The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Small-town star shines in Aggieland

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Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker

Sophomore wide receiver Kendrick Rogers logged two receiving touchdowns against Clemson.

A tiny Texas town by the name of Frankston sits 98 miles southeast of Dallas, with a population of just 1,229.
ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard is from Frankston, as is Texas A&M receiver Kendrick Rogers. Rogers isn’t nearly as famous as Beard, but soon he could be. The 6’5” sophomore receiver made his name known around the country last Saturday in the Aggies’ 28-26 loss to No. 2 Clemson. The game was aired nationally on ESPN in the 6 p.m. primetime slot, where Rogers put on a show for the 4.4 million people who tuned in.
“It was a great game, but I have to move on and focus on next week,” Rogers said. “I’ve known I could do it. I just had to show other people I could do it.”
Rogers was the 73rd-rated prospect in the state of Texas and the 78th wide receiver in the country in the class of 2016. As a recruit who wasn’t highly sought after, Rogers knew he had to prove himself. The receiver committed to former A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin in the summer before his junior year, in which he caught 57 passes for 1,045 yards and made 10 touchdowns in just 10 games.
Rogers wears number 13, which gives many Aggie fans flashbacks to Mike Evans, a wide receiver who dominated for A&M just a few years ago. Evans is now in the NFL where he starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The comparisons between Rogers and Evans are warranted, as both were three-star-rated prospects coming out of high school, both redshirted their true freshman years and both are tall receivers who can catch almost anything thrown their way.
“His catch radius is obviously phenomenal,” A&M quarterback Kellen Mond said. “That’s something he’s been doing since I got here, so a lot of people start seeing it now, but it’s something that I saw in spring ball when I first got here. His performance [against Clemson] really wasn’t much of a surprise to any of us.”
When watching A&M play, it’s easy to spot the big receiver with blonde dreads coming out the back of his helmet, and anyone who watched the game on Saturday saw Rogers dominate all game long. He caught seven passes from Mond, totaling 120 yards and two touchdowns. All three numbers were career highs for Rogers after the receiver posted just 11 catches for 99 yards in 2017.
“Now he’s gone out and had a couple good games in a row,” head coach Jimbo Fisher said. “He’s a guy that has great ability that can help us in a lot of different ways and his physicality in his blocking is also great. He’s also very different too in that he’s a big guy who can catch those underneath routes and run. Some of those big guys aren’t made to run and make people miss, but he can do that.”
Rogers’ first career touchdown catch was made with 4:22 left in the third quarter against No. 2 Clemson. Mond threw a high pass into the end zone that was tipped by a Clemson defender and caught by Rogers at the top of his jump. This play was a spark for the Aggie offense as it cut the Tiger lead from 15 to eight.
Mond and the Aggies went on to carve up the Clemson secondary in the rest of the second half, and Rogers remained pivotal to the passing game. With 11:52 left in the fourth quarter, Mond rolled to his left and threw an off-balance pass to Rogers, which he caught mid-air. A Clemson cornerback took his legs out and Rogers came down with one leg bent at an awkward angle. It looked like the play could have led to a season-ending injury, but Rogers got right back up and kept running, despite the play being called dead.
“I didn’t even feel it,” Rogers said. “I didn’t even know I was down. I just landed on him, so I got up and kept running.”
Rogers’ day wasn’t over yet, as he’d go on to make one of the most important plays of the game. With 46 seconds left, Mond threw a dart to the end zone that easily could’ve been picked off by the Clemson defensive back. Instead, it was tipped into the hands of Rogers, who made the catch after juggling the ball, cutting the Clemson lead to two points and giving the Aggies a chance to send the game into overtime.
Rogers’ breakout day against Clemson is only the beginning of a path that could make him one of the most famous people to come out of Frankston, Texas. Rogers will be a vital component for the A&M passing game during the remainder of the season and possibly the rest of his time in Aggieland.

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