When Chase Rogers visited Knoxville, Tenn., this past weekend he was anxious to see what Tennessee had to offer.
He figured he would like what the Volunteers had to say -- after all, it's an SEC school.
The visit, however, took the St. Stanislaus tight ends' interest to a whole new level.
Admittedly, when Tennessee offered following Saturday's junior day, Rogers thought about committing on the spot before thinking better of it.
He ended up waiting about 48 hours.
"Everything about it was eye opening. The people, coaches, facilities. Everything," Rogers said Monday night shortly after committing to the Vols. "When I got there, it crossed my mind to commit on the spot after seeing it," he said. "I was on my way home that night and started to think about it. I wanted to talk to my coaches, family and sleep on it a night and then make my decision."
Monday night he tweeted out his commitment after talking to the UT coaches -- "they had me on speaker phone and all started cheering," he said -- and an hour later had already picked up 300-plus new Twitter followers.
"It's all Tennessee fans," he said. "Their fans are awesome."
Rogers thinks Butch Jones and his staff is pretty awesome as well.
He spoke highly of tight end coach Larry Scott and believes Tennessee will continue to make strides to get back to where it once was.
"They have a really great coaching staff. They're turning things around. They're going to win the SEC East next year," he said. "They have something real special going on and that's what I want to be a part of."
Plenty of production
With the Rockachaws, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Rogers has been one of the more productive receivers in the state. As a junior in 2015, Rogers caught 81 passes for 1,462 yards and 19 touchdowns. That came on the heels of a sophomore campaign where he caught 52 passes for 877 yards and nine scores.
At Tennessee, Rogers said he sees himself fitting in seamlessly.
"The offense they run is very similar to what we run at school," he said. "Sometimes the tight end's hand is in the dirt and the next play he's flexed out."
It's clear Rogers can catch passes with the best of his peers. As such, Rogers said his goal moving forward is to gain 10-15 pounds and become a more physical blocker.
"In an SEC type offense, I'm going to need to block," he said. "It's a big deal at that level."
Rogers chose Tennessee over offers from Memphis, Wake Forest, Troy, South Alabama, Tulane, Cal, Arkansas State, UAB, Colorado State, Louisiana-Lafayette and UT-San Antonio.
Asked if he plans to take any other visits -- with National Signing Day 2017 a mere 11 months away -- he said he was unsure.
"I haven't really thought about it," he said. "I'm 110 percent with Tennessee. My eyes are always going to be open, but I don't think it'll change."
First of many
Rogers is the first member a talented junior class on the Coast to commit. SSC teammates Myles Brennan, Corbin Blanchard and Darius Pittman, along with Biloxi's Tim Jones, Ocean Springs' Austin Williams, Pascagoula's Reginald Hunter, St. Martin's Kalem Reddix and Wayne Overman III, and Harrison Central's Jacob Shoemaker and Tavis Williams all have four-year offers.