14 youthful questions for Gary Rogers

IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE Gary Rogers could meld into the background so easily. He's 6-foot-6, weighs 234 pounds, and plays the most glamorous position on the field. For the last three years this Mukilteo product with the cannon arm has been biding his time on the bench, waiting for Alex Brink to move on to the NFL.

Today, two months after he put a vice-grip hold on the No. 1 job in the Cougars' first spring season under Paul Wulff, he's at center stage for Quarterback U.

And he'll be tested right from the get-go, because the Cougs open the season against two teams coming off bowl appearances: Oklahoma State, on Aug. 30 in Seattle, and California a week later in Pullman.

If he performs anything like two of his predecessors who wore his same number -- 17 -- than the Cougs should be smokin'. You can't get much better karma than Mark Rypien and Jason Gesser.

Rogers recently took time to answer a few questions from me -- a 14-year-old Cougar fan -- as part of a periodic column aimed at asking WSU players and coaches the questions adults don't seem to think of asking.


Cougfan.com: To start, let's play a game of fill in the blank. I will give you a description and you fill it in with the name of the player you think fits best:

The fastest Cougar?
Rogers: Jeshua Anderson.
The strongest?
Rogers: Greg Trent.
The most intense?
Rogers: Greg Trent.
The hardest hitter?
Rogers: Probably Greg Trent again (laughs). No, wait, put Kenny Alfred for that one.
The most intelligent?
Rogers: I'd say Kenny Alfred again.

CF.C: How would you compare coach Wulff's offense to the one that coach Doba had in place?
Rogers: Well, the tempo is definitely different, and Coach Wulff's offense is a more high powered type of offense, and I think that is the biggest difference.

CF.C: What is it like to make the transition between the two offenses?
Rogers: It's hard, but you just have to continue to learn, continue working with and learning the play sheet and making sure you are on the same page as the other players. So you really have to continue to work hard and learn.

CF.C: What is the name of your favorite offensive play?
Rogers: Well ... um, I don't really want to say any names because its part of our playbook, but it is definitely a pass play ... a deep pass.

CF.C: If we were to look at the music selection on your computer right now, what would be in the most-played playlist?
Rogers: Let me think ... probably ‘Love in This Club' part two by Usher.

CF.C: Who are you partial to in this upcoming Presidential election?
Rogers: I like Barack Obama. I think he would be a good change for our country at this time.

CF.C: What NFL quarterback would you most compare your style of play with?
Rogers: I would say Tom Brady … he's a big guy with a strong arm, he's a very efficient player.

CF.C: As a backup the last three years to Alex Brink, did you ever think of transferring?
Rogers: No, not really. I wanted to stick it out to show WSU I was committed to playing and committed to this program. I knew that my chance would come and I really wanted to be a Coug.

CF.C: What do you think is the most important virtue your parents instilled in you?
Rogers: Probably to always give people the respect they deserve.

CF.C: Did you ever do anything as a kid that you now regret?
Rogers: To tell you the truth, when I look back at my childhood now, I don't have a single regret.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hayden Eller, 14, is a ninth-grader attending the International School of Latvia after moving there with his family from Chelan last August. His addiction to crimson and gray started six years ago when he attended his first game at Martin Stadium, a Cougar win over Idaho. His father, Jeff, is a 1985 WSU graduate. Hayden has named his dog Butch, and is working to turn his little brother and mom into avid Coug fans.

Rogers completed 18 of 31 passes for 214 yards and 3 TDs in 2006. Last season he was 4-for-16 for 18 yards.

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