There’s never a dull moment when you’re a high-profile recruit.
Just ask Chase Rogers. The St. Stanislaus tight end began drawing interest from schools like Cal at the end of his sophomore season. By his senior year, he had earned 14 offers and was all-in on Tennessee.
But things change, and Rogers parted ways with the Vols on Nov. 13, almost eight months after verbally committing to UT. The aftermath of his decommitment has been a learning experience by his own admission. Big schools like Oregon and Texas showed interest before moving on to other targets.
That’s where Louisiana-Lafayette comes in. The Ragin’ Cajuns originally offered Rogers prior to his junior season but fell out of contact with Rogers last January. That changed Wednesday when ULL’s staff reached out to the Mississippi record setter, realizing he was uncommitted. Things moved fast and Rogers ended up visiting Lafayette, Louisiana, over the weekend.
“I loved the place,” Rogers said. “Just like I always said, they made me feel wanted and at home. Those are my two biggest things.”
Rogers came away impressed with a number of things, including the Leon Moncla Indoor Practice Facility, the possibility of early playing time and the Cajuns’ offensive scheme.
“Their facilities are right there with any school I’ve been to,” Rogers said. “I didn’t realize it. They’re top notch.”
Rogers believes there will be an opportunities to play early with ULL working through graduation and injury issues.
“They’re wanting me to come in and play,” Rogers said. “That’s really important. Just going there and talking to their coaches and their new offensive coordinator, if I do end up going there, they’d base their whole offensive scheme around me. It’s pretty cool.”
ULL’s new OC should be a familiar name to Coast football fans. Will Hall is the son of Biloxi coach Bobby Hall. Rogers said Hall, tight end coach Reed Stringer, offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue and head coach Mark Hudspeth made it clear Rogers is a go-to target for them.
“I loved every coach there,” he said. “What really stood out to me was the opportunity to play early. That’s big.
“They believe I’m mentally and physically already there. ... I don’t want to be sitting behind someone for two or three years.”
The 6-foot-4, 248-pound Rogers believes he’d fit perfectly in ULL’s offense, which he said is similar to what former coach Bill Conides ran at SSC. During his career, Rogers was a go-to target of LSU commit Myles Brennan, catching 216 passes for 3,729 yards and 44 touchdowns. If ULL wants Rogers to be a focal point in the passing attack, he’s up to the challenge.
Rogers said Hall emphasized their quarterbacks quickly getting the ball out to their receivers.
“That’s a tight end’s dream right now — to get the chance to make a play,” Rogers said. “I’ll get a lot of catches if we’re doing that and get a chance to make plays.”
Rogers is still hearing from Rutgers, Wake Forest and is supposed to talk to Tulane on Tuesday night. With signing day just over a week out on Feb. 1, Rogers said he wants to have his decision made by Friday — if not sooner.
Rogers said Rodrigue, Stringer, Hall and Hudspeth are all currently scheduled to visit Thursday.
When Rogers ultimately announces his second — and final — commitment between the Cajuns, Demon Deacons, Green Wave and Knights, it will conclude quite a recruiting cycle.
“I committed early because I wanted to get all this out of the way and not be stressed during the season. I was OK during the season and then things didn’t play out like I wanted to. They were slow, then picked up, then slow and now they’ve picked up again.
“I’ve been anxious, stressful and excited. It’s been mixed emotions.”