Rogers plans future with Arkansas St.

Published 5:01 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quarterback Chandler Rogers is leaving the Copiah-Lincoln Community College Wolfpack for a football future with the Red Wolves of Arkansas State University. He accepted the scholarship offer from new ASU head coach Bryan Harsin. They both hope to have a howling good time in Jonesboro.

     Harsin was in the crowd that witnessed Co-Lin’s game against Garden City, Kan. in the Fifth Annual Mississippi Bowl, Dec. 2, at Biloxi. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Rogers completed 30 of 51 passes for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns in a last-second, 31-29 loss.

     Harsin was impressed and contacted Rogers.

     “They called me and said they liked what I did on offense,” said Rogers. “They liked what I did with the ball.”

     On the season, Rogers passed for 3,152 yards and 30 touchdowns, directing the Wolves to the MACJC State Championship.

     “My dad and I drove up (Jonesboro) to meet with Coach Harsin,” Rogers recalled. “We talked a little bit. We left there and came home. They called me Tuesday about 2 p.m. and offered me a scholarship.

     “I ended up signing this (Wednesday) morning,” said the former Brookhaven Academy standout.

     “I’m excited and my parents are excited. I start (back to school) Jan. 11, so I’m ready to go up there and get started.”

     Co-Lin relied mainly on a potent passing attack much of the season. Rogers sparkled in playoff wins over East Mississippi and Gulf Coast.

     “(Red Wolves) run mainly out of the spread, so that won’t be much of a transition for me,” said Rogers. “They won nine games and are playing in a bowl game the start of January.”      That’s when Harsin will take over. Harsin was the offensive coordinator at Texas for two years, under Coach Mack Brown, before going to ASU. Harsin spent 10 years at Boise State. ASU officials called Harsin and offered him the job.

     It’s been a coaching merry-go-round at ASU. When Hugh Freeze departed for the Ole Miss job, Gus Malzahn was lured away from his offensive coordinator position at Auburn last year and went to Arkansas State as head coach. He left for the Auburn head job when Gene Chizik was fired after a 3-9 campaign. He probably hadn’t unpacked all his belongings before Auburn called.

     The Red Wolves finished 9-3 this season and 7-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. They play No. 25-ranked Kent State (11-2, 8-0) of the Mid-American Conference in the GODADDY.com Bowl, set for Jan. 6, in Mobile, Ala.

     For sure, Rogers is glowing with enthusiasm. “I’m hoping to get there and work hard. The quarterback job is wide open. We kick off our season at Auburn, the first weekend in September.”

     Rogers and his ASU teammates will be welcomed by a win-starved SEC crowd of 88,000 in sweat-soaked, Jordan-Hare Stadium.

 

     Wide receiver Marquis Hayes of Brookhaven (Loyd Star) was among Co-Lin’s Wednesday signees. He’s headed for Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

     Hayes was a late bloomer for the Wolves. He began seeing more playing time when all-state receiver Devonte’ Scott went down with a knee injury. On the season, Hayes caught 28 passes for 521 yards and 5 TDs.

      Hayes said he liked his first encounter with SEL head coach Ron Roberts and his coaching staff. “The coaches were straight forward. They are concerned about winning. They were 5-2 in their conference.”

     The conference mark is a great accomplishment for the Lions. Roberts, former Delta State head coach, was in his first year at the helm in 2012. He was just what the doctor ordered.

     “They talked to me about wide receiver,” said Hayes. “I can play slot inside and slot outside.”

     Hayes reports in early January. Classes start Jan. 22.

     Hayes (5-9, 175) was an outstanding baseball player at Loyd Star, too. He decided to concentrate on football at Co-Lin.

     “I’m doing it for my family and using the gifts that God gave me. I’ve learned not to give up. The coaches work you hard to get better.”

      He said athletes must put forth an extra effort when they reach the college level. It becomes a job. Players must be devoted to the task of improving their strength, speed and skills.

     Co-Lin head football coach Glenn Davis was awaiting a flight back to Mississippi after a recruiting tour in North Carolina. Quarterback is a No. 1 priority.

     As of Wednesday, Davis said five of his sophomores had signed with senior colleges. Besides Rogers and Hayes, defensive end Jerrell Jordan is headed for Cincinnati, wide receiver Joe Craig Jr. to Memphis and wide receiver DeVante Scott to UAB.

     Scott was a primary prospect with Mississippi State until he sustained a season-ending knee injury this season.

     Jordan and fellow defensive end Terrell Hartsfield were both committed to signing with Texas Tech until Tommy Tuberville opted for the job at Cincinnati.

     Davis proudly pointed out that 12 of his sophomores graduated in December. Others are on line to graduate in May.

     Offensive linemen Demechery Hickingbottom and Preston Shelton of Meadville and center Stone Underwood of Brookhaven are expected to sign later.

     MERRY CHRISTMAS!

     This column wishes everyone a blessed Christmas and a prosperous new year. Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.

 

     Contact sports editor tom Goetz by Email: tgoetz@dailyleader.com