Rogers Enjoyed Head Start To Hog Career

Arkansas center signee Zach Rogers (6-3, 300) got a chance to practice with his new teammates in a limited role this week and now has plans to be on hand in Houston Monday to root his Razorbacks on against Texas, a team he is not fond of because of having parents that grew up Oklahoma fans.

Even before he decided to become a Razorback, Carrollton, Texas, Hebron offensive lineman Zach Rogers already had the hating the Longhorns bit down pat.

So Rogers (6-3, 300) is extremely excited about the fact that he’ll be on hand to watch Arkansas (6-6) take on Texas (6-6) in Monday’s 8 p.m. AdvoCare Texas Bowl in Houston.

“Me and my dad (Randy Rogers) got a couple of tickets,” Rogers said. “I'm excited to watch them play Texas down in Texas and I'm definitely excited about it.

“Both my parents are from Oklahoma so I kind of had a hate for anything orange,” Rogers added. “At this point, anything that is not Razorback red is kind of the enemy now. So I'm excited for it."

As a mid-term graduate who signed a Financial Aid-Agreement with Arkansas, Rogers got a chance to spend the last week in Fayetteville and be around the Razorbacks practice.

“Awesome being up there,” Rogers said. “I was able to learn a lot from those guys. Got some good work in and ready to be back in January.

Ranked as the nation’s best center by entering his junior season, Rogers was limited to just two games in his final two seasons due to two separate injuries.

“He's a bowling ball, butcher knives, he's a thick, strong young kid,” Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema said. “He's healed very, very well. Everything they've asked him to do, I know he's done it.

“I think he'll be limited in the beginning of our winter conditioning, but the goal is to have him 100 percent ready for spring drills,” Bielema added.

Rogers, who is now ranked as the nation's third-best center prospect even despite his lack of games, knows he has some rust to shake off.

“I missed all my junior season with an ACL tear,” Rogers said. “ I was able to go through spring my junior year and then all summer and all camp my senior year and I played two games as a senior before I got hurt in my third game.

“Obviously there will be some (rust) you have to get those skills back and everything, but I don't think it will be too big of a deal,” Rogers said.

While the injury limited his involvement this week, Rogers notes it was a definite positive to be around his new teammates and coaches.

“It definitely helps to be here because there's so much mental part of the game at this level,” Rogers said. “ It's just a struggle at this point to get all of that because they are preparing for the bowl game, but it's definitely helping out."

Rogers and Charleston quarterback Ty Storey – who will be roommates along with fellow early arrival and Denmark-born defensive end Hjalte Froholdt – arrived last Saturday.

Both were two of the first Razorback commits in the 2015 class with Storey committing on June, 25, 2013 and Rogers following suit on July 6 of that year.

Instead of exploring their new home, Rogers and Storey – who describe themselves football nerds – instead stayed in the room and watch NFL games and went over their playbooks.

“I've known Ty for years,” Rogers said. “We've been going to camps together for it seems like forever. We are about the same speed. We aren't going to be out at night. We are going to be in our room studying our playbooks or watching football.”

Except for two snaps, Storey spent his junior high and high school career in the shotgun and thus is new to being under the center.

It was a struggle during the first practice, but Storey and Rogers had it down by day two – something that delighted offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.

"He was excited to get it down the second day,” Rogers said. “We didn't have a football in the dorm, or I know he would have wanted to practice it there.

"Coach Chaney was excited that second day when the snap was perfect,” Rogers added. “He was jumping up and down. I know I heard him tell Ty, I don't even care if you throw an interception, just get that snap right. And, he did."

Rogers could work at both center and guard for Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman.

"Wherever Coach Pittman wants me, that's fine,” Rogers said. I don't care. I think it will be center, but he'll tell me where he wants me and I'll play there. It's not a big deal to me. I think the plan is center, but it doesn't matter."

Arkansas offensive line coach Sam Pittman, Zach Rogers, Razorback head coach Bret Bielema

Zach Rogers

Hawgs Daily Top Stories