Mission Accomplished For Carlos Rogers

Senior cornerback Carlos Rogers and his teammates continue to rack up college football awards.

Auburn, Ala.--When Carlos Rogers decided to return for his senior season at Auburn University, he set ambitious goals for his final season as an Auburn football player.

Number one, he wanted to lead his Tigers to an SEC Championship. Rogers not only did that, he is a key player for one of the top defenses in the country that won the SEC title in style, running through the opposition on the way to a 9-0 SEC record and 13-0 overall mark.

Number two, Rogers wanted to be recognized as an All-SEC candidate. Earlier this week, he accomplished that mission.

Number three, the cornerback set a goal of earning All-America honors. He accomplished that goal as he was named a first team Walter Camp All-American on Thursday.

Number four, Rogers set a goal of being one of the finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top college defensive back. On Thursday evening in Orlando, Fla., Rogers became the first Auburn player to win the Thorpe Award.

"It feels great to win the Jim Thorpe Award," Rogers says. "I would like to thank Coach (Gene) Chizik (defensive coordinator) and Coach (Tommy) Tuberville for helping me get to this level. It's a great honor to be considered as the top defensive back in the country. One of the reasons I came back for my senior season was to show that I was one of the nation's best defensive backs. I am very honored."

Rogers allowed only had 18 passes completed against him in 12 games this season. He totaled 41 tackles, five tackles for loss, 10 deflected passes and two interceptions.

In addition to Rogers receiving the news about being named a first team Walter Camp Foundation first team All-American, junior offensive tackle Marcus McNeill was named a second team All-American.

Rogers was named to the Coaches' All-SEC and the Associated Press All-SEC first teams this week and was also named to the SI.com All-America Team. McNeill and won those same honors.

Also on Thursday, freshmen freshmen defensive ends Quentin Groves and Stanley McClover were named to the Southeastern Conference Coaches All-Freshman Team.

Each player has 7.5 sacks going into the bowl game, which ties them for third place in the SEC. Each also leads Auburn in tackles for losses with 10 apiece.

Rogers joins Zeke Smith who won the 1958 Outland Trophy, 1971 and 1985 Heisman Trophy winners Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson and Tracy Rocker who won both the 1988 Outland and Lombardi Trophies as Auburn football's major awards winners.

The award is named in honor of Jim Thorpe, a first-team Walter Camp All-America selection in 1911 and 1912. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics, played professional baseball, and in 1920, was elected the first president of what would become the National Football League.

Previous winners of the Jim Thorpe Award include: Thomas Everett, Baylor (1986); Rickey Dixon, Oklahoma (1987); Bennie Blades, Miami (1987); Deion Sanders, Florida State (1988); Mark Carrier, USC (1989); Darryll Lewis, Arizona (1990); Terrell Buckley, Florida State (1991); Deon Figures, Colorado (1992); Antonio Langham, Alabama (1993); Chris Hudson, Colorado (1994); Greg Myers, Colorado State (1995); Lawrence Wright, Florida (1996); Charles Woodson, Michigan (1997); Antoine Winfield, Ohio State (1998); Tyrone Carter, Minnesota (1999); Jamar Fletcher, Wisconsin (2000); Roy Williams, Oklahoma (2001); Terence Newman, Kansas State (2002); Derrick Strait, Oklahoma (2003).

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