Rogers Overcomes the Naysayers

Tell Zach Rogers he can't do something and he'll be the kind of athlete to prove you wrong. After an impressive performance at Ohio State's camp, Zach Rogers will come to Wisconsin first high school camp as a Division 1 football recruit.

MADISON - On the scenic eight-hour drive from Columbus to Madison, Zach Rogers spent most of the time sitting and starring, deep in reflection.

Rogers thought about his performance at the Ohio State camp, a successful camp where he was picked among 400 athletes to be one of the top four defensive backs at the camp. Rogers thought about the instant impression he made with a plethora of college coaches looking on and how he had already made an impact on that.

Most importantly, Rogers – a 6-foot, 195-pound speedster from Elyra Catholic High in Ohio – had proven to all his doubters that he will be a Division 1 athlete.

"I was excited to come back home and let it be known that I can compete," Rogers told Badger Nation. "I want to tell the doubters wrong."

Rogers received two gifts after the camp in Columbus, the first being an Ohio State mini helmet given on the spot. He received the second days later, coming in a phone call from Kent State with his first scholarship offer.

"I am very excited to get that first offer, especially since I didn't have much contact with them," Rogers said. "Kent State started sending letters late. They saw me at the camp, they saw me at the Cincinnati camp, as well, and they jumped on it. Most of the coaches have been talking to me quite a bit since (the OSU camp)."

In addition to the three camp stops listed, Rogers has camped at Toledo, Illinois and Purdue all with similar successful results. It's that budding confidence that Rogers brings to Wisconsin's first high school camp starting today and running through Tuesday.

"This camp is probably one of the most important ones in my mind," Rogers said. "I really like Wisconsin. I thought about (an offer) on the way over, and it would be a big confidence booster. I would be very excited if they (offered)."

Rogers visited Wisconsin for the Badgers' spring game in April, touring the campus and meeting with Wide Receiver Coach DelVaughn Alexander, who is handling Rogers' recruitment. Permitted one call a month, Alexander has utilized that time and a visit to Rogers' school to build that relationship with him.

"We've been emailing back and forth a lot about camp," Rogers said. "We are both really excited about camp."

Since leaving Madison the first time, Rogers has spent the major of his training on becoming more flexible in his hips and improving his conditioning, especially since most of his camp schedule require him to perform adequately on back-to-back days.

"My game has actually stepped up because I am going against the best," Rogers said. "I didn't think I was one of the primetime guys. Now I am starting to fit in and compete with them. I was a little nervous going into (the OSU camp) with all those kids, but then I just relaxed, competed and shut down wide receivers."

In Madison since Friday, Rogers has checked out the city and the school. After performing in front of the UW coaches, Rogers has one more camp scheduled at North Carolina State on June 25.

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