Carlos Rogers spent 10 years in the NFL after being drafted No. 9 overall in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. To reach that point, Rogers first put together a notable career for the Auburn Tigers.
In 2004, Rogers helped Tommy Tuberville’s team go undefeated (13-0) and was the Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s best defensive back. He was an All-American and first-team All-SEC selection. While starting 44 games over four years, Rogers totaled 182 tackles, intercepted 7 passes and deflected an Auburn-record 40 passes.
But Rogers, an Augusta, Ga., native, didn’t always want to go to Auburn. At first, he considered Georgia, but a visit to the Plains and the chance to start and contribute as a freshman led Rogers to Auburn and a place in SEC West history.
Here’s what Rogers told SEC Country about his recruiting process:
Almost a Bulldog
“Actually I did consider going to Georgia. Georgia was my first school I considered just because I always wanted to go somewhere close to home. South Carolina and Georgia were about the same distance from me, but I didn’t want to go to South Carolina. It was mostly Georgia and then Auburn was the second school I considered.”
The biggest influencer
“At the time you believe everything the coaches say because you’re in high school, but Travaris Robinson was a person who really influenced my decision. He hosted me and I had a good time with him on my visit. Spending time with him and Junior Rosegreen — some of the other guys on the team at that time. Those guys made me laugh. I felt real comfortable around T-Rob and enjoyed myself. It was just a good time.
“Looking back at who was there now I ask myself, ‘How did I start?’ But I believed what coaches told me, that I had a good chance to start. I worked toward that and it worked out for me.”
What Auburn did different
“I don’t know how they do it now, but back then it was a whole group of guys. They showed us the locker room, showed us our jersey in the locker room, you could try your jersey on and stuff. They did a lot of stuff with the group, but Auburn also showed me a lot of love.
“With me, I came in and I was with the guys in the locker room, but I also had my separate time where I was in the locker room by myself. They came out and took me out on the field by myself and put my highlight film up. They made sure I knew they wanted me specifically.”
Passing on JUCO
“When I came out, I actually had to go to prep school. I went to Hargrave (Military Academy) after my high school year. Auburn wanted me to go to prep school, and I only had to do that one year there to get my SAT score up and then I was going to Auburn.
“With Georgia, they sent a lot of guys to Georgia Military. So they wanted you to go to JUCO and I wasn’t going to go to JUCO. I didn’t want to go for two years and then only have two years in college. That also helped me make my decision to go to Auburn.”
The ultimate decision
“Nowadays guys do so much. The nationally televised stuff is totally different, but for what we did it was big back then. I did a hat, but it was only one hat. I didn’t play around with a bunch, with the ‘I may go to Georgia’ thing. It was strictly Auburn. At my high school it was three of us that had committed to schools and all three of us just put our hats down where we were going. That was pretty much it. I went out with family to eat. That was our celebration. The rest is history.”