The Other Half Of The Sam Rogers Show

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Sam Rogers
Sam Rogers eludes the Miami defense. (Ivan Morozov)

I’m going to focus on Sam Rogers today, but not on his catches or throws. Instead, I’m going to talk about this guy’s blocking, which jumped out at me from the opening minutes versus Miami.

But first, here’s a little history on just how #45 came to be so critical in Tech’s offense. In my writeup on Coach Fuente’s offense at Memphis, I noted that TE/h-back Alan Cross was the do-everything glue that held the scheme together. Here’s what I wrote:

“6’1”, 235-pound Alan Cross, a former walk-on, might’ve been nearly as important as Lynch in winning the Ole Miss game. Officially labeled a tight end, he lined up and motioned all over the formation: traditional tight-end spot, wing, slot, fullback, outside receiver—he’s even a special teamer. He’s also the resident berserker, and in at least one game was responsible for firing guys up with no-helmet head-butts until he opened a gash above his eyes.

Against Ole Miss he blocked for receiver screens, opened up wham and kick-out blocks, led through the hole, and caught first-down yardage on a few occasions when Ole Miss players had him covered like trench coats. One telling play came when Ole Miss sent a DB blitz. Lynch looked into the blitz and saw the slanting receiver left uncovered. He didn’t throw the ball into the vacated zone, though. Even with the blitz coming in, he looked across the formation to Cross (who had a linebacker right on him) and fired a dart for the first down.

Looking at next year, if Fuente and Co. want an h-back type like this, I’m not sure who fills the role. Ryan Malleck ticked off a lot of those boxes this year,