Signee Update: Jessie Rogers

North Carolina welcomed a large number of visitors to Kenan Stadium a couple of weekends back for its Spring Game. Few, if any, traveled farther to attend the game than UNC signee Jessie Rogers.

"I feel like this is my team," Rogers said. "I wanted to come up there and support them and show my face to the coach, since it's been so many months since Signing Day. My father also came, so I wanted to finally give him the chance to check out the campus, because it was only my mom that came with me for my official visit."

The visit went a long way in easing Rogers' father's concerns.

"At first, my dad wanted me to go to a school close to home," Rogers said. "I think he really liked Arkansas for me. But once he finally got a chance to see Chapel Hill and the whole campus, it really blew his mind. At the end of the day, he told me that I really made a good decision."

Rogers, a 6-foot-4 defensive end from Arlington (Texas), and his parents arrived in Chapel Hill late Friday morning and remained on campus until Sunday.

"We did a lot of sightseeing and just exploring seeing where I'm going to stay my freshman year and in summer school," Rogers said. "We just got a chance to talk to more people down there."

Last football season, Rogers officially visited UNC where he was able to truly see the game day atmosphere of Kenan Stadium. The Spring Game provided him a sneak peek at UNC's newly installed 4-2-5 defense.

"I thought it would be more of just a 3-4 defense, but once I got a chance to see it in person, it's more of a style I like to play," Rogers said. "Like the Bandit position is more of what I played last year – he could have his hand down or he could drop into coverage."

UNC, though, projects Rogers to play the true defensive end position.

"They're bringing me in mostly with my hands down and that's how I got most of my sacks last season and my junior year," Rogers said. "A hand-down defensive end is probably more of my strength."

Following his senior football season, Rogers had originally planned to play basketball for Bowie. Instead, he decided to focus solely on working out. After school, he follows the workout regimen UNC sent him a couple of weeks after Signing Day and then later in the day works out with a personal trainer.

"I've ended up putting on 16 pounds since last football season," Rogers said. "Right now I'm about 257 [pounds]. My personal trainer wants me to come in at around 265."

Rogers speaks to someone from UNC a couple times a week, usually defensive line coach Deke Adams.

"It's more like a family deal now," Rogers said. "I talk to them or they talk to my mom or my dad. When [Adams] talks to me, he's just telling me to be ready because he said I have a chance to play during my freshman year."

Rogers plans to continue wearing his high school jersey number during his UNC career.

"My mom, she basically made it clear to Coach [Larry] Fedora that I'm going to be No. 90 next season," Rogers said. "… It seemed like my freshman year when I wasn't doing so well, I kept flipping through numbers. But it seemed like when I got the solid number 90 as a sophomore that's when my whole football career started picking up. So I just want to keep that lucky number throughout my career."

Rogers, who says he has everything "taken care of" with the NCAA Clearinghouse, plans to enroll at UNC in the second summer semester. He has discussed rooming together with fellow defensive end Justin Thomason.

Jessie Rogers Profile

Inside Carolina Top Stories