Rochester – Oak Park five-star junior offensive lineman Justin Rogers took a big trip down south this summer to have a look at multiple major Power Five schools.
Rogers, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound two-way lineman, is ranked the No. 1 guard in the country for the 2020 class by 247Sports. He will try to help Oak Park make a run for the Division 2 state championship this season.
“We went down south to visit schools like Georgia, Clemson, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee," Rogers told The Detroit News. “It was fun to go check out Georgia, Alabama, meet their whole coaching staffs. It was great to see how Alabama carried itself; you can see how they want to win another national championship. Georgia’s on the come up and wants to get that national championship.
“Coach Saban loved my film, told me to keep working and get better every day and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’ve got the urge to bust my butt every day in practice, just help the team out by being a leader.”
Where does Michigan and Michigan State fit in the mix with Rogers’ recruiting process?
“I haven’t had conversations with any Michigan coaches lately, the same thing with Michigan State,” Rogers said. “Right now I’ve been just communicating with down south schools. I think most schools are waiting until September to talk with me.”
While Rogers is ranked as a guard by 247Sports, he also plays on the defensive line.
“I love playing on both sides of the ball,” said Rogers. “I love playing D-end, three-technique, tackle, a whole lot of stuff on the offensive line
Rogers has gotten bigger and stronger over the summer.
“I can bench 345, go 22 times at 225, definitely gotten a lot stronger,” Rogers said. “A year ago I was probably benching 185, I was a weak.”
Rogers expects big things out of Oak Park this season with Ohio State-bound quarterback Dwan Mathis leading the way.
“I expect us to go all the way,” Rogers said. “We have the tools. We have the talent and we’re coming together right now as a brotherhood.”
Oak Park, which lost to eventual state champion Warren De La Salle in the regional final last season, opens the season Aug. 23 at 3 p.m. against Utica Eisenhower at Wayne State.