Four-star OL Justin Rogers matched recruiting hype at The Opening Regional

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

MASSILLON, Ohio — Justin Rogers is interested in careers in sports medicine and electrical engineering.

Why?

"I like doing stuff with my hands," Rogers said.

Seems fitting for a 2020 offensive line recruit. But the way Rogers uses his hands on the football field is much more violent.

His expertise in hand-to-hand combat was on display at Saturday's The Opening Regional camp in Massillon, Ohio. Rogers was named offensive line MVP in part because of his strong performance against five-star defensive end Zachary Harrison.

Harrison, ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2019 class by 247Sports, was handled by Rogers on four consecutive reps. It wasn't until their final matchup — three reps as part of the camp's Final 5 — when Harrison got the better of the four-star junior.

"I'm used to going against him," Rogers said. "I already know how he is, how he comes off the ball. I just used my skills against him. We were competing with each other just to get better."

Rogers isn't a revelation on the recruiting scene. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound sophomore started fielding scholarship offers a year ago. Now his offer list includes the likes of Ohio State, Georgia, Florida State, Alabama and Michigan.

Despite to trips to Notre Dame in the last year, the Irish coaching staff has yet to extend an offer.

"They just said don't worry about the offer," Rogers said. "Just play football. It can happen any day."

Rogers, a product of Oak Park (Mich.) High, was last on Notre Dame's campus for a spring practice in March. Previously, he attended the Miami (Ohio) game in September.

"It's really powerful," Rogers said of Notre Dame. "Words can't explain it. The coach is real nice. They really get after it. The tradition is real. They're old-fashioned with their stuff."

If the Irish decide to offer, they'll be chasing Georgia, Ohio State and Michigan. Rogers described those programs as his top three. But don't expect a decision any time soon. Rogers wants to make a commitment on his birthday, Sept. 12, during his senior year.

Rogers has already visited many of the schools that have offered him. That's allowed him to get a better sense of what he wants to see while on campus.

"I'm really looking for academics and building relationships with the players," Rogers said. "Nowadays, coaches get fired or get new jobs. It's really based on building a relationship with the players."

On Saturday, Rogers worked out at offensive tackle. But both Rivals and 247Sports have projected Rogers as a four-star offensive guard. 247Sports slates him as the No. 2 guard in the 2020 class.

Rogers wants to be as versatile as possible. Like his career path, Rogers will figure out his position later.

"It really doesn't matter to me because in the NFL you have to play everything on the line. You have to play center, left tackle, left guard. That's how you get paid more and get recognized," Rogers said. "As a young person, I'm able to work on everything on the offensive line. I like playing both sides to learn about the offense and the defense. I like learning about the game."

Four-star offensive lineman Justin Rogers, a 2020 recruit, was impressed by his visits to Notre Dame.