Yours truly talked Wed. evening to defensive end/tight end Chris Rogers (6-3, 240 lbs., 4.7 40, 340-lb. bench press, 3.3 GPA) from Wexford, Pa., North Allegheny (in Western Pa.).
Chris, we heard that you attended the Ohio State basketball game Junior Day?
"Yeah ... Teryl Austin called my coach before Signing Day and invited me."
Did Michigan offer you a scholarship?
"Yes, they offered me a scholarship. It was before the game. I went on the trip with my dad and my best friend. I was told, 'Coach Carr really wants to meet you. Wait here.' So I waited until a couple other kids came out. Then my dad and I went in. At first it was just, 'Hi. How are you doing.' That kind of thing. And then Coach Carr said, 'We have your tape, we've seen what you can do. We have a Michigan scholarship for you if you so desire.' I was really excited. But I said I can't make up my mind right this minute. I have to think about it. Coach Carr understood, he was fine with that. But as I said, I am really excited that Michigan has offered me a scholarship. It's really boosted my confidence, that Coach Carr would consider me so highly."
Had you been to Michigan before?
"No, that was my first trip to Michigan."
What are your spring/summer plans?
"In two weeks, I will go to Penn State to look around."
"I'm running track this spring to improve my speed. But I'm going to try to get to spring practices at Pitt, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa and Kentucky. If not for spring practices, then in the summer. And as far as summer camps, I'm going to two camps at Pitt, and the Michigan camp; and I'm thinking about Penn State."
Do you have a list of favorites?
"Michigan is at the top. Then Pitt, Kentucky, Iowa, Penn State and Virginia."
What is it about Michigan that you like?
"The biggest thing is the history of the Michigan football program. The football program is outstanding. Also, at the Junior Day they showed us the impressive academic setup they have to support athletes in getting their degree. And the coaches are really nice, they were all very personable."
We also asked West Allegheny Head Coach Jim Rankin what kind of player Chris is.
"Chris is versatile: he's 6-3, 240 lbs., and he can play defensive tackle or end. He also plays tight end, and has great hands. His strengths are his quickness and speed. On defense he's a cat. He's strong too though, he benches almost 350 pounds. And at tight end he catches everything, he has very soft hands. He also punts for a 40+ yard average. Michigan told him they're focused on defense for him."
And Coach Rankin spoke highly of Chris as a person as well.
"Chris is classy. He's a good student, he has a 3.2 GPA and just took his boards. He's the type of guy that's on time and polite. He's outgoing, a leader -- he started on defense for us as a sophomore and was a leader from the start."
Coach Rankin will attend the U-M Coaches Clinic on March 26-28.
"My daughter lives in Plymouth Mich., so I've been going to Michigan since '84 to see her. Shes a teacher, and her husband works at Ford. So I'm going to see her at the end of March and then to go the Michigan Coaches' Clinic. Coach Carr is a class guy ... he really helps high school coaches."
We asked Rankin what Chris said to him about his visit to U-M.
"Chris did mention when he got back from the Michigan Junior Day that he liked Michigan -- he said he liked the coaches and he liked the players."
As a junior Rogers recorded 75 tackles, 12 tackles-for-loss and eight sacks.
Top Jr. Pa. D-Liner Has U-M Offer
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