Back for pro day, 'humbled' Da'Rick Rogers says he wants to rebuild bridge to UT

Da'Rick Rogers talking to the media after Tennessee's annual pro timing day Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, allowing National Football League scouts the opportunity to see first-hand the abilities of recent UT players. Eighteen former Volunteers were vying for spots in the April 25 NFL Draft by participating in seven events in front of representatives from nearly every NFL team.  (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2013

Da'Rick Rogers talking to the media after Tennessee's annual pro timing day Wednesday, Mar. 20, 2013 at the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center, allowing National Football League scouts the opportunity to see first-hand the abilities of recent UT players. Eighteen former Volunteers were vying for spots in the April 25 NFL Draft by participating in seven events in front of representatives from nearly every NFL team. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Da'Rick Rogers on UT's Pro Day

The last time Da’Rick Rogers caught passes from Tyler Bray inside Tennessee’s indoor facility was seven months ago.

Rogers was part of a trio of talented receivers that then-coach Derek Dooley hoped would help the offense lead the Vols back to the win column.

Instead, Rogers was suspended just days before the 2012 season for what he said were failed drug tests.

Tennessee’s prolific offense couldn’t salvage a winning season, but the two receivers who remained — Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson — are now potential first-round picks.

On Wednesday, Rogers returned to Knoxville for UT’s annual pro day with an outlook far less certain than his former teammates. He put up huge numbers at Tennessee Tech after transferring last August, but blowing by slow cornerbacks at a lower division didn’t help his draft stock like another year in the SEC might have.

“It was a wake-up call. I had to go to Tennessee Tech and I was humbled,” said Rogers, who has spoken openly about his mistakes during the draft process. “I had to look in the mirror. There was a lot of maturing I had to do.”

Despite his missteps, some draft projections say he might still go in the first three rounds.

Rogers is working out with Cordarrelle Patterson and the two have become good friends. Rogers also said that UT still means a lot to him and he wants to “rebuild the connection” to his old school.

“There are a lot of great coaches here and a lot of great kids here also,” Rogers said. “I really wanted to get out here just to show the guys that I have changed.”

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Although Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers was the only NFL coach in attendance, every team was represented in some capacity.

New York Jets general manager John Idzik, Jr., and Cleveland Browns receivers coach Scott Turner, son of veteran coach and Browns offensive coordinator Norv Turner, were also there.

Another notable spectator? Tennessee men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin.

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UT senior defensive back Eric Gordon, who coach Butch Jones said is away from the team while dealing with personal issues, was on hand to support former teammates Wednesday.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 43

BigOrangeFreak writes:

Cuonzo Martin was in attendance here? So that's where he was!

I knew I didn't see him at the basketball game tonight. Come to think of it, most of the rest of the team didn't show up either.

emailnodata (Inactive) writes:

I hope it works out for him.

A lot of athletes have trouble shaking the weed.....we all know that.

I've never looked at marijuana as warranting being illegal, but fact is these kids know the rules. To keep breaking them over and over is what kills their chances.

Good luck, Da'rick. You've always seemed to be a decent guy.

JimmyJoe writes:

Hey Da'rick... Why don't you stay in town long enough for the KPD guys to get another shot at you? Why don't you go up to one of them and kick him and then not run off this time. That ought to be interesting.

jamgod writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

Hey Da'rick... Why don't you stay in town long enough for the KPD guys to get another shot at you? Why don't you go up to one of them and kick him and then not run off this time. That ought to be interesting.

Really...really....that was called for you idiot!

apostolicman writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

Hey Da'rick... Why don't you stay in town long enough for the KPD guys to get another shot at you? Why don't you go up to one of them and kick him and then not run off this time. That ought to be interesting.

Why don't you say the same thing about Tyler Bray, another notable weed head ans salesman

Classof72 writes:

"Da'Rick Rogers says he wants to rebuild bridge to UT"

No. Please no. You have helped enough. Thank you very much. Best wishes in your future endeavors.

knoxtenn writes:

Hundreds of thousands of young men have dreamt of being a hero in orange on fall Saturdays. This one was there and threw it away because he has no clue what he had and probably has no clue what he has. Take your bridge and waste it somewhere else.

JimmyJoe writes:

in response to apostolicman:

Why don't you say the same thing about Tyler Bray, another notable weed head ans salesman

OK... "Hey Tyler... Why don't you throw another beer bottle at that girls car...this time while she's looking... Then she can kick your stupid A." how's that A-man?

VolsUpsetYetAnother writes:

Eric Gordan shows up? But doesn't show up for practice?? Did I miss an article that told exactly why he hasn't been practicing? If so please share.

IBleedOrange444 writes:

Would love to see the Titans take CP, Hunter, or Da'Rick and trade Britt for whatever value he may have.

123forVOLS writes:

OK I do not wish ill things for Mr. Rogers. But he burned the bridge. It is sheer class for him to even be allowed there for pro day. As for the person who posted he/she thinks weed should not be illegal, well it is and will be in Tennessee for awhile. Da'Rick chose weed over what the Vols could do for him. That's on him. So if he falls way down in the draft, that's on him. It does appear the drop in division of college play has at least for now adjusted his attitude. That is a good thing.

GburgOrange writes:

DA we hardly new you. We don't need a bridge, you do.

BruisedOrange writes:

I have no doubt he is sincerely contrite, and has a good chance of being a changed man. He did wrong, is still paying for it, but continues working to make the best from where he finds himself.

Gotta wonder, though, if there was a wake up moment when he envisioned himself playing on Sunday Night Football... taping his own introduction as they do... and hearing himself say...

"Da'Rick Rogers, THE Tennessee Polytechnic Institute!"

laraccoon writes:

maybe almost losing a promising career will be enough to point him in the right direction . some of you all throwing stones should remember those who have more opportunities in life also have more opportunities to squander them ! after all these are just kids .

Henley-Street-Bridge writes:

He'll never make it nor get drafted.. He'll walk on somewhere and not make the roster and end up a practice player for someone. His maturity level is still in high school, even though he has a pro-level ability on the field.

Derek Dooley

StoneJackBaller writes:

I think this kid could have a great NFL career if he is serious about growing up.

BrassMonkey writes:

I support your Da'Rick. If I had to play for Doolittle I would have probably needed some herb too. The guy was in way over his head and could not keep 5 star talent on the team. From Eric Berry, Janzen Jackson, Brice Brown, David Oku, and yourself Doofus Doolittle's record with keeping elite talent at UT was pitiful. I have renewed hope with the new coach, but no free passes until the Vols show something on the field.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

I support your Da'Rick. If I had to play for Doolittle I would have probably needed some herb too. The guy was in way over his head and could not keep 5 star talent on the team. From Eric Berry, Janzen Jackson, Brice Brown, David Oku, and yourself Doofus Doolittle's record with keeping elite talent at UT was pitiful. I have renewed hope with the new coach, but no free passes until the Vols show something on the field.

I think this is the first post by Monkey that I actually agree with.

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

It's a wonder kids learn anything from adults this day and age. Reading some of the negative post on here may be part of it. Remember you're not these kids parents. They come to Tennessee thinking that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and then the pressures to perform are thrown at them. Some of you act as if you never made mistakes in your lives. I'm by no means defending DaRick or any of them that can't control themselves, but to belittle them and think they can't change their lives is just plain crazy. If you think you have the solutions to keep these kids out of trouble how about you go volunteer your time to some organization or some sports league to help get kids on the right track, instead of being negative. Now I wonder how many negative comments i'll get for this post. GBO.

usafvol writes:

in response to BrassMonkey:

I support your Da'Rick. If I had to play for Doolittle I would have probably needed some herb too. The guy was in way over his head and could not keep 5 star talent on the team. From Eric Berry, Janzen Jackson, Brice Brown, David Oku, and yourself Doofus Doolittle's record with keeping elite talent at UT was pitiful. I have renewed hope with the new coach, but no free passes until the Vols show something on the field.

Pretty lame..

Chappy writes:

in response to BruisedOrange:

I have no doubt he is sincerely contrite, and has a good chance of being a changed man. He did wrong, is still paying for it, but continues working to make the best from where he finds himself.

Gotta wonder, though, if there was a wake up moment when he envisioned himself playing on Sunday Night Football... taping his own introduction as they do... and hearing himself say...

"Da'Rick Rogers, THE Tennessee Polytechnic Institute!"

Holy crud, that is hilarious!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to VolsFanInAfghanistan:

It's a wonder kids learn anything from adults this day and age. Reading some of the negative post on here may be part of it. Remember you're not these kids parents. They come to Tennessee thinking that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and then the pressures to perform are thrown at them. Some of you act as if you never made mistakes in your lives. I'm by no means defending DaRick or any of them that can't control themselves, but to belittle them and think they can't change their lives is just plain crazy. If you think you have the solutions to keep these kids out of trouble how about you go volunteer your time to some organization or some sports league to help get kids on the right track, instead of being negative. Now I wonder how many negative comments i'll get for this post. GBO.

You'll get no negatives from anybody who COUNTS, buddy! It is tough to do right for many of these kids, given their backgrounds and all the challenges they faced at every level. The marvel is not that some fail to rise above those challenges, the marvel is that ANY of them DO so rise. I hope Da'Rick is sincere and things work out. I hope some of those who put him and others like him down so casually actually manage to grow a soul at some point.

Olddogsrule writes:

in response to VolsFanInAfghanistan:

It's a wonder kids learn anything from adults this day and age. Reading some of the negative post on here may be part of it. Remember you're not these kids parents. They come to Tennessee thinking that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and then the pressures to perform are thrown at them. Some of you act as if you never made mistakes in your lives. I'm by no means defending DaRick or any of them that can't control themselves, but to belittle them and think they can't change their lives is just plain crazy. If you think you have the solutions to keep these kids out of trouble how about you go volunteer your time to some organization or some sports league to help get kids on the right track, instead of being negative. Now I wonder how many negative comments i'll get for this post. GBO.

I agree VFnA.

I do hope Da'Rick can get his nose out of a weed bag. I don't care if there are some who want it legalized, regular marijuana use makes the user slow, dumb, and stupid. Because of the nature of the drug, it takes days or weeks for the user's metabolism to act and for them to 'come out of the fog'. It does affect an athletes ability and that's not acceptable, for teammates, fans, coaches, and the program paying for the sport.

I coached youth T-ball, baseball, softball, fastpitch, football, and basketball. I volunteered in Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venture, Brownies, and Girl Scouts. It's amazing how many parents don't even show up for games or events, much less practice or regular meetings; and treat the parents who do volunteer as if they're some sort of baby-sitter, and are 20 to 30 minutes late for pick-up. Then during games they do show for, guess who knows all about how it should be done? It's no wonder so many youth succumb and volunteers quit.

That said, it happened to me twice over the years. One kid showed up with road maps for eyes, another smelling like a joint. There are folks in the organization trained to meet with the kid and his/her parents and they are counseled and provided literature. And guess what, the kid continues with the errant behavior. I had little patience for them. Why? Because there is a line of capable deserving kids right behind them who keep their nose clean and want the opportunity the several times offender seems to disregard, leaving the parent volunteering their time a decision between keeping a doper or bringing in a kid who is straight up and wants to be on the team. Not a hard one to make.

cheetah-vol writes:

in response to VolsFanInAfghanistan:

It's a wonder kids learn anything from adults this day and age. Reading some of the negative post on here may be part of it. Remember you're not these kids parents. They come to Tennessee thinking that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and then the pressures to perform are thrown at them. Some of you act as if you never made mistakes in your lives. I'm by no means defending DaRick or any of them that can't control themselves, but to belittle them and think they can't change their lives is just plain crazy. If you think you have the solutions to keep these kids out of trouble how about you go volunteer your time to some organization or some sports league to help get kids on the right track, instead of being negative. Now I wonder how many negative comments i'll get for this post. GBO.

+1 Great post.

usafvol writes:

in response to VolsFanInAfghanistan:

It's a wonder kids learn anything from adults this day and age. Reading some of the negative post on here may be part of it. Remember you're not these kids parents. They come to Tennessee thinking that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and then the pressures to perform are thrown at them. Some of you act as if you never made mistakes in your lives. I'm by no means defending DaRick or any of them that can't control themselves, but to belittle them and think they can't change their lives is just plain crazy. If you think you have the solutions to keep these kids out of trouble how about you go volunteer your time to some organization or some sports league to help get kids on the right track, instead of being negative. Now I wonder how many negative comments i'll get for this post. GBO.

Well said sir!

overthetop writes:

in response to johnlg00:

You'll get no negatives from anybody who COUNTS, buddy! It is tough to do right for many of these kids, given their backgrounds and all the challenges they faced at every level. The marvel is not that some fail to rise above those challenges, the marvel is that ANY of them DO so rise. I hope Da'Rick is sincere and things work out. I hope some of those who put him and others like him down so casually actually manage to grow a soul at some point.

No negatives on your post. It's great to take the high road. But I would bet my bottom dollar that given a 2nd chance, this guy would do exactly the same thing if not worse. Yes, I suppose people can change but way more often then not once an idiot always an idiot. Ask Ryan Leaf or Vince Young.

BadBob70 writes:

I hope Watson Brown's efforts will pay of for this kid. Watson has always been a good guy and Rogers should be a tribute to his mentoring/coaching.

CBJ has mechanisms in place to help a kid like this keep in line... way better than Dooley, or Fulmer. There is only one explanation for the inconsistent play by Bray and Rogers. And CBJ's team building concept could go a long way to preventing that problem cropping up.

brokendownoldvol writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

brokendownoldvol writes:

in response to VolsFanInAfghanistan:

It's a wonder kids learn anything from adults this day and age. Reading some of the negative post on here may be part of it. Remember you're not these kids parents. They come to Tennessee thinking that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and then the pressures to perform are thrown at them. Some of you act as if you never made mistakes in your lives. I'm by no means defending DaRick or any of them that can't control themselves, but to belittle them and think they can't change their lives is just plain crazy. If you think you have the solutions to keep these kids out of trouble how about you go volunteer your time to some organization or some sports league to help get kids on the right track, instead of being negative. Now I wonder how many negative comments i'll get for this post. GBO.

I went to UT and yes weed was everywhere. If I had his ability and a chance to be a multimillionare I would have had no trouble not smoking it. Esp after getting caught over and over. NO EXCUSE IMO

CroKev writes:

in response to BruisedOrange:

I have no doubt he is sincerely contrite, and has a good chance of being a changed man. He did wrong, is still paying for it, but continues working to make the best from where he finds himself.

Gotta wonder, though, if there was a wake up moment when he envisioned himself playing on Sunday Night Football... taping his own introduction as they do... and hearing himself say...

"Da'Rick Rogers, THE Tennessee Polytechnic Institute!"

Kid made a HUGE mistake but seems somewhat repentant so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. Personally, I'd like to see a lot more NFL players who didn't finish what they started at UT (listening Bryce?) on Sundays announcing that they went to the University of Tennessee. Always a good plug for recruiting...

givehim6 writes:

in response to IBleedOrange444:

Would love to see the Titans take CP, Hunter, or Da'Rick and trade Britt for whatever value he may have.

Would love to see CP with the Titians, Britt gets hurt to easy. Somthing tells me the Seelers might want Bray & Da'Rick.

beartn#223846 writes:

I think it's time to let the animosity for Rogers go. From what I read at the combine, the teams were very impressed with his honesty about what he did and what he learned from it. He seems to have turned it around. That compares to a high profile linebacker who was lying about his arrest during the interviews while the teams had a copy of his arrest record in front of them. Like I hope for any young person that made a dumb mistake, I hope Rogers learns from it and moves forward.

tnvolfan98 writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

Hey Da'rick... Why don't you stay in town long enough for the KPD guys to get another shot at you? Why don't you go up to one of them and kick him and then not run off this time. That ought to be interesting.

Way to take the high road dude...Why don't you show a little more class with your comments.

exlineman writes:

Brass monkey comments are way off base including Eric Berry in with the other names that Eric stands out from them all as a player who gave his all for U.T. If I am correct, I beleive that Eric's parents were in somewhat of a finanical strain and Eric in leaving early was thinking of his parents welfare. Never include Eric's name with so called athletes that never gave their all for the Big Orange. I don't think hard of Eric in any way for the 110% he gave our University and Coach Dooley had no control over the hardships that Eric's family was facing.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

in response to apostolicman:

Why don't you say the same thing about Tyler Bray, another notable weed head ans salesman

Still waiting to see that article. Tyler drinking has nothing to do with smoking weed. At least get your flaming correct.

arkansasvol1975 writes:

Da'ricks problem is he needed to be coached. He got too big for his britches and when the only true coach put him his place, Da'rick came back at him on the sidelines and D-d-d-d-dooley did not do anything, and the coach left because of that. Dooley had NO balls at all if you ask me. A coach is like a father figure who teaches but also puts you in your place. Da'rick thought he was larger than the team, and Dooley had to eventually kick him off because he was becoming a cancer to the team. Da'rick only makes these new comments now because he wants to go to the NFL. Once drafted, the old Da'Rick will come out again. Let Da'Rick pull some of his shat with Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick,or one of the Harboughs and they will show him what an unemployment like looks like. Dooley reminded me of the wuss of a coach from "The Waterboy"....lol...but Bobby Bouche was right " alligators are mean because they cant brush all the teef"

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say spend you summers counselling the youth around Atlanta and Knoxville. Witch Doctor say be an NFL player than gives back and helps others not make mistakes like you did. Witch Doctor say thats the foundation for a strong bridge... Witch Doctor say that kind of work will endear you with any fan-base. Bernard King came back to standing ovations..you can too!
Bones never lie.

exlineman writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say spend you summers counselling the youth around Atlanta and Knoxville. Witch Doctor say be an NFL player than gives back and helps others not make mistakes like you did. Witch Doctor say thats the foundation for a strong bridge... Witch Doctor say that kind of work will endear you with any fan-base. Bernard King came back to standing ovations..you can too!
Bones never lie.

Good post Witch Doctor.

dillpic writes:

in response to JimmyJoe:

Hey Da'rick... Why don't you stay in town long enough for the KPD guys to get another shot at you? Why don't you go up to one of them and kick him and then not run off this time. That ought to be interesting.

That might have been almost funny if any part of it actually happened. The gulf between what you know and what is true won't fit on this planet.

VolsFanInAfghanistan writes:

in response to brokendownoldvol:

I went to UT and yes weed was everywhere. If I had his ability and a chance to be a multimillionare I would have had no trouble not smoking it. Esp after getting caught over and over. NO EXCUSE IMO

Oldvol I hear what you're saying, and a lot of kids wish they had his abilities. Think about all the kids that don't have his abilities and walk on all over the country. Look at some of our former VOLS that walked on and made a difference for Tennessee. I made plenty of mistakes in my life, weed was not one of them. All I'm saying is for some of the kids the ability that they are gifted with needs to be shared with others. Teaching or mentoring something along those lines. These guys get to college and are promised the world. Look at the facilities Tennessee has and all the pretty women up there. This is truly a culture shock to some of these kids. The VOL FOR LIFE program should be at the lead. Im glad you were able to resist, it speaks volumes of you for resisting the temptations.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to overthetop:

No negatives on your post. It's great to take the high road. But I would bet my bottom dollar that given a 2nd chance, this guy would do exactly the same thing if not worse. Yes, I suppose people can change but way more often then not once an idiot always an idiot. Ask Ryan Leaf or Vince Young.

Well, I hear that Vince Young is trying to turn himself around. Besides, Da'Rick is--what?--20 years old or so. Ask some Army or Marine drill sergeant if young men can't change. It's only natural to be skeptical, but it isn't wise to be cynical when it comes to young men who make mistakes. If someone expresses a willingness to change, I would hope most of us would try to support him in it, don't you? Then if he blows his chance, at least it wasn't because people weren't willing to accept that he COULD change.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to overthetop:

No negatives on your post. It's great to take the high road. But I would bet my bottom dollar that given a 2nd chance, this guy would do exactly the same thing if not worse. Yes, I suppose people can change but way more often then not once an idiot always an idiot. Ask Ryan Leaf or Vince Young.

I guess it takes a few errors in life to learn the hard way. Most of us learn in this manner. We repeat the same mistakes over and over knowingly "sinning" and making the poor choices. But most of us really desire a change for good. Maybe Rogers is one of the ones that'll change for the better. Who can say at this point. AND maybe he isn't as far from a "higher road" as angry football fans want to think.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say spend you summers counselling the youth around Atlanta and Knoxville. Witch Doctor say be an NFL player than gives back and helps others not make mistakes like you did. Witch Doctor say thats the foundation for a strong bridge... Witch Doctor say that kind of work will endear you with any fan-base. Bernard King came back to standing ovations..you can too!
Bones never lie.

Sounds great. Get 'em Doc.

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