James Rodgers in elite category all his own

WHILE THE HEISMAN talk surrounding Oregon State will focus on Jacquizz Rodgers, it's easy to forget his brother is even more of a yardage machine than Quizz. The big questions surrounding James Rodgers headed into '10 are just how many yards can this guy crank out, what week will he break the all-time, all-purpose yardage record at OSU and will he set the all-time, all-purpose Pac-10 mark, too.

Last year's totals might be hard to match.

James Rodgers this past season was No. 7 in the nation in all-purpose yardage -- 303 hashes rushing the ball, 1,034 receiving, 151 on punt returns and 840 yards on kickoff returns.

That's 2,328 yards. That's 179 yards per game. That's one hellacious season. And that means every team will be gunning for him even more than they already were.

CONSIDER THAT EVERY opponent who has played Oregon State over the last 2 1/2 years has repped over and over again on how to stop the fly sweep, which Quon broke out his freshman season to the tune of 586 yards.

And they have to some extent, Rodgers' rushing totals have gone down each year since 2007. But with teams geared to stop him and Quizz on the ground, Rodgers has waxed teams through the air, and turned himself into an elite Pac-10 receiver in the process.

He had 91 catches last year, setting the single season record at Oregon State. It was also the sixth most in Pac-10 history.

And he now has 161 career grabs -- a very manageable 60 receptions shy of OSU record holder and Biletnikoff Award winner Mike Hass (2002-05).

RODGERS, WHO HAS the second-highest career total of all-purpose yards among active players entering 2010 with 5,077 yards, needs 530 more to become all-time leader at Oregon State.

And if he should duplicate his 2,328 yards of last season, or come close to it, he'll set the all-time all-purpose record in Pac-10 history, breaking a 31-year old mark set in 1979 when Charles White of USC finished with 7,226 yards.

LOOKING AHEAD, The San Jose Mercury News slots Rodgers among the Pac-10's top 11 NFL prospects in the 2011 draft, saying "there's no questioning his production, speed and versatility. If he's not a full-time receiver, he'll be a weapon on special teams."

Before that day comes, there's some unfinished business in 2010 for Rodgers. And few players are as important to their team's overall success on offense as Rodgers. What? Well, him too, but I was actually talking about the other one.

NOTABLE NOTE:
Quizz had 1,962 all-purpose yards in 2009 -- 1,440 rushing, 522 receiving, for an average of 151 yards per game.


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