Amari Rodgers earns offer

Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic sophomore Amari Rodgers speaks to the USC coaching staff regularly, but his interaction with the Trojan coaches Wednesday was unique.

Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic wide out Amari Rodgers thought he was having a normal Wednesday until he was asked to make an abnormal phone call.

Rodgers, the son of USC wide receivers coach, Tee Martin, was asked to call Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian. While Rodgers speaks to his dad frequently throughout the week, he doesn’t make many calls to Sarkisian.

“I spoke to my dad early and he didn’t say anything about it,” said Rodgers. “I called Coach Sarkisian and he told me they wanted to offer me a scholarship.

“They’ve been watching me over the years and really like me. I was totally off guard. I was like, ‘Whoa USC? That’s one of the top schools in the country. All of their Hesiman Trophy winners, Reggie Bush… an opportunity to go to that school is a blessing.'

“My dad is a coach there, but he didn’t even hint about them offering. He wanted it to be like any other offer. But it’s a blessing. USC is an awesome school and it’s a great opportunity. It was shocking and I didn’t know what to say other than to thank Coach Sarkisian.

“Afterward I called my dad and he just congratulate me. He told me to stay humble because there’s going to be a lot of offers coming in, so be grateful and humble.”

Rodgers plays running back, wide out and cornerback. USC is recruiting him to play offense, although his versatility gives him the ability to do many things with the ball in his hands.

“They love the way I hit the hole as a running back,” said Rodgers. “They like how hard I work, my speed and my durability. I go down there a lot to train, so I know the staff and what they do.

“I’m actually going to be there Saturday for spring break, so I’ll get to see the team. The tradition at USC is great, and the area is downtown L.A., so nothing beats that. The academics also; USC is one of the top schools in the country.”

While the scholarship offer from USC is big, Rodgers has two years to go before he has to make a decision on which college he will attend.

“I’m just going to stay humble,” said Rodgers. “My dad can give me tips, but he said he’s just going to lay back and let me handle things. It’s a fun process and he wants me to enjoy it.

“I just want to take things in and use this offer to motivate me to work harder.”

Rodgers admits his dad’s presence at USC is a factor that works to the Trojans’ advantage. However, the reality is that Martin could be coaching at another school in two years.

“It would be a dream to play for my dad, but I hear about being Tee Martin’s son everyday, so I do kind of want to make my own name,” said Rodgers. “I just want to work hard and make sure that no matter what school I go to, I give it my best.”

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