Shrine Bowl: Tray Rogers

<i>Inside Carolina</i> caught up with linebacker recruit Tray Rogers before the Shrine Bowl. He at one point had committed to USC, but now the Tar Heels have a great shot at landing this son of a Heisman Trophy winner.

ROCK HILL, S.C. – George "Tray" Rogers, III has impeccable bloodlines. His father owns some pretty impressive hardware, like a Heisman Trophy. In 1980, George Rogers, running back extraordinaire, won college football's most prestigious award.

If Tray wins any awards, it won't be as a running back. Rogers (6-1, 206) plays on the defensive side of the ball, where he had over 100 tackles this year for Irmo High School (SC). Rogers projects to play linebacker at the college level, and several schools are in the mix. Currently, he favors North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.

"North Carolina has a great program; it is one of the places where I have a good chance of starting as a freshman and a good chance to get a lot of playing time. I think I just have a good chance to play there," Rogers said.

But North Carolina, who will get a visit from Rogers on January 10th, has to beat out some stiff competition, including his Dad's alma mater, South Carolina.

Rogers had given USC a soft commitment this summer before opening up his recruitment.

"South Carolina has been a dream of mine since I was a little kid. I just like the Gamecocks, I have been around it all my life, not just because my Dad. I think I fit into that program well, and that I will get a chance to play early."

The final team in Tray's top three is Georgia.

"Mark Richt is a great head coach; I just wouldn't mind playing for Georgia. They have a great atmosphere there. I also think I can get there and play early."

Georgia is the only one of his favorites that has not offered.

It is abundantly clear that Rogers places tremendous emphasis in getting on the field early in his career, like next fall. He makes no secret of the fact that he has no interest in red-shirting; he is a young man in a hurry.

"All the schools say I got a good chance of playing early. I just hope they will keep their word and I get to play early. That is one of things - I want to go to a school where I will get a chance to play early."

With a crying need at linebacker, North Carolina should be in the thick of the hunt for the services of Tray Rogers.

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