Signing Day Capsule: James Rogers

The Michigan Wolverines uncovered one of the top athletes in the state when they identified the talents of Madison Heights Lamphere's James Rogers at their annual summer camp. His outstanding speed and good frame have the coaches believing he could be successful on either side of the ball. For more, including video, check inside.

James Rogers
DB/WR - 6-1/185/4.44
Lamphere HS (Madison Heights, MI)
NR: **** - Position Rank: #17 Player Video
Senior Highlights- RB #1 -
Senior Highlights- S #1 -
Senior Highlights- KR/WR #1 -
GBW Recruiting Road Trip: James Rogers -
James Rogers Highlights -

His Recruiting Story
Rogers was a relative unknown entering Michigan's 2006 summer camp despite having turned in a strong junior campaign. The 6-2, 175-pounder rushed for over 1,100 yards on 9.8 yards per carry, and 16 touchdowns on the ground…and hauled in 24 receptions for 400 yards through the air. While most of his success clearly came as a running back on the high school ranks, Rogers knew he would have to make a move if he was going to make the kind of camp impression he had envisioned.

"High school is a little bit different because (running the ball) doesn't really take all that much," he said. "The best players are usually in the backfield if you don't have a good quarterback. Actually, I had a pretty good quarterback…but it was a lot easier to just hand me the ball and just let me do what I do. I knew once I got to a bigger level, with my size and my weight I was going to have to play wide receiver. I've got good hands. I knew that wide receiver would probably be the best position for me."

Rogers' name hadn't been mentioned among the top prospects in the state heading into the camp, but he quickly proved that to be a mistake. His 10.69 100 meter track speed was immediately evident as he ran past defenders all day long. His on-field exploits quickly caught the attention of Michigan wide receivers coach Erik Campbell.

"During seven-on-seven was when I noticed them really watching me," Rogers said. "That's when Coach Campbell approached me. The first day I was just coming out to perform… to see what I could do and see what colleges I could get interested in me. Then he talked to me a lot and asked me to come out for a second day. When he asked me to come out for a second day I was pretty impressed. At lunch time he asked me to come eat lunch with him. As soon as we were done eating he called me out to the area where all the other players were and he told me he wanted me to go talk to Coach Carr."

With more and more eyes watching him on day two, Rogers didn't disappoint. He excelled in one-on-one drills and again flashed a speed element that few DB's could match. He later proved that none of the receivers in attendance could keep up either when won the Smokehouse award for the fastest player in his position group.

There was little doubt what Rogers would do if he received an offer. When one finally came, it didn't take long for him to come to a decision.

"It probably took less than a second," he said. "It was always my dream to be a Wolverine. My dad already knew what I was going to do. We already knew that if they offered I was taking it. I've always been a Michigan fan. When I was younger I played for a little league team called the Wolverines. It was always a dream of mine to be a Michigan Wolverine."

Rogers picked the Maize and Blue over offers from Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, and Colorado.

GoBlueWolverine Commentary
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, he 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.  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. Coaches will have to determine whether he has hip fluidity to match up man to man with receivers as a corner.

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