Starting the Draft Day Dream

Over the three day of non-stop NFL Draft coverage, high school football athletes have dreams of having their name announced. Elyria Catholic High's Zach Rogers is no different. With his big dreams in his back pocket, Rogers is stopping at school that can help him get to that next level, a big reason he stopped at Wisconsin for the Badgers' spring game.

MADISON - As he sat watching the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Zach Rogers couldn't help but allow his mind to wander to where he hopes to be a few years down the road.

"It's always been one of my dreams to be on that stage and have my name announced," he said.

In the meantime, Rogers' main goal is proving his worth, and gathering that first scholarship offer, an offer that potentially could come from the University of Wisconsin down the road.

Visiting the campus last weekend, Rogers (Elyria, Ohio) got his first taste of Wisconsin football during a Friday practice, noting the work Secondary Coach Chris Ash was doing with his new players.

"The drills that the defensive backs coach ran looked very helpful to me," Rogers told Badger Nation. "They had flexibility and movement. I like how smoothly practice went. Facilities were awesome with the stadium and the city."

Spending the night looking around the campus, Rogers stayed Saturday to watch the spring game.

"All the guys looked excited and prepared for it," Rogers said. "You could tell that they were excited for the game because it looked like they came out hitting from the beginning."

Rogers made the trip up to Wisconsin after his highlight tape wound up in the hands of Wide Receivers Coach DelVaughn Alexander. What Alexander saw was a 6-foot, 195-pound athlete that is a speedy wide receiver on offense and an intuitive defensive back that has a knack for making plays.

"They were one of the first teams to jump on me, start recruiting me, so I always had a liking for them," Rogers said of the Badgers. "Coach Alexander started writing me handwritten letters to ask me to come to practice and the spring game. We email back and forth and he talked to me and my family for an hour after. He's very laid back, relaxed and very easy to talk to."

In addition to UW, Rogers has been getting heavy interest from Cincinnati and Illinois, has visited to Akron and Toledo and has a camp schedule that includes trips to Ohio State, Cincinnati, Toledo, Illinois, North Carolina State and Wisconsin, all things he hopes will prove he's worthy of a scholarship offer.

"I am really trying to improve my speed and try to get down to a 4.4 (40-yard dash)," Rogers said. "I ran a 4.5 this week and could have done better. I am working my hip speed, opening and closing up when I am defending players. Coaches like my size and think that it helps my lateral movement. They think I can play cornerback or safety."

The numbers also show that Rogers' ceiling is high. After a five interception, 40-tackle season, Rogers again registered around 40 tackles, but increased his interception total to eight and was an All-Ohio, All-District and All-Conference selection.

"From my sophomore year to my junior year, I gained 20 pounds in the offseason and it was all from working out," Rogers said. "I always used to be the skinny kid playing football and now I am one of the bigger kids on the team. I just stay in the weight room and push myself."

Not nervous about his lack of offers, Rogers is convinced that the first offer will open up the recruiting floodgates for him.

"A lot of teams have seen me workout for them," Rogers said. "I am very excited to go up to Wisconsin, show them what I got and hopefully get an offer."


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