It was a good day for Knoxville football fans, not so much for Tennessee football fans.
When Amari Rodgers was named the MVP of The Nike Opening regional camp in Buford, Ga., on Sunday, it was a reminder that the Vols are about to lose out on one of the top prospects in East Tennessee. Despite Tennessee’s best efforts to recruit Rodgers, he committed to Clemson last month.
“It’s strong now,” the four-star receiver from Catholic High School (Knoxville, Tenn.) said. “I just committed a month ago so it’s still pretty strong. I’m still committed 100 percent.”
National Signing Day is still almost a year away, but Rodgers, who also received an invite to The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., in July, hasn’t shown signs of wavering since announcing his commitment. He was recruiting other prospects to Clemson at Sunday’s camp, and spent much of his time with Clemson quarterback commitment Chase Brice from Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.).
“That’s my boy,” Rodgers said. “ I talked to him. I did a little bit of recruiting too.
During Sunday’s camp, Rodgers said he talked to four-star receiver Nico Collins from Clay-Chalkville (Pinson, Ala.) and four-star cornerback Jamyest Williams from Archer High School (Lawrenceville, Ga.) about joining him at Clemson.
“I had to put the word in for Clemson,” said Rodgers, who is the No. 30 receiver in the nation and the No. 7 prospect in Tennessee.
Recruiters from other schools won’t give up on Rodgers, who has already changed his mind once after a long commitment to Southern California. Rodgers admitted he still talks to other schools –mainly Tennessee and Texas A&M — & that he wouldn’t rule out taking official visits this fall. However, he said that’s frowned upon by Clemson coaches once you’re committed.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Rodgers said.
However, it’s hard to imagine Tennessee not getting Rodgers on campus this fall for at least one home game, considering he lives in Knoxville. He was a frequent visitor for games last season. Rodgers can worry about recruiting later. For now, he’s still basking in the glow of his impressive showing on Sunday.
“I was touched,” Rodgers said of The Opening invite and MVP award. “I’ve been working so hard for this moment for three years. Now that it’s here, it’s surreal.”
All player ranking and ratings are from the 247Sports Composite.