Homeward Bound

Pennsylvania lost one of its native sons to Michigan last year. Now the blue-chip defensive end is coming home, back to the Keystone State. Chris Rogers will give up a full scholarship at Michigan to become a regular student – paying his own way – at Penn State. FOS caught up with Rogers to get the whole story, no rumors, just the straight scoop.

Wexford (Pa.) North Allegheny grad Chris Rogers was on top of the world at this time last year. He was all set to sign a letter of intent to play for Michigan. After a season away from home, Rogers feels he made the wrong choice and is coming back to Pennsylvania.

“I am headed to Penn State to play defensive end or tight end,” Rogers said. “I will finish up the academic year here at Michigan and I should be done around April 19.”

Rogers is not sure exactly when he will enroll at Penn State.

“I may try to start in the summer,” Rogers said. “The details are all still being ironed out. I have been released from my scholarship and will be going to Penn State.”

The 6-foot-3, 250-pounder has gained 10 pounds of lean muscle while at Michigan. His physical appearance has changed.

“I tightened up and lost what fat I had.”

Rogers initially thought he would enjoy being several states removed from his home. It is one of the reasons he chose the Wolverines over the Nittany Lions and Pittsburgh last winter.

“I think kids get too caught up in the moment, they want to get away and that works for some,” Rogers said. “I made some assumptions, and I was wrong.”

What exactly is the reason for his pending departure from Ann Arbor after redshirting as a true freshman?

“It was not one thing in particular, the depth chart wasn’t an issue,” Rogers said. “I just didn’t feel like this was home, I began to feel a little uncomfortable.”

What is astonishing is that Rogers will be transferring within the Big Ten. He will lose his scholarship and become a regular student at Penn State. The Nittany Lions are essentially getting a blue-chip recruit for nothing.

“I never thought of it that way, but yes,” Rogers said. “I’ll have to pay my own way, I’ll sit out for one year then I’ll have three years of eligibility remaining.”

The story about Rogers’ transfer has been circulating for a few days. Has this had any repercussions for him at Michigan?

“When I first told my friends, I took a little heat, but the guys have been real cool about it,” Rogers said. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.”

As for the reaction of his family and friends at home, he said, “They support me, they just want me to be happy and find the right place for me.”

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