Rodgers Appreciates UConn's Interest

Khaliel Rodgers used his Twitter account Wednesday night to update his recruiting status.

"No order - Auburn,Ole Miss,UCLA,Ohio State,West Virginia, uconn."

That was the tweet that Rodgers posted. And those are the six finalists for Rodgers, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound offensive lineman who is Scout.com's No. 2 rated center in the Class of 2013.

Notice that UConn is last on the list. But Rodgers said, "No order." And note that there are a couple of big-time national powerhouses on the list – programs that UConn doesn't routinely battle in recruiting wars.

So UConnPlaybook.com asked Rodgers Friday night if "no order" means right now UConn is even with all the others – as he tries to make a decision by the end of June.

"Exactly," Rodgers said during a telephone interview. "One hundred percent even."

Asked what will influence his decision most, Rodgers said, "My visits." At this point, Rodgers plans to make an official visit to Auburn in mid-June but doesn't have an exact date set. The Elkton, Md., native also plans to swing by the UConn campus in Storrs when he plays in an area 7-on-7 event with his team in June. He was not certain of the date or location.

"They were the first team to see me and to see my talent," Rodgers said of the Huskies. "They had no hesitation to offer me on the spot. I always took that into consideration. And UConn has one of the greatest coaches to coach football. I have a great relationship with Coach [Paul] Pasqualoni.

"I've always loved it at UConn. They were always going to be one of my top schools."

Rodgers, who has one more season left at Elkton Christian Academy, said he met Pasqualoni at a camp in 2011 in Pennsylvania. Then he attended camp at UConn last summer.

"I didn't know anything about him at the time," Rodgers said. "When I went to camp at UConn, we talked and our relationship started then. He's just that fatherly type guy. He would never lead you wrong in any way. That's one coach that I'd love to be coached by."

Rodgers said he doesn't have what he would call one "recruiting coach" at UConn. In addition to Pasqualoni, he hears frequently from assistants George DeLeone, Matt Cersosimo and Hank Hughes.

"I talk to a lot of them" Rodgers said. "They're really the only school that keeps in contact with me 24/7. That definitely sticks out."

Rodgers continues to say he doesn't mind if he plays at center or guard. The UConn coaches, he says, tell him he will be used where he is needed most. Rodgers wants to major in sports management, which all six schools offer.

Rodgers originally planned on announcing his decision next January at the 2013 U.S. Army Al-American Bowl, where he has already been invited. But he now wants to wrap things up by the end of next month.

"I've decided I've got to get it over with and find the school for me," he said. "My time has come and I might as well get it over with."


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