Earlier today Indiana added a second member to their 2018 recruiting class when cornerback Elijah Rodgers committed to the Hoosiers. Peegs.com spoke to the 6-foot-1, 160-pound standout from Blacksburg (S.C.) Blacksburg H.S. about his decision and about his visit to IU.
Rodgers said that in the days and weeks leading up to his visit he had strong feelings for IU, but after visiting there yesterday and today he realized it was the place for him.
“Before I visited I could already feel the love through the phone in the text messages and with the phone calls, but actually being there just really topped it off for me,” he said. “Seeing the campus, which I thought was beautiful, and then being around the staff and players really topped it off for me.”
The talented prospect had been able to develop a connection with the Indiana staff via phone calls and text messages, but that bond grew even stronger these last two days when he was able to visit with them face-to-face.
“I have a great bond with them,” he said about the IU coaching staff. “I talk to them on a weekly basis so it was nice to spend time with them this weekend. I got to spend time with Coach (Tom) Allen. He has the program moving forward and I love it.”
Rodgers was able to watch the team scrimmage today, and he said that the way the cornerbacks play for the Hoosiers is exactly how he likes to play.
“I love the way they play,” he said about the IU defense. “They fly around and they get after it. I like how Coach (Brandon) Shelby works with his guys. They’re aggressive and they play fast and they play hard. It fits right in with my style of play.”
While he was in town the South Carolina native was able to visit with a few of the players, and they all told him that IU is a great place to be a student-athlete.
“I got a chance to talk with Rashard Fant and a few other players,” Rodgers said. “They said that Indiana is a great university. They also said the coaches really care about the players. They said that they love it there.”
Rodgers is good friends with Louisiana defensive back Israel Mukuamu, who was at IU last weekend for an unofficial visit. Rodgers plans on getting in his friend’s ear about joining him at Indiana.
“I haven’t reached out to him yet but I will be,” he said about Mukuamu. “I will be working on him to pull the trigger with me.”
In the tweet that he posted about his commitment the athletic cornerback said that he is still open to other schools. He told Peegs.com that the biggest thing that could change his mind about being at IU is if something would happen there with the coaches or the program.
“I consider myself to be solidly committed to Indiana,” he said. “I would be open to other offers, but I consider myself locked in on Indiana. For me to change my mind something would probably have to happen at Indiana that wouldn’t make it the same situation that I committed to.”
Rodgers said today is special for him and his family because not only does he get to play Big Ten football, but it also means that his parents won’t have to foot the bill for him to attend college.
“This is a really big deal and it feels great,” he said. “It is just a big sigh of relief knowing that my parents don’t have to pay for college. It just feels great.”