Kentucky is on the verge of landing a commitment from Justin Rogers. Before the star from Detroit, Michigan makes a decision at approximately 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon, get to know one of the nation’s top football prospects.
1. Rogers is a five-star recruit.
The future Under Armour All-American is the No. 10 prospect in America according to Rivals. Last year the top-ranked offensive guard was one of a handful of rising juniors invited to the Five-Star Challenge, an elite prep football camp typically reserved for the best rising seniors.
Not every recruiting service agrees on Rogers’ ranking or even his position. He’s the No. 9 defensive tackle in the class and No. 91 player in the ESPN 150. Rogers was 247’s No. 14 player in America prior to his senior season. He fell all the way to No. 44 and the No. 2 offensive guard at its conclusion.
Regardless of which rankings system you use, Rogers is a bonafide baller. If he selects UK, he will be the fourth top 15 player to commit to UK in 20 years. Landon Young was 247’s No. 12 player in the 2016 class and Micah Johnson was ESPN’s ninth-ranked player in 2006. Antonio Hall is the only out-of-state commitment ranked so high, falling at No. 13 overall in 2000.
2. Every school wants Rogers.
Maybe not technically every school. He only has offers from 47 of the nation’s 130 (36%) FBS schools. Alabama, LSU, Michigan and Georgia are the biggest names in the mix, but Tennessee is probably UK’s top competition. Even though there’s not an offer from every school, every school in the country would gladly take him on their team for the next four years.
3. UK has a longstanding relationship with Rogers.
How did UK enter the picture with such a sought-after recruit? They started recruiting him before anyone else. Steve Clinkscale extended a UK scholarship offer to Rogers when he was just an eighth grader. The early investment may have a high rate of return.
4. He teamed up with Marquan McCall.
When Clinkscale offered Rogers, he also offered his teammates, 2020 four-star cornerback Enzo Jennings and current Kentucky Wildcat Marquan McCall. The top-ranked player from Michigan in 2018 opted to leave the state to play on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage, rather than play offensive line for the Wolverines. UK is providing Rogers the same opportunity. Can lightning strike twice?
5. Rogers bulldozes opponents.
When the ball is snapped, it looks like Rogers is shot out of a catapult from a three-point stance. It’s not just pure power, it’s how he uses his size to gain leverage on defenders. When he isn’t providing pancakes on run blocks, he’s putting the defender on his heels and taking him on a ride.
Rogers is at his best out of a three-point stance, but he’s also athletic enough to stand up on defense and play on the edge. He’s not at his best when he loses leverage as the low-man, however, it’s impressive to see the big fellow move that well from sideline to sideline. See for yourself.