Justin Rogers likes Michigan tradition and coaches, but not dropping any clues

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Justin Rogers

Michigan fans will be holding their breath Monday afternoon as Oak Park offensive lineman Justin Rogers announces his college choice.

Rogers narrowed his field to Michigan, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and LSU earlier this month. He took an official visit to Georgia over the weekend, following a visit to Kentucky in late April, just weeks after attending Tennessee’s spring game.

Rogers, 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, earned a spot on The Detroit News Dream Team as a junior last fall. He is ranked the No. 1 guard in the nation for the 2020 class on the 247Sports Composite.

As he got off a plane Friday night in Georgia, Rogers wasn’t about to drop any hints on his decision, if he had reached one by then. But he did describe what he liked about each of his finalists.

“The tradition,” Rogers said, when asked what he likes about Michigan. “I like their coaching staff too. I haven’t been a Michigan fan, but I’ve always liked their tradition.”

Georgia’s winning resume impressed Rogers. The Bulldogs have double-digit wins in six of the last eight years and made it to the national championship game after the 2017 season, losing to Alabama.

“They’re a winning program, for real; they know how to win,” Rogers said. “I’m on my official to Georgia right now. I like their coaching staff.”

Kentucky has a special place in Rogers’ heart.

“They were my first offer so they’re cool,” said Rogers.

One of Rogers’ former Oak Park teammates, Marquan McCall, a 6-3, 375-pound defensive lineman, is playing for the Wildcats.

Rogers is impressed with LSU’s fans.

“I like Baton Rouge, for real, I like the people who love their football,” Rogers said. “They have great competition down there.”

And Tennessee?

“They’re building something,” Rogers said.

Rogers was a dominant two-way player last year, playing linebacker for the first time and registering 22 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four forced fumbles to help Oak Park earn the OAA White Division championship.

Enzo Jennings

Rogers’ teammate, Oak Park defensive back Enzo Jennings — ranked as the nation’s No. 6 athlete by the 247Sports Composite — plans to be at Rogers’ press conference. He will also talk to Rogers about his trip to Georgia since Jennings said he will attend camps at Penn State and Georgia this summer before taking his official visits this fall.

Jennings narrowed his list to 11 — Michigan, Penn State, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Kentucky and Pitt — before recently getting offers from Miami, West Virginia and Michigan State.

“Michigan State offered me last month; the DB coach (Terrence Samuel) came to school and talked to me,” Jennings said. “We had a nice conversation and then he put Coach (Mark) Dantonio on the phone and I talked with him.

“My dad is a big Michigan State fan and I’ve been up there a couple of times. One of my close friends, Antjuan Simmons, plays for them and says some good things about them.”

Jennings says Michigan isn’t in the mix any longer.

“Not really,” Jennings said. “Penn State, Kentucky and Notre Dame — they are probably my hard three right now."

Jennings is proud of the player Rogers has developed into.

“He’s down there with Dwan Mathis,” Jennings said of Rogers’ trip to Georgia. “I’ve been to Georgia, but I’m waiting to hear from Justin, see what he has to say. Justin’s my brother and I’m really proud of him. I can’t wait to see where he’s going to go.”

Mathis was Oak Park’s starting quarterback last year, opting to sign with Georgia after originally committing to Michigan State, then Ohio State.