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February 2, 2014

Rogers sticks with UCF

Michael Rogers announced he will sign with UCF, spurning a late push by Georgia Tech and others.

During the second half of Super Bowl XLVIII, the defensive back prospect tweeted, "February 5, 2014 I'll be signing with #UCF #ChargeOn."

The tweet ended weeks of speculation whether the Smyrna (Ga.) Campbell star would stick with UCF or perhaps take another school up on their offer.


Rogers had been committed to the Knights since last summer, but that didn't stop the flood of schools that tried to convince him to change his mind. Ohio State, Georgia, Auburn and Arkansas were among those involved in recent months.

The Yellow Jackets became the most serious player in his recruitment. Though he never decommitted from UCF, Rogers, at least for a time, seemed intrigued by the opportunity to play for the hometown school.

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson and several defensive coaches visited with him and his mother recently. His recruiter at GT, Andy McCollum, made one last pitch on Saturday at the close of contact period. UCF coach George O'Leary and recruiter Brent Key made their final in-person push on the previous Monday.

Rogers blew up his senior season as a standout performer on both sides of the ball, earning the honor of Georgia's Player of the Year for his high school's classification. Playing running back, he rushed 1,735 yards and 23 touchdowns and defensively he recorded 85 tackles with three interceptions.

In early January while in Orlando for the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, Rogers told UCFSports.com that he felt most comfortable with the Knights.

"I have family (in the area) and it's not too far away from my parents and everything," Rogers said. "I just liked it. The coaches are cool. Coach Brent Key is cool. He's always excited. My secondary coach, Coach Callahan, is cool. I just enjoyed myself and felt the vibe when I stepped on campus."

Two nights prior to the interview, his future team had knocked off Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Naturally, Rogers was pumped about the win and UCF's top 10 finish.

"They're winning! And they're building something special," he said. "Like the defense. They came up there and they did their thing against Baylor so that should let people know they're hungry and willing to play with anybody."

Rogers represents another key recruiting battle won by UCF as they enter the final stretch before Wednesday's National Signing Day. A few days earlier, O'Leary and crew closed the deal on another highly-rated defensive back, Kyle Gibson, who flipped from a previous commitment to Vanderbilt.

The Knights are looking to finish strong by landing a pair of coveted prospects who visited this past weekend: Defensive tackle Chris Nelson, who also has Texas and USF among his finalists, and safety Chris Williams, a longtime commitment to Alabama. Both are expected to announce their decisions on Wednesday.








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