Darnell Rogers, a 5-foot-3 point guard out of Believe Preparatory School, has committed to Florida Gulf Coast University, he confirmed with Scout on Thursday. The news was first reported by Phenom Hoops.
The 2017 prospect started hearing from FGCU earlier this month and took a visit to Fort Myers this week. He eventually choose the Eagles over the likes of Middle Tennessee and Memphis.
"[I committed] after mainly just talking to the coaches a lot and hearing their perspective on the game and what they wanted me to do - come in and play a big role," said Rogers, citing Coach Joe Dooley's pedigree at Kansas and assistant coach Tom Abatemarco's recruitment and development of Spud Webb at NC State.
"I knew I had a better chance being with them to develop my game the way I think I should be able to," Rogers said.
Coming out of Shiloh High School in 2016, the floor general originally committed to George Washington - where his father Shawnta Rogers starred in the 90s - but ended up heading to prep school for the 2016-17 season. Adapting to a new role this year, Rogers averaged 23 points, 7 assists and 2 steals and continued to develop his skills for the next level.
He plans to arrive at FGCU in late June or early July and will be eligible to play immediately this fall. The Eagles have been searching for another point guard since the departure of Reggie Reid; someone to back-up rising senior Brandon Goodwin. Well, they've found their answer in the 5-foot-3 recruit.
"They [the coaches] really said they want to me to take open shots to space the floor since they know I can shoot it well. They want me to get my teammates involved a lot," Rogers said. "Really they’re just looking for a 3rd point guard and I think I can be that."
What the Fort Mill, SC native lacks in height, he more than makes up for with his quickness, ball-handling, and facilitating. Playing alongside guys like projected NBA lottery pick Harry Giles on the AAU circuit with Team CP3, Rogers garnered the interest of mixtape producers, college coaches, and Chris Paul himself.
"I picked his brain a few times. We also got invited to his guard camp so he taught us a lot of pick and roll stuff, how to get your players free, how to hold off your guy once you get around the screen," Rogers said.
Rogers joins Marietta, Ga. forward Brian Thomas, former Iowa State big man Brady Ernst, and JUCO wing Dinero Mercurius in the Eagles current class. In addition, Michigan transfer Ricky Doyle, who sat out last year, will also be available this season and former VCU/Miami stretch four Michael Gilmore will be eligible after the completion of the fall semester.