The Bluechip: Da’Rick Rogers’ recruitment goes from calm to chaotic

PART I OF A SERIES:

rogersrecruit

AJC All-Classification Player of the Year and 5-star recruit Da'Rick Rogers poses for a picture at Calhoun High School this past week. A longtime commitment to Georgia, he is now considering following his best friend Nash Nance to Tennessee. (AJC photo by Jason Getz)

CALHOUN – When he committed to Georgia way back in June, Da’Rick Rogers thought he was headed toward a nice, calm recruiting experience. Then, soon after the calendar flipped to 2010, Rogers made what may turn out to be a fateful decision.

“It was getting close to crunch time so I just started thinking I needed to check out some other places,” the 6-foot-3, 205-pound wide receiver from Calhoun said. “And that’s what I did.”

What Rogers did was unleash a weeks-long storm of controversy that, days before national signing day, rages on in the small northwest Georgia town in which he resides.

Rogers, along with Calhoun quarterback and best buddy Nash Nance, decided to crack the door open just a little and let in then-Tennessee coaches Lane Kiffin and Ed Orgeron to hear their recruiting pitches. Tennessee offered Rogers and Nance, a Vanderbilt commitment, the opportunity to come to Rocky Top as a package deal. And that was an offer new coach Derek Dooley and the Vols re-extended after Kiffin and Orgeron bolted for Southern Cal.

In fact, Nance accepted Tennessee’s offer this past week. That, of course, led to rampant speculation that the Vols may also peel away Rogers from the Bulldogs.

Meanwhile, rival recruiters figured if Rogers would reconsider his long-standing pledge to Georgia for Tennessee, then why wouldn’t he reconsider it for them? So that resulted dozens more college coaches calling into the Calhoun coach Hal Lamb to see if they might be able to get in front of this bluechip prospect.

“The whole thing has been driving me crazy,” said Lamb, whose recommendation was for both players to stick with their original commitments.

Now in the 11th hour of recruiting, this is most definitely a Georgia-Tennessee skirmish. Calhoun is located almost as close to Knoxville (140 miles) as it is to Athens (130 miles). But getting both Nance and Rogers to come north to Rocky Top would represent a coup not seen in these parts since General William Tecumseh Sherman rode his horse down the south side of Lookout Mountain.

“Oh it’s definitely a Bulldog town,” Rogers says of Calhoun. “Everybody here’s a Georgia fan.”

So how often does he hear from locals that he ought to stick with Georgia?

“Every hour,” Rogers sighed. “Every time I’m in public. They’ll say, ‘You still a Bulldog, Da’Rick? We gonna see ya in a red uniform?’”

Of course, Rogers has only himself to blame. He could not have know what a wildly successful senior season he would end up having. As the main offensive weapon for the Yellow Jackets, Rogers established a state record for receiving yards with 1,641 while leading his team to a 14-1 record and runner-up finish in Class AA.

Those on-field accomplishments along with some head-turning performances in combines, elite prospect camps and national all-star competitions brought Rogers accolades and attention unimaginable when he made his Georgia announcement at the beginning of last summer.

“I’m just kind of taking everything in,” Rogers said. “I’m kind of chillin’ with the media how and trying to be low key. I want to keep it to myself and my family what I’m going to do.”

THE BLUECHIP

Definition: A prospect that has the choice of signing a scholarship with literally any school in America. Coaches fly in from all over the country to see him and make almost any promise to sign him.

The example: Da’Rick Rogers, WR, 6-foot-3, 205-pounds, Calhoun High School. AJC No. 1-ranked prospect.

Fun fact: Rogers said he lost count a while ago but believes he has received somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 to 80 official scholarship offers. He has kept all the letters in a chest at his house. His favorites he has framed, including ones from Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and USC. “I even got one from some Christian school in the middle of Wisconsin,” Rogers said with a laugh. “It was a private school. I think they had fewer students than we do here and we’re a double-A high school.”

Recruiting situation: Chaotic. Committed to Georgia since June of 2009 but embroiled in a tug-of-war between the Bulldogs and Tennessee.

Status: Unresolved

AJC Top 50 | Georgia commitments | Tech commitments

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230 comments Add your comment

e.lo

January 30th, 2010
3:44 pm

Greenville, S.C. DAWG

January 30th, 2010
3:46 pm

Greenville, S.C. DAWG

January 30th, 2010
3:48 pm

Two minutes late…Congrats e.lo. GO DAWGS!!!

e.lo

January 30th, 2010
3:48 pm

I did not really have a comment I just wanted to pi$$ off all the people who hate it when somebody says first.

e.lo

January 30th, 2010
3:49 pm

Oh yeah goooooooooooooo Dawgs!!!! If dude is smart he will stay with UGA. I really just think he was trying to get his buddy a offer at UT, which he accomplished, now he can do whats best for him which is play for Georgia.

Volunteer Nation

January 30th, 2010
3:53 pm

I feel 100% confident Da’Rick will join Double-D in Knoxville – he won’t be able to survive without his best friend and confidant Nance. The mutts don’t have a chance at signing him, word on the street is it’s a done deal and Double-D will seal the deal on groundhog day, what a coup to steal him from Richt and those Bulldogs! Good ole’ Rocky Top! Whew! Rogers is coming home to Tennessee!

JayDawg

January 30th, 2010
3:54 pm

Here we go again. To hell with Rogers. I’m tired of hearing about it. If he doesn’t want to be at UGA we don’t want him anyway. I want guys who want to be here. We are getting all worked up over a recruit that won’t even have a shot at playing for a couple of years anyway. By then we’ll have more “Bluechip” receivers that want to be here.

Definition

January 30th, 2010
3:59 pm

“Definition: A prospect that has the choice of signing a scholarship with literally any school in America. Coaches fly in from all over the country to see him and make almost any promise to sign him.”

Hmm, “literally any school”? If they don’t have the grades, they won’t be offered by a lot of schools.

Goldenrod

January 30th, 2010
4:00 pm

The mutts, UT, and Bama are irrelevant. ACC football is where it’s at! Look for Coach Paul Johnson to kick arse again in the ACC this season!

We’ll sign who we want and when we want, you don’t hear anybody wavering on Coach Johnson, he’ll cut their tether.

e.lo

January 30th, 2010
4:00 pm

Hey Volunteer Nation, I will be laughing just as hard on signing day when he signs at UGA as I was when I heard Lane Kiffin d1cked yall and skipped town. By the way the only thing that is a mutt is that ugly a$$ dog yall have as a mascot.

dawginDC

January 30th, 2010
4:02 pm

The dude is a primadonna..Go to tenn, enjoying losing to the Dawgs on a regular basis…

Bryan Evans

January 30th, 2010
4:03 pm

Im ready for the NFL. Willie told me I will be a first rounder.

David Pollack's Twitter

January 30th, 2010
4:03 pm

I just Tweeted that Rogers is a definite switch to Derrick Dooley & UT. Trust me fellas.

SuperB

January 30th, 2010
4:04 pm

The Dawgs want you!

mg67

January 30th, 2010
4:04 pm

Here we go again is right!!! Keep workin it DADDY NANCE!!!

tenn. junkie

January 30th, 2010
4:04 pm

hahahahahahahahahah. georgia just dreams of getting recruits like we do!!! and w/out a full coaching staff!!!

Jim Taylor

January 30th, 2010
4:04 pm

We don’t need him here at GA. We need guys who respect the tradition of honor and committment. Let him go to UT and we can remind him on the field later who is the best team in the South!!!

bam

January 30th, 2010
4:05 pm

Plenty of early playing time in Knoxville for Rogers and no double coverages with Rogers, Ambles, Milton, and Hunter.

tenn. junkie

January 30th, 2010
4:07 pm

well atleast our mascot is not the 2nd dumbest dawg they ever breeded, bout like the grads they put out. put out hahaha. thatsd all georgia grads are good at. dumb rednecks.

Josh Nesbitt 4 Heisman

January 30th, 2010
4:07 pm

Rogers will never be half the player Calvin Johnson or Bey-Bey Thomas were.

45-42, never forget.

UGA 2010

January 30th, 2010
4:08 pm

If Rogers is smart he will go to the school he wanted to go to in the first place. Also, goin to UGA will basically be best seeing as tho A.J. Green is still there. He can learn from one of the best….. if not then he needs to take down that UGA offer thats framed on his wall, either way i do believe we still have T. King at receiver and if i recall Rogers beat someones state record for receiving…OH YEAH, Tavarious King!!!

UGA 2010

January 30th, 2010
4:08 pm

30-24 NEVER FORGET!!!

UGA 2010

January 30th, 2010
4:11 pm

and you prob need to be able to pass at LEAST a little if you ever want to be up for HEISMAN!!!! see ya NOVEMBER!!!!!

remember???

January 30th, 2010
4:15 pm

collegeballisgreat

January 30th, 2010
4:17 pm

tenn. junkie
January 30th, 2010
4:07 pm

” well atleast our mascot is not the 2nd dumbest dawg they ever breeded, bout like the grads they put out. put out hahaha. thatsd all georgia grads are good at. dumb rednecks. ”

HAHAHA Did a Tennessee fan just call GEORGIANS rednecks?! HAHA. Man, that is hilarious considering all the inbred trash from knoxville. You must be kidding yourself. HAHA. You know you’re from Tennessee when you have to get a calculator out to count your own teeth! ” 1….2… HONEY how much is 1 plus 2? ” ” I dunno baby, I didn’t get past 3rd grade, you know momma never let me and you finish school! ” ” I know it darlin Is just hopin someone in our family knew how ta count! “

Dawg26

January 30th, 2010
4:19 pm

Josh Nesbitt 4 Heisman
January 30th, 2010
4:07 pm

“Rogers will never be half the player Calvin Johnson or Bey-Bey Thomas were.

45-42, never forget.”

The same Bey-Bey Thomas that was ready to get the hell out of GT? And the same one that dropped an easy 4th down pass to lose the game for the Jackets? Man, he was ALMOST as important as Reggie Ball :D ALMSOT ;) Too bad Tech has NEVER had a WR that could even think about carrying AJ Green’s jock strap!

Asylum13

January 30th, 2010
4:20 pm

well atleast our mascot is not the 2nd dumbest dawg they ever breeded, bout like the grads they put out. put out hahaha. thatsd all georgia grads are good at. dumb rednecks…….

LMAO ……what? I am am fairly sure breeded is not even a word. Nice going tennessee fan. This is why you should not be allowed to use the internet or go out in public.

Hounddog

January 30th, 2010
4:20 pm

e.lo,
If smokey is ugly, I would hate to see your mama,daddy,you and your dog spouse.
Go Vols! And the h;ll with the dawgs!
This year will be
Tennessee. 55 Georgia 0
are you ready to sing Rocky Top!

Dogs4u

January 30th, 2010
4:21 pm

Seems to me the comments about being a prima dona are not appropriate for Da’Rick. There are plenty of high school kids who are taking actions to get themselves into the press and to milk these last few weeks for all the attention they can get. The only thing that Da’Rick has done during the last few weeks is to go on a final campus visit with his best friend and then for the most part keep quiet. The press is churning this story to feed our appetites. So let’s give him a break on that point.

He should be able to have a good college career at either UGA or UT, but if he’s smart, I think he’ll head to the school that has the highest caliber of quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends. Like AJ Green, Da’Rick should be an instant sensation at UGA and give Mark Richt and company a full range of offensive weapons. And in 3 years he should be well prepared for a big payday in the NFL.

Derek Dooley? Seriously?

January 30th, 2010
4:22 pm

Derek Dooley: .460 winning percentage (17 wins, 20 losses)

Mark Richt: .769 winning percentage (4th best in NCAA)

findthemorons

January 30th, 2010
4:23 pm

This young should should everyone that his word is his bond and that UGA is where he is going. A man only has one thing in life that means anything and that is his word. Hopefully,as a child one learns right from wrong and doing the right thing and as one grows into a young adult the lessons learned as a child show all to see that their parents did a great job raising this person. Above all other temptations do not be led astray.

r2d2

January 30th, 2010
4:27 pm

Da’ Rick has a chance to catch passes, 1-on-1, no double teams thanks to AJ Green, AND catch passes from a Parade All-American (Murray & Mason are both top 7 All-Aerican QB’s according to Parade), the ball ran by ANOTHER Parade All-American (Wahsaun Ealey–top 5 RB). Which means, if he’s as good as his stats say he is, it could be an amazing run at Georgia.

Georgia has the defensive coordinator that Nick Saban TRIED to get.

Georgia has the best punter/kicker combo in the NCAA.

Additionaly, Richt ALWAYS finishes #2 the year after a sub-par year (see 2002 & 2007).

So, Da’ Rick is giving up a lot if he heads to Tenn to try and help them rebuild, with a coach that has a .460 winning percentage.

RomeDawg

January 30th, 2010
4:28 pm

Keep seeing comments about Nance’s dad? Didn’t both players transfer from Darlington? Darlington is a small private school in Rome known for their academics and they do well in athletics too. My understanding is both players left Darlington and there is the rumor that Nance’s dad paid for the turf in Calhoun? Would seem someone doesn’t care as much about academics as athletics seeing Nash left Darlington for Calhoun and Vanderbilt for Tennessee. Could Pops be an issue? I know Coach Lamb was none to happy to learn the Tennessee coaches came in for visit without his knowledge. I don’t know any of this to be a fact, just the rumormill here in NW Georgia. Although a Dawg, I hope that both kids end up where they feel at home and if Athens ain’t for you Da’Rick, I hope you find it out west so we don’t see you annually.

Any word about any of this Chip?

mg67

January 30th, 2010
4:29 pm

This is smart by Tenn Offer NANCE (non scholi) hope DaRick comes Nothing to loose

DAWG in aubarn

January 30th, 2010
4:29 pm

LAST. The thing that ut can offer is some playing time. just like aubarn. come to UGA and compete for the playing time. GO DAWGS!!!!

Spenser

January 30th, 2010
4:30 pm

As predicted, duh George has already changed his name AGAIN. He is now r2d2.

Anyone here stoopid?

January 30th, 2010
4:30 pm

Enter your comments here

BG

January 30th, 2010
4:31 pm

How much money has Mr. Nance offered Rogers to go to UT? Mr Nance has used Rogers to get his son offers. Mr Nance is a punk a** bitc*.

Dawglessville

January 30th, 2010
4:31 pm

You gotta do what’s best for you, but if you want to loose in the Peach Bowl every other year, you’ll go to UT.

dawgbone

January 30th, 2010
4:31 pm

Pollack,

That is a good sign because everything Pollack tweets is wrong!

Spenser

January 30th, 2010
4:32 pm

Who the he!! is Coach Lamb to be upset with college coaches??? They’re after his players to offer them FREE tuition and a chance to play college football.

1eyedJack

January 30th, 2010
4:32 pm

The rule is perfect…in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.

Go DAWGS!!!!

Spenser

January 30th, 2010
4:33 pm

dawgbone, that’s part of the joke.

Dawg26: Clearly not a sports fan.

January 30th, 2010
4:33 pm

Let me know when AJ Green is a Heisman finalist and #2 draft pick a la Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Calvin Johnson.

Dawglessville

January 30th, 2010
4:34 pm

Lose… sorry. I wanted the UT reader to get it.

RealDawgFan

January 30th, 2010
4:36 pm

Richt should show DaRick Da Door! We don’t need premadonna attention freaks who only think about themselves and not the team. He has trouble written all over him and this wavering only proves it! Dump this kid now and let the orange hillbillies have him! We will be just fine with AJ Green and Marlon Brown. They were both blue chips and DaRick probably wont see the field anyway until they leave!

Helen Hunt is ugly

January 30th, 2010
4:39 pm

H

January 30th, 2010
4:40 pm

Why wouldn’t you want to go to Tenn? Ugly city, ugly campus, ugly people, ugly uniforms, ugly academics, ugly seasons…who could ask for anything more?

r2d2

January 30th, 2010
4:43 pm

I’m not a fan of 5 star guys. Most get on a team, and feel entitled, like they already done something with their 5 star rating. It hurts the team to have a bunch of those guys (see Florida 2007). Richt’s avoiding primma donnas this year which I like.

I’d rather have some guys that LOVE Georgia and want to EARN the respect of fans, not feel ENTITLED. We need workers not coasters.

Most 5 stars never amount to jack (See Marlon Brown).

UTSTUD

January 30th, 2010
4:48 pm

we do not need darick whatever, go to UGA please.