Football legends are measured for their talent on the field. However, it’s the blood, sweat, and tears that go into the work to put talent on the turf that makes a legend.
There are thousands upon thousands of collegiate athletes who make it on the roster some way or another and are known as a number for their four years. Later on, that number gets passed down to another athlete and the cycle remains the same.
A legend breaks that mold and is known more for just his number. Not only that, a legend has his number set aside and that number is no longer the factor that sticks out. It’s the name you remember.
With only 38-days left until the 2014 season, it’s only fitting to mention this one.
To many Gamecock fans, the No. 38 is more than just a number. It represents the retired jersey of 1980 Heisman Trophy winner George Rogers.
The final 1980 home game preserved Rogers jersey as the first player to ever have his number retired while actually still at the school. In 1979, he was second in the nation leading with 1,681 yards, and his senior year he led the nation with 1,894 yards.
Rogers was setting records left and right.
-Most Career Rushing Yards (5,204)
-Most Yards Rushing in a Single Season (1,894)
-Most Career Touchdowns (33)
He rushed for 100 or more yards in 27 of his 46 games, topped the 200-yard mark three times during his collegiate career, and had a single-game high of 237 yards in 27 attempts against Wake Forest.
The New Orleans Saints drafted Rogers as the first pick in the 1981 NFL draft. Earning NFL Rookie of the Year honors after leading the league in rushing in 1981, he was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 1981 and 1982. From there, the running back rushed for over 1,000 yards in four of his seven NFL seasons. In 1988, Rogers took his first Super Bowl win with the Washington Redskins.
Rogers took his career a step further in 1997 and was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame.
Not only was George Rogers a legend, he was a trendsetter for South Carolina. No. 38 belongs to a name that will forever be remembered and embraced by Gamecocks everywhere.