Player Spotlight: Jessie Rogers

Arlington Bowie has become a force in Texas 5A football under head coach Kenny Perry. The school had 20 senior football players sign Division 1 scholarships in the past four years. Defensive end Jessie Rogers had a big junior season for the Arlington Bowie Volunteers, and top programs have taken notice. Rogers holds seven Division 1 offers.

"Oklahoma State was the first school to offer me in January," said Jessie Rogers. "An offer from Houston soon followed. I also have offers from Kansas State, Kansas, Arkansas, Arizona, and Iowa State. This spring I went to Junior Days at Oklahoma State, Arkansas, and Houston and went on an unofficial visit to Kansas State during spring break."

It's about a 500 mile trip from Arlington, Texas to Manhattan, Kansas on I-35. Rogers, who traveled with his mother on the visit, said it was well worth the time.

"When we got there we met up with my recruiting coordinator, Coach (Joe Bob) Clements," said Rogers. "He took us on a tour of the campus and showed us the Criminal Justice building, what I plan on majoring in.

"We saw the football facilities, and I got to talk with Coach Snyder. Talking with him went real well. We formed a good relationship with one another. We just talked about our hobbies. My mom really liked him too. I loved the environment up there. The whole visit went really well."

Rogers, 6-foot-4, 241-pounds, was a first-time starter this past season. He played weakside defensive end for the Volunteers making 61 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and four sacks.

"Last year I feel like I improved on my pass rush," said Rogers. "It was something I worked hard at in the off-season. I did a better job staying at home, keeping on my base. I got better at using my arms, getting better extension to fight off blocks. And I think I did well on my pursuit of the ball carrier."

Rogers isn't playing any other sports this year. He decided to focus on the weight room and spending time with a personal trainer to prep himself for his senior year. It's also allowed time to make visits to college campuses.

"My mom and I are deciding on a plan on which schools to make unofficial visits to in the summertime," Rogers said. "I wanted to commit on my birthday, July 1st, so hopefully it will work out where I can do that.

"I'm looking at how well I bond with the coaches, how high the academic are ranked, and what kind of facilities the school has. I play physical, hard-hitting and want to play on a defense with that kind of style. There's a certain feeling I get when I really like a place. Distance won't be an issue. My mom said wherever I go she'll be at all my games."

The Volunteers went 7-4 in 2010 dropping a close game to Midland in the first round of the playoffs. With top skill players returning in quarterback Kolby Listenbee (a TCU verbal commitment), running back Russell Hansbrough and Rogers on defense, the team should be one to watch in Texas 5A in 2011.

"I'm working on improving my pass rush even more," said Rogers on his senior season. "Getting faster off the edge is my priority. My goal is to have at least 12 sacks next season. I'm going to be moving over to strongside defensive end as a senior. Also, I want to go out there and be a leader for our defense."

Rogers says it's "all good" for him in the classroom and shares a close bond with many of his teachers at Bowie. He wants to study Criminal Justice in college to potentially follow in his father's footsteps as a police officer. He wears No. 90 for the Vols.

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