Monday afternoon Kentucky landed the tenth-ranked recruit in America. Following his announcement, Justin Rogers explained the decision did not happen overnight, although he ultimately chose Kentucky over Georgia just hours before his commitment ceremony.
“It came down to Georgia and Kentucky,” Rogers told the Detroit Free-Press. “Those are some great programs. Georgia is a great program. The decision wasn’t that hard because I felt comfortable with (Kentucky).”
The comfortable relationship with Kentucky was established long ago by Steve Clinkscale. Rogers’ eyes were opened when he received a scholarship offer as an eighth grader.
“First I have to say Kentucky was first to offer me, that put me on the map to make me the man I am today,” Rogers said in an extensive interview with 247’s Steve Wiltfong. “Man, it was amazing to be a kid in 8th grade to get an SEC offer…I made (state) history.”
Offering a kid is just one piece of the puzzle. Rogers’ relationship with Kentucky grew when his friends made the move to Lexington. If Clinkscale, Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops did not convince Marquan McCall and DeAndre Square to become Kentucky Wildcats, Rogers’ commitment would not have happened.
“I have people down there,” Rogers told 247. “Marquan McCall, I played high school with him and DeAndre Square I played little league with. Those are guys I have a relationship with.”
When Rogers put on the UK hat, McCall rushed from the stands to celebrate with his buddy. It’s a move years in the making.
“I told him, ‘It’s a family. They’re going to care of you; I’m going to take care of you,’” said McCall. “I was thinking about Kentucky in 10th grade, and I said to him, ‘I might go there, so you should come play with me, too.’”
Like McCall, Rogers is considered the best offensive guard in the class, but he plans on playing defensive tackle at Kentucky.
There’s a long way to go until Rogers signs on the dotted line. Until then, his comments about his extensive relationship with the people at the University of Kentucky should make fans more confident his commitment will stick.