USC Fall Camp: Darreus Rogers Rising Up the Depth Chart


The biggest weed lost in the woods of Trojan receivers has been freshmen-to-be Darreus Rogers. Despite his 6’2″ frame, the Carson native was seemingly left for dead in the 2012 recruiting class after failing to receive academic clearance from the NCAA.

Fast forward nearly 12 months later, and Darreus Rogers is finally participating in Fall Practice for the Trojans. This time around, no one can overlook the impact Rogers provides on a daily basis.

“He’s kind of made a significant play every day,” Kiffin said about his new-found target making waves in the early portion of Fall Camp. “And we’re really excited about how he looks out there.”

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Rogers is built a bit bigger than the recent crop of speedy route-runners the Trojans have around him on the depth chart. Now looking more and more like a legitimate number three receiver on the roster, Rogers backs up that assertion by making huge plays in the opening week of camp.

“He’s getting lined up, he’s knowing what to do, he’s playing with confidence, and I just look forward to him completing training camp to see just how good he can get before the first game,” said wide receiver coach and mentor Tee Martin.

Throughout the opening practices, Rogers has showcased those rock-solid hands and a heavy heart eagerly waiting for the opportunity to showcase his talents. His teammates have praised his work ethic this summer, most notably hard-throwing quarterback Max Wittek.

“I’ve said from the beginning, he has some of the best hands on the team,” said Wittek, who was giddy when describing the rapport he has developed with Rogers.

Despite the success in this calendar year, Rogers uses some academic trouble from his first year with the Trojans as major motivation for the grind of Fall Camp.

“I came in here with a big chip on my shoulder and it’s given me something to work for each and every day,” said Rogers following a meteoric rise towards the Trojans number three receiver on the roster.

With Biletnikoff winner Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor at the top of the depth chart, a third spot in the Trojans’ wide receiving corps is prime for the taking. Junior George Farmer and freshman Steven Mitchell are recovering from knee surgeries and will redshirt, while De’Von Flourney is suffering from a day-to-day leg injury opening the flood gates for Rogers.

“He’s really one of the stronger catchers that I’ve been around in terms of strong hands and being able to go up and challenge for the ball” said Coach Tee. “He has worked hard this camp and continues to show some things with his large frame.”

In his final season at Carson way back in 2011, Rogers recorded 64 receptions for 1,251 yards (19.5 average) with 10 touchdowns, culminating in a trip to the 2011 L.A. City Division I final at the historic Los Angeles Coliseum.

For Rogers, the South Bay Daily Breeze All-South Bay First Team and All-Marine League Co-Offensive Player of the Year, the focus now shifts to “living the dream of finally playing football,” as he says of his budding college experience.

While excitement continues to build around the giddy Rogers, his coaches continue to rave the work ethic implored on a daily basis. “He retained a lot from spring ball, and I can see the improvement that he’s made from the spring,” said Martin.

It’s early, but it looks as if we can expect big things from him in 2013.