Our Favorite Players: Sam Rogers

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Sam Rogers
You can’t stop Sam Rogers. You can only hope to contain him.

Sam Rogers is the type of player Virginia Tech built their program on in the 1990s. And he’s the type of fullback who has traditionally thrived here at Virginia Tech.

Quick, who are some famous Virginia Tech fullbacks of the Beamer Bowl era? Brian Edmonds? He stood just 5-10. Jarrett Ferguson? 5-9. Doug Easlick? 5-11. Carlton Weatherford? 5-9. Sam Rogers, at 5-10 and 220 pounds, fits right in with that group.

If you’re wondering why I dropped Carlton Weatherford’s name, try this interesting stat, dug up by Chris Coleman for his recent TSL Pass series on fullback production in the ACC and Big East eras:

[Sam] Rogers’ touchdown against Ohio State was the first touchdown by a Virginia Tech fullback since Carlton Weatherford powered one in against Miami way back in 2007.

That’s how good Sam Rogers is: he has brought the fullback position, which had gone missing from the Virginia Tech offense since the Hokies entered the ACC, back to Blacksburg. In just two seasons (2013 and 2014), Rogers has more touches and more yards than every other VT fullback combined from 2004-2012 (nine seasons).

That’s so impressive that OXVT memorialized it in an infographic.

Infographic by OXVT. Follow him on Twitter at @OX_VT.
Infographic by OXVT. Follow him on Twitter at @OX_VT.

(By the way, ignore the part of the infographic where Sam tells the belly-flopped Hoo that it’s 3,792 days. As of July 7, 2015, that count was up to 3,874 days. Honestly, that counter spins so fast, even the Internet has trouble keeping up with it. Follow The March to 4,000, as we call it here on TSL, via @CommonwlthCup on Twitter.)

Sam Rogers isn’t the guy you send off the bus first, however. He’s not the player opposing fans will point at during pre-game warmups and wonder, “Who’s that guy? He looks really good.”

Rogers’ relatively small size belies remarkable athleticism. In high school, he was an accomplished football player at Hanover High in Mechanicsville, VA, where he lettered all four years and was a two-time first-team All-Metro selection by The Richmond Times-Dispatch. This cut-and-paste from his hokiesports.com profile tells you all you need to know, especially the last line:

Played quarterback, receiver, running back, and multiple positions on defense … Rushed for 1,178 yards and 18 touchdowns and threw for 1,006 yards and six touchdowns as a senior … Also caught five passes for 90 yards … Earned first-team all-state as a utility player as a senior.

Rogers also lettered three years in basketball. Yep, he’s versatile, and way underrated as an athlete. There’s different kinds of athleticism, and the kind Rogers excels at is underappreciated. Namely, he’s got remarkable hands and body control.

Cue the video of the catch against Ohio State.

Let’s put it this way: if Jesse Allen could bend like that and catch like that, Auburn probably would have gone 12-1 in 2004, not 13-0, know what I mean?

But the reasons why we like Sam Rogers go beyond production and athleticism, and beyond his from-walk-on-to-key-player story.

We also like Sam because (1) he goes the extra mile, like when he shoved Michael Brewer into the end zone against BC last year on 4th and goal from the 1 …

vt_fb_sam_rogers_2014_03

… and (2) he’s the kind of guy who fractures his elbow, doesn’t realize it, and keeps playing, like he did against Cincinnati in the Military Bowl. He’s tough.

Sam’s got an edge to him, just like the other two guys we have profiled so far in this series, Dadi Nicolas and Wyatt Teller. Fill a team up with guys like that, and you’re going to win a lot of football games.

Rogers will enter 2015 as a true junior, so he’s got two more years at Virginia Tech. He’s not even a senior, and he has made our list of Our Favorite Players for 2015.

Previous installments:
Our Favorite Players: Dadi Nicolas
Our Favorite Players: Wyatt Teller

 

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9 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. People are impressed by the his hands and body control in the catch against OSU. However, I think the best thing about it was how he changed the route, cutting ever so slightly upfield when the defender was between him and Brewer, giving Brewer the window to make that pass. I can’t say for sure but it looks to me like Rogers did that on his own. You can really see it between 23 and 25 seconds into the clip.

  2. Will the reason I like this series you are doing very, very much is that you have hit the nail on the head. More importantly, these are the types are articles players hear about and everyone starts to up their game regarding the reason these lists were made. And most importantly of criteria of the lists are overcoming criteria. Their the criteria that is not combine criteria. I may be wrong about that partially but I believe, its the extra mile, the want to, the overcoming component…sheer will.

    I agree…players start wanting to be on this list super talented or not…it creates momentum…the kind of momentum we saw in the 90s.

  3. I looked last year for a jersey for this stud but couldn’t find any. Sam ROGERS rewinds me of the old school players we had in the 90’s era. Need more like him.

    GO HOKIES

  4. Love Sam Rogers and the article. However, if his cousin George had been in the backfield at running back last year, he wouldn’t have gotten nearly as many touches – tic – but there is an effect of our lack of production at tailback, and the fact that Sam played a bit of tailback, it seems to me. Go Hokies!

  5. Agree with all of the above – love guys with an “attitude”. Spot on so far Will, as usual!

  6. I love this one! Sam is the man. And I never get tired of viewing that catch against OSU. Good call, Will.

  7. Great choice, great article. Seeing the stats on Sam are amazing. I am so glad he (and Loeffler) have brought the FB position into full play. It is amazing what an offense can do when you have a full compliment of players and positions.

    Only one suggestion: re-check his status as a redshirt junior. Not only did he walk on, earn playing time as a true freshman, but he earned the starting role as a true freshman. 2015 will be both his academic and athletic (junior) year at VT.

    I love this new series, thanks for providing us the insight!

  8. He is what VT football is about, Sam leaves nothing on for you to guess about, he sets his mind
    to do something the he does it. You never have to second guess him. GO HOKIES!!

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