Nice try though!

blord

January 26th, 2010
6:26 am

athdog do you remember the names harrick and kemp

Frank

January 26th, 2010
6:37 am

No way Rogers would sit behind AJ for a couple of years, AJ will be getting ready to be a millionaire this time next year. We all wish he would stay, but the lure of millions would be too great for the vast majority of us. If DR jumps ship, I believe he will regret it the rest of his life. UT is headed for probation and some down years. I hope his parents, teachers & fellow students can steer him away from there.

THWGT!!!!!

Top Dawg

January 26th, 2010
6:38 am

He will start in ‘10 as a Dawg.

SoCalTrojan

January 26th, 2010
6:39 am

Kid needs to visit an elite school school like USC …. not a line school like UGA or Tennessee, Sure, UGA and TN have a few glory years every 15 years or so – but a USC has a rebuild or transition year or 2 every 10 to 15 years or so – and usually stay in the top of the polls and the limelight.

Kid needs to get out while he can….go to USC

Uninterested Observer

January 26th, 2010
6:43 am

I think it would be great if Rogers goes to UT after Richt telling his lies to Marlon Brown and stealing him from Tennessee last year. Karma is a beeatch!

aj, already projected the number 1 receiver in draft

January 26th, 2010
6:45 am

Rogers will most likely stay committed to Georgia…but in 2 big games against the only competition he faced with real pressure he couldn’t catch a cold…one of those games was on ESPN…I think Georgia and Tennessee both play on ESPN from time to time…..got alot of growing up to do DA Rick..bet you could Start at Ohio State…might catch a cold up there though

ad dont you think for a minute

January 26th, 2010
6:49 am

….that Tennessee isn’t already loaded at recever , they got talent everywhere up there…getting them back out of JAIL to play may be another story

yearofthedawg

January 26th, 2010
6:49 am

Now THAT is funny… before Pete Carroll arrived USC football was irrelevant since Shep was a pup. Kind of like Notre Dame is now. Of course, with such a quality man heading up the program and with his long history of success I’m sure USC will stay near the top. I can’t even type that without laughing.

bank walker

January 26th, 2010
6:52 am

Haha, these Vol fans have 0 football intellect! That’s why, I guess, you can watch a better football game on Saturday morning, at a Georgia little league, than you can on Friday nights in tennerssee. Go burn a mattress or something! GO DAWGS!!

As for the Nance Kid

January 26th, 2010
6:57 am

a good kid with a solid family..at 6′4 210 with a rifle arm he’ll develop at any SEC school after a year….The Calhoun people are just jealous of his Family’s hard earned money and have bad mouthed them behind their back..now they have to want him to fail…how sad

Scoop Dawg

January 26th, 2010
7:00 am

Trust me on this……he will sign with Tennessee. So pucker up and kiss his Big Orange butt goodbye!

How soon you forget...

January 26th, 2010
7:03 am

Bank- Those Tennersee folks sure slapped the sissy chihuahuas around all over the field last year. Maybe UT fans have no intellect, but they do have a memory. Hahahahahaha 45-19!!!

ARLNGTON VA DAWG

January 26th, 2010
7:08 am

Chip,

What’s with the, “or sometime before the signing period ends on May 31 —”? Should that be January 31st? Just Asking.

GO DAWGS

AltamahaDawg

January 26th, 2010
7:24 am

If that was his first visit besides Athens, of cource he is impressed that there are other great schools and coaching staffs out there. He could have visited a number of places and left with the same idea. And its a great choice if he makes it. But it Doesn’t mean he is less inclined to do what he thought he should to begin with. Is anyone suggesting that he is less thrilled about Athens, the UGA campus, or Richt’s staff all of a sudden? I seriously doubt that Dooley made more of an impact on him in one visit than these guys have over the cource of this year.

Jborodawg

January 26th, 2010
7:28 am

Don’t get ur jock straps in a wad. Mr Rogers says he’s still committed to the Dawgs. UGA is a premier school with a top-notch athletics department and one of the best head coaches in the country. No better place to get an education and a great town.

GeoffDawg

January 26th, 2010
7:51 am

If he’s seriously considering UT, then he’s not actually committed to UGA. He needs to be honest about that so it gives Georgia the flexibility to explore their options as well.

GeoffDawg

January 26th, 2010
7:52 am

SoCalTrojan – what is a “line school”? If you mean to imply that they’re inferior programs, then you picked the wrong conference to belittle my friend. Have fun on probration for the next five years.

Paddy

January 26th, 2010
7:55 am

SoCalTrojan……you are going on probation in about 4 hours from now. Why would a good player want to buy into that mess you guys made with Reggie Bush.

DAWG fan in Tampa

January 26th, 2010
8:02 am

To all teams fans, its just an idea. There is nothing posted about it on ESPN, or Rivals, or Scout. Everyone is getting fired up over nothing. He actually said he is still committed to UGA, and how many times does a recruit state I didn’ t have a good visit. I hope we do get him but remember these are young men. Let him choose where ever he thinks hell be happiest.

MtnDawg

January 26th, 2010
8:04 am

Sounds like he’s just getting cold feet. UGA is the best place for him–especially with AJ Green gone after this year! He’s just looking at the menu before he orders a little bit. I’m sure he’ll make the right choice–now let’s hope CMR is staying in his ear this whole time about the prime rib at UGA–not the hot dogs anywhere else…

KJ

January 26th, 2010
8:04 am

“Do you really want to sit behing AJ Greene for a couple of years before you get some playing time”

It’s quite common for offensive schemes to utilize more than one WR in a formation, AFAIK.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

January 26th, 2010
8:06 am

I agree with Mean Gean, he is just helping his boy out cause he is not even mentioned as a top 10 QB in the state so why would UT want him. Problem is UT may offer a package deal.

bank walker

January 26th, 2010
8:06 am

How soon you forget……How many tennerssee folk was on the team….I forget, maybe 5 out of 85, haha. You tenerrseeans better stick to croquet.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

January 26th, 2010
8:07 am

KJ, I hear tales that someday, teams may use as many as 5 wide receivers. Crazy huh

those games meant everything to Tech

January 26th, 2010
8:07 am

7366,2414,3024…….at least he’s smart enough not to list Tech…Tech fans brag on their intellect but hire a coach(Paul’s Johnson..”what has Georgia done since 1980″) that doesn’t know they fill the football with air..too funny..good luck Yellow Jackettes in ever getting any decent receivers…you nerds are really smart though..sure you are..lmao

Paddy

January 26th, 2010
8:08 am

SoCalTrojan……..A Line school? Harvard, Princeton,Penn Brown etc you are dreaming or getting way too much sun.

those games meant everything to Tech

January 26th, 2010
8:08 am

and TEXAS BANKER , AKA , NERDO…DOUBT TENNESSEE WOULD OFFER A SCHOLARSHIP TO TWO PLAYERS AND TAKE A CHANCE ON NEITHER OF THEM PANNING OUT…the Nance kid must be better than you podunkians think

Bank Walker, Texas Idiot

January 26th, 2010
8:11 am

I just cannot accept the fact UT kicked UGA’s azz 45 -19 last October. It was the bad calls by the zebras that cost us the game and not the fact our offense never moved the ball past the Tennessee 35 yard line. Yeah…thats the ticket.

Sensibility says

January 26th, 2010
8:12 am

to offer a kid a scholarship is a big commitment by the Universites…they aint gonna waste one a high school AA prospect unless they think he is worth….Texas RAnger..small town banker

john

January 26th, 2010
8:13 am

A. J. is great but Mr. Rogers might even be better. Doesn’t take a long memory to see the impact this kid could have on the Dawg program if you only look back to the games this past weekend. I think every kid that signs knows they have to live up to their hype but Rogers should have no problem doing that and becoming an impact player in Athens this year. He is the real deal. Tenn. does have a new good coach but through recent events they have dropped a tier in the East and with the changes made in Athens the Dawgs should be competing for titles in short order.

tha-houn

January 26th, 2010
8:15 am

I live in Calhoun and the buzz here is that it is a very real possibility that he and Nance will go to UT. That will not be a surprise at this point, the surprise would be if Nance keeps his commitment to Vandy and DaRick goes to UT alone…that would be a shocker.

My opinion of Rogers based on watching him play at Calhoun, title game at the Dome and then the Under Armor game is that he has all the talent in the world but he seemed to fade a little when the bright lights of the Dome and UA game were on. He will have to get over that real fast in order to play for either school.

The other issue I see is that Rogers seems to have a head so big that Im not sure if it will fit in the stadium at UT or UGA. My guess is that this is probably true about most if not all of the top recruits….what do you expect when an eighteen yr old has the top coaches in the nation falling all over themselves just to speak to him. Regardless, he will have to be taken down a notch when he gets to either school.

I must say I am impressed with Dooley (and no, Im not a UT fan). He has wasted no time in going after the big names, I really didnt think he would have time to get much done this year but he may just pull off a few surprises. I know a lot of UT fans were not happy with the hire, but I think it might just turn out similar to the way it did when the Falcons hired Mike Smith after the Petrino saga.

Signing day should be fun…very interesting at the very least. There were a lot of Dawgs fans here with there chest puffed out for most of the year knowing that there hometown superstar was going to UGA…and there are a LOT of Dawg fans here (there is even a sportsbar called the Dawg Pound here). Now, they seem to be worried…very worried. Count on this though, if he signs with UGA, he will be paraded around here as the next Jerry Rice and you would think that UGA won the national title. If he goes to Tenn, those same fans will say he is over rated and deserves to wear orange.

Bottom line, we wont know who won for a few years when he actually has a body of work to look at, at the college level. This kid is the definition of Boom or Bust.

Rogers would start in Knoxville

January 26th, 2010
8:19 am

Nice piece, Chip. Good insights right from the source.

Look, I’m a UGA fan (my wife’s a grad). But if Rogers is interested in the max amount of playing time as a freshman, UT is the place, not UGA.

Right now, he’s not better than UGA’s top three returning receivers — Green, Troup and King. Plus there’s Wooten and Durham coming off of an injury. And it would be good to get Branden Smith AND Brandon Boykins some touches on offense as well.

Rogers isn’t ready for SEC competition yet. Physically and athletically he’s a freak and will eventually make millions in the NFL. But not yet. Most of his yards and touchdowns came on deep balls and screens, where he was able to use his size and speed to run past, by and over kids who were nowhere near his physical rival.

Yet he was shut down by Ryan Dillard and Buford in the Class AA championship game and was a non factor in his all American game.

Either way, I wish him well because he seems like a nice kid.

tha-houn

January 26th, 2010
8:21 am

John, when you said “A. J. is great but Mr. Rogers might even be better” are you basing it on the hype or have you actually watched him play? I have seen every home game….he has a TON of talent but I wont say just yet that he is on the same level with AJ.

Ban Dooley

January 26th, 2010
8:21 am

All he has to do is sit down come up with his dollar figure for daddy Nance and then he will be headed to Tennessee in a package deal. I say good riddance!

And Derek Dooley is a scumbag just like Kiffin if he takes Nance only because he can get to Rodgers. If I’m Adams and Evans I tell Vince Dooley he needs to stay far away from the UGA football program. He can come to games and keep his box seats because he earned them but he will no longer be privy to any inside information. He just might end up giving his son to much info about what is going on in Athens.

ALL DAWG

January 26th, 2010
8:21 am

Hey DA’RICK,

If you’re going to commit to UGA and then go visit hillbilly U. Screw you. You need to learn how to be loyal. We don’t need you anyway as we’ve got about 5 receivers in front of you

Sensibility says

January 26th, 2010
8:28 am

great assessment Thalhoun, i totally agree….i will reiterate..though …that He doninated AA High School talent and struggled in both big games under the lights…SEC football isn’t for the weak of Heart..he’ll have to grow up quick with loads of humility..or they’ll rack him at either school..Tenn or Georgia

Reporting I AM

January 26th, 2010
8:29 am

Unbelieveable….& painfully obvious.I can’t believe that there has not been an investigation into Chip Towers and UGA for illegal recruiting practices. It’s one thing to report, but to “not so subtly” dis other programs and staff all while propping up the “home team”. I recall in the early 80″ Larry Munson was pulled off the road because he was recruiting kids to UGA. Of course Chip just happens to be doing a story on the #1 prospect. I have been saving these articles just in case the NCAA needs them.

TommyJack

January 26th, 2010
8:30 am

Hey DA’RICK: See ALL DAWG’S post. Come on up and be with the hillbillies! Nice post, dawg. You moran.

Sensibility says

January 26th, 2010
8:32 am

SAME LEVEL AS AJ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? a Moronic statement…AJ can catch a football..we have witnessed that on ESPN…Darickie has caught alot against Pepperville, Model, Dade, Snoreville,, but dropped plenty against Buford and on ESPN…YOU bloggers are really far fetched if you think DA RicK is ready for the Nfl…i promise ya AJ is ready for the NFL