Madison Heights Lamphere High School
Madison Heights, Michigan
High School Positions: Wide Receiver, Running Back, Safety
College Position: Defensive Back or Wide Receiver
Main Strengths: Straight Line Speed, Hitting Ability, Closing Ability, Run
Main Weaknesses: Hips, Short Area Burst, Man Coverage
The Wolverines found them a fine athlete in their own backyard in James Rogers. Rogers popped up on the recruiting scene at Michigan’s summer camp where he performed very well against top competition like Ohio State commit Eugene Clifford. Rogers also took home the smokehouse award as the fastest receiver in attendance (4.5 on Oosterbaan surface is cruising). Despite his great performance on offense at the camp, it is likely Rogers will start his career off as a defensive back.
One of the first things you notice with Rogers is his excellent frame. Though he is a bit on the slender side at this point, he has the frame to carry more poundage. When you pop in the tape on Rogers, a few other things immediately pop out. The first thing is how well he closes on the play. As a high school safety he was able to use his speed and outstanding acceleration to close out plays. Also, when he gets to the play, Rogers is a big time hitter. Rogers is like a heat seeking missile on the field and loves contact. He creates a lot of turnovers and break ups because of his hitting ability. The downside is his speed looks to be primarily straight line speed. He appears to have difficulty changing direction in a hurry so his short area quickness is something that will have to be gauged when he gets to Ann Arbor.
Rogers has shown a good understanding of pursuit angles and he cleans up the alleys well from his safety position. Coverage wise, I think Rogers will fair well in zone coverage. He still needs some work there but I anticipate this being his strong suit in the future. In man coverage, he showed he could stick with tight ends but the coaches will have to determine whether he has hip fluidity to match up man to man with receivers. He has a very high cut to his frame and plays somewhat stiff due to his size.
As a wide receiver, he shows some playmaking ability and good moves for his size. Shows good ability after the catch and is a real physical overall. He
The jury is still out on how much impact Rogers will have. Is he quick enough to play corner, or will he line up as a free safety? Those are questions that will be answered once he suits up for the Maize & Blue. Early in his career expect him to be an impact special teams player at the very least.
A speedier version of former Miami Hurricane Greg Threat.