The official athletic website of Tennessee Tech University has announced that Da'Rick Rogers, who led the SEC last year in receptions and receiving yards and was indefinitely suspended Friday by Tennessee, will play for their Golden Eagles' football team in 2013.
Tennessee announced Friday that they were placing Rogers on indefinite suspension. Head coach Derek Dooley later provided at least one detail of the suspension -- Rogers would not play for his team in 2012.
Two days later Rogers was meeting with the Tennessee Tech staff and the university announced his transfer and immediate eligibility Monday.
"We're excited to have him and look forward to working with [Rogers]," Tennessee Tech head coach Watson Brown said. "It's a unique situation for me, but we know he's a good kid. He knows a couple of the players on our team, and we know his high school coach, and we're going on their recommendations.
"After meeting with Da'Rick and his family, I can see what everybody is saying about him," Brown added. "We've met with Da'Rick and he understands our expectations."
Rogers, who has flashed first round talent in starring for the Volunteers the past two seasons, will be eligible to play immediately. Tennessee Tech opens their season Thursday night against Hampton.
The 6-3, 215 pound Rogers caught 67 passes for 1,040 yards, each of which led the SEC. His nine touchdown receptions were second in the conference. He had six 100-yard games a season ago -- second in Tennessee history -- despite serving second fiddle to Justin Hunter early in the year prior to Hunter going down with an ACL tear against Florida.
Details as to what led to Rogers suspension from Tennessee in the first place haven't yet been released. Rogers has consistently found himself in trouble since signing with the Volunteers as a highly regarded prep prospect, however. Bruce Feldman reported that some close to the UT program had been questioned Rogers' role with the team after several run-ins with coaches, including a "meltdown" which occurred a year ago versus the Kentucky Wildcats.
Technically speaking Rogers has two years of collegiate eligibility remaining. Many suspect that he'll look to head early to the NFL following one year with the Golden Eagles. Regardless of what his numbers wind up being in 2012, Rogers has demonstrated his talent. Still, for an NFL team to consider selecting him with anything close to the first round grade his combination of size, athleticism and toughness warrant, he'll first have to convince teams that he's ready to accept the challenge of handling his responsibilities off the field... instead of running away from them.