With the May evaluation period still a month from its inception, Zach Rogers has already compiled 10 scholarship offers including ubiquitous Alabama which has turned middle Tennessee into its private hunting ground since Nick Saban arrived.
Among other contenders are Duke and Oklahoma State which feature former UT offensive coordinator David Cutcliffe as Blue Devil head coach as well as Kurt Roper and Matt Luke as his assistants. The Cowboys hired Trooper Taylor as offensive coordinator and the recruiting ace figures to prominent in Tennessee territory.
If that isn't competition enough Auburn, Stanford, Texas Tech, Colorado, Vanderbilt and North Carolina have also extended offers to the talented prospect, who caught 29 passes for 688 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. He picked up another 465 yards and five touchdowns in 44 carries as well as recording 27 tackles and seven INTs as a safety to lead Lipscomb to a state title.
While more offers are sure to follow, Zach appears to be ready to start the elimination process instead of expanding his field of choices, as he focuses on the season ahead.
"I hope to be a better leader this year," he told Scout.com's Chris Layton. "I definitely would like to get that second state championship. You know we won last year. I definitely like to get another ring on my finger. I plan to commit before my senior season, so I can play my senior season with my teammates and get the weight off my shoulders."
Austin Rogers took the same approach when he chose Tennessee, but that doesn't mean Zach will follow his brother's footsteps to The Hill. However he has been to many UT games to see his sibling play and he even wears Austin's No. 21. Earlier this month he was took in Junior Day at Tennessee where he attended the UT-Kentucky basketball game and toured the campus.
"My brother, Austin Rogers, plays wide receiver up there," he said. "We'd be close, and we'd get to play together one year."
When asked if his brother's presence in Knoxville would influence his decision Zach said: "I think it might, but I haven't made a decision."
The downside to his frequent visits to Tennessee is the relationship he developed with Taylor who was Austin's position coach.
"He recruited me and gave me an offer," Rogers said. "I've grown up with him the past two years. We've gotten really close throughout the whole process. He's a really good guy, and a great coach. He would be a fine coach to play for if I went up there."
The Crimson Tide which signed three of the state's top prospects in 2008 have shown a strong interest in Rogers.
"I talked with coach Cignetti, the receiver coach," he told Layton. "He's a great guy, and he talked a little scheme with me. I talked to coach Saban as well. He's a strong recruiter, and he talked about the whole aspect of academics, which is big on my list because football is not going to last forever. Alabama would be a great place. They have a great tradition also."
Austin came to Tennessee ranked the nation's No. 91 wide receiver, but proved he was underrated by earning a starting job as a sophomore in 2007. Will the Vols catch White Lightning in a bottle again?