Rogers has been forgotten receiver throughout UT’s camp

UT's Stephaun Raines chases Zach Rogers during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

UT's Stephaun Raines chases Zach Rogers during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010.

Zach Rogers probably felt stuck in the middle.

Between a proven productive duo and a trio of physically dazzling freshmen, the Tennessee sophomore receiver was in no-man’s land.

But with the Vols a little more than a week away from next Saturday’s opener against UT Martin, Rogers is right in the mix.

“We’ve got a lot of potential, and I think we’re going to live up to it,” he said. “We’ve become a close group, so I like where we’re headed.”

Rogers has been the forgotten man at receiver throughout UT’s preseason camp with the return of seniors Gerald Jones and Denarius Moore — the Vols’ top two receivers last season.

Highly touted freshmen Justin Hunter, Da’Rick Rogers and Matt Milton have also drawn their fair share of the preseason spotlight, though deservedly so in Zach Rogers’ eyes.

“Everybody’s talking about these young freshmen (receivers) coming in,” he said.

“They’re doing a great job, helping the team out, making plays left and right. I’m doing everything I can (to help) because they’re a special group.”

But Rogers started Wednesday’s mock game in a three-receiver set with Jones and Moore. Throw in the uncertainty surrounding Hunter’s status with an NCAA Clearinghouse issue and Rogers will find himself playing some sort of role in UT’s passing game.

“We’re all interchangeable,” he said. “Anybody can go over the middle, anybody can play slot, so I like the versatility that we all have.”

The 6-foot, 178-pound Rogers, who caught three passes and played in 12 games last season, followed the footsteps of older brother Austin to UT after starring at Nashville’s David Lipscomb High School (state title in 2007, Mr. Football in 2008).

A factor in Zach’s decision was the opportunity to play one season with Austin, but that was derailed when Austin tore his anterior cruciate ligament before preseason camp even began last July.

“It was terrible,” Zach said. “It was our dream to come here and play together, but unfortunately it didn’t happen.

“I was just trying to be strong for him cause I saw how much it was hurting him, cause he loved this university and he loved this team. It was real tough to see him go down like that, but I was just trying to be there for him as best I could.”

Austin, who also took a medical redshirt after mononucleosis ended his season in 2006, was denied a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA. Now he’s working in commercial real estate in Nashville and talking to Zach on a daily basis.

“With all this coaching change,” Zach said, “he’s been there for me, giving advice because he’s the older brother and he’s been through a lot before.

“He’s just helping me any way he can.”

Now Zach hopes overcoming his brother’s injury and a coaching change early in his UT career will ultimately work out for the best.

“You’ve got to look past it sometimes and just keep working, and that’s what I’ve tried to do,” he said.

“Hopefully it will pay off.”

Patrick Brown is a freelance contributor.

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Comments » 43

govolsbaby writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

midgetangel#279179 writes:

I have heard nothing but good things out of this kid. I can definately see him being a big time threat. He just needs to bulk up a little and he will be dominant.

I agree DMD!!

govolsbaby writes:

yay! i love a white slot receiver
Im also stoked for Hunter, Da'rick and milton.
once our simms or bray(I prefer bray)gets some experience and confidence we have to go 3 or four wide ALOT.but still mostly under center would be sweet.
I think cheney will start to call what he really likes. we just need dooleys approval
for everyone attending games:
Yell OOOOOOOOOOO! on defense
dont listen to the old man behind you!
get especialy loud for oregon, uf, bama
GOVOLS

realmenwearorange writes:

we do have great receivers i just hope simms can get the ball to them

jimr07 writes:

Wait til Naffy sees this. Get prepared for a Rogers bashing.

Lostvolinhighweeds writes:

in response to jimr07:

Wait til Naffy sees this. Get prepared for a Rogers bashing.

It'll be a bloody beatdown.........
Internet style

Mule_Days_King writes:

I've heard that Zach is as fast as any receiver we have. He's going to surprise many a defensive back.

Mule_Days_King writes:

Is there ANY news on Hunter's status? What gives with this clearinghouse nonsense?

PHAT_VOL writes:

I never forgot about Zach. Remembering that he played a lot last year and played well. Win lose or draw kick off can't come soon enough !
GO VOLS !

buxavol writes:

in response to Mule_Days_King:

I've heard that Zach is as fast as any receiver we have. He's going to surprise many a defensive back.

Speed? Yes. Hands? Not so much. Hopefully he's worked on improving that part of his game. He's a burner, no doubt!!

dwolfcreek#397971 writes:

in response to jimr07:

Wait til Naffy sees this. Get prepared for a Rogers bashing.

Naffy couldn't climb a step ladder high enough to kiss Rogers butt .Rogers will be great if given given a chace .

nola_vol writes:

"...starring at Nashville’s David Lipscomb High School (state title in 2007, Mr. Football in 2008)."

Tough for a receiver to earn MrFB honors without a big arm in the backfield. Anyone know who his QB was at Lipscomb?

smifrat writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NeylandWest writes:

in response to Dead_Head_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Amen. Enough said on that. I'll take anyone that's not smashing peoples' heads into the concrete, robbing folks at gas stations or fleeing from cops.

The only guys a WR should run from are the ones trying to tackle them before they make it to the checkerboards ;)

Mule_Days_King writes:

in response to VolnotHAMILTONfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just like your sad little existence.

illinoisvolfan writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Both Zach and Da'Rick Rogers will contribute this season. They have to for the Vols to have anything resembling a balanced offense like CDD prefers.

Oh Naffy, your village called. Their idiot is missing.

mloaks#222092 writes:

'WTF? Why does it matter if the slot guy is white or black? As long as he's a playmaker and a team player, I could care less if he's black, white, green or rainbow colored...'

latest hard science says whites have lower center of gravity, blacks higher. Zach would make a great SWIMMER...

old_number1 writes:

Good to see things haven't changed on this board.

OldNumber7 writes:

I find it interesting the correlation between UT "playmakers" making the news during camp and these sudden NCAA eligibility checks. Last year it was Brown...now it's Hunter. I wonder what color the insider wears.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to govolsbaby:

yay! i love a white slot receiver
Im also stoked for Hunter, Da'rick and milton.
once our simms or bray(I prefer bray)gets some experience and confidence we have to go 3 or four wide ALOT.but still mostly under center would be sweet.
I think cheney will start to call what he really likes. we just need dooleys approval
for everyone attending games:
Yell OOOOOOOOOOO! on defense
dont listen to the old man behind you!
get especialy loud for oregon, uf, bama
GOVOLS

As others have said, I don't think we need to make race an issue. I agree that the fans should get loud, but regarding your comment about ignoring "the old man behind you," My grandfather, a life-long UT fan, took me to my first game, and he still goes to all the games. I hope everyone will be respectful to the senior Vol fans. After all, I hope to be one some day.

DenverVol writes:

in response to Dead_Head_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You beat me to it, calling this douche out. Get past the color of skin people. This ain't the 60s. I'm hoping to see all the receivers step up and have huge years. However, I'd trade 3 1000 yard receivers in for 10 win season anytime. Go Vols! 8 days 7 hours.

BigOrangeSlim writes:

in response to Dead_Head_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You know I kinda wondered that!!!

VolQB writes:

Zach can flat out fly! Is it OK to say he runs like a deer? I watched him in TN State track championship and he smoked the field in the 200. I think he edged Benji Cunningham in the 100 (playing at MTSU). Fun to watch him run.

Lizardgrad89 writes:

in response to RichieRich:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I remember there was a Troy Hambrick that was a RB for South Carolina in the 90's. Had an older brother, Darrin, who also played at USC after transferring from UF.

But they were from Florida. Probably not related.

IBleedOrange444 writes:

I've been really enjoying Mr. Brown's articles. Keep up the good work Patrick.

mountainbrook writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

How would you know? You've never posted a fact.

shaymous writes:

in response to Dead_Head_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree Piney, what a racist remark, and we wonder why we haven't grown past stuff like this,no wonder we are joked about by others in this country...but anyway, sounds like a great group of receivers, I'm ready for some footbal!!! GBO...

tnaseevol writes:

* August 27, 2010
* 1:43 a.m.
* Suggest removal
* Reply to this post

govolsbaby writes:

yay! i love a white slot receiver

Tell me GVB, what kind of racist moron are you?

We are the Vols!!!not white, black, yellow, red, tan, brown, cream, blue, green, purple....do you get it?

This is a sports blog.....GET YOUR RACIST @$$ OFF HERE AND GO TO A WHITE SUPREMEST (ONIONHEAD) BLOG, you DO NOT belong on a Vol Blog,
we are ORANGE and nothing else!

GBO, I will most definitely be there Saturday night!!!!!!

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

Will this comment get removed by staff if I say of course he's the forgotten receiver, he's white? And how is that a racially insensitive statement anyway? People of all races know that white men can't jump (or run). Just sayin...

Sempervols writes:

Not in defense of govolsbaby but trying to clarify. I think he was meaning that he loved seeing a white guy would could play slot since there are not that many. Anyway thats how I took it.

Mobbdeep4life writes:

in response to RichieRich:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Will be watching those high school games all weekend. Thanks for the info.

givehim6 writes:

in response to JpShojo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Zach, has always had a little cloud over his head due to him being Austins brother. Let the guy pave his own course in life, I've got 3 brothers and were nothing alike.

volboy81 writes:

Good to see Zach getting some press. Hes a good WR and will prove it! GO VOLS!

Colliervol writes:

in response to YasukeFujimoto:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you any kin to Tojo Yamamoto?

Colliervol writes:

in response to naffy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And you can be removed for being a blathering fool too. Something you and NonvolnotHamilton should be very familiar with by now.

virginiavolfan writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

As others have said, I don't think we need to make race an issue. I agree that the fans should get loud, but regarding your comment about ignoring "the old man behind you," My grandfather, a life-long UT fan, took me to my first game, and he still goes to all the games. I hope everyone will be respectful to the senior Vol fans. After all, I hope to be one some day.

Do you know anything about football. Wanting to see us go 4 wide.hahahaha. In case you haven't heard we have a new coach named Dooley and he likes to run mostly two tight end sets. I am sure one tight end will be on the field at all times. I hope we have a running back on the field so we will be lucky to have 3 wide. And you better be careful or that old men just might whip your but if you don't sit down.

govolsbaby writes:

everyone Chill outt!!
im NOT racist.I probably have WAY more white friends than most of you all freakin out!
I guess i just said that because one of my favorite players is wes welker(and austin collie)go colts! and thats my build.
and I didnt mean old men just the really rude ones that yell at you to sit down and stuff,I myself goes to most home games with my grandfather.
PEACE govols!

govolsbaby writes:

in response to virginiavolfan:

Do you know anything about football. Wanting to see us go 4 wide.hahahaha. In case you haven't heard we have a new coach named Dooley and he likes to run mostly two tight end sets. I am sure one tight end will be on the field at all times. I hope we have a running back on the field so we will be lucky to have 3 wide. And you better be careful or that old men just might whip your but if you don't sit down.

Yea I play it.I dont think you know anything. We also have a OC named Jim Cheney who used to call the plays for Purdue and coached this guy named Drew Brees.
He called almost all 4 and 5 wide sets.
What do you mean we will be lucky to to go 3wide?
base formation 3wr 1Te 1rb no rocket science
and so are you one of those grumpy old men?
I like to embrace and add to the great atmosphere of Neyland and make it hard on our opposing teams. Save the hate for UF and Bama fans

govolsbaby writes:

in response to govolsbaby:

everyone Chill outt!!
im NOT racist.I probably have WAY more white friends than most of you all freakin out!
I guess i just said that because one of my favorite players is wes welker(and austin collie)go colts! and thats my build.
and I didnt mean old men just the really rude ones that yell at you to sit down and stuff,I myself goes to most home games with my grandfather.
PEACE govols!

I meant to say way more black friends

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to govolsbaby:

everyone Chill outt!!
im NOT racist.I probably have WAY more white friends than most of you all freakin out!
I guess i just said that because one of my favorite players is wes welker(and austin collie)go colts! and thats my build.
and I didnt mean old men just the really rude ones that yell at you to sit down and stuff,I myself goes to most home games with my grandfather.
PEACE govols!

The first thing that came to mind with your post was a possible Wes Welker comparison;I get it!!Some of us need to lighten up and get off the soap box..I seriously doubt anyone here is a major contributor to the NAACP

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Austin got a lot of unjust criticism but the truth is in 2007 he was 2nd on the team with 56 rec and over 600 yards.Of course the 2008 qb debacle wreck all the wr stats..Austin was poised for a big season in 2009 but his career ended with an injury..Benji looks faster and stronger than big brother but only had like 13 balls thrown his way..This may be premature but Hunter may be the big playmaker we badly need..

volsgirl writes:

Hang in there Zach you time will come........GO VOLS......

bobo96 writes:

in response to NeylandWest:

Amen. Enough said on that. I'll take anyone that's not smashing peoples' heads into the concrete, robbing folks at gas stations or fleeing from cops.

The only guys a WR should run from are the ones trying to tackle them before they make it to the checkerboards ;)

"Amen. Enough said on that. I'll take anyone that's not smashing peoples' heads into the concrete, robbing folks at gas stations or fleeing from cops."

Hilarious. Well said.

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