|Height: 6-2 | Weight: 184 | College: Tennessee State|
Not since Aeneas Williams terrorized receivers at Southern University (1987-90) has a Division 1-AA cornerback dominated like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Thrust into the starting lineup midway through his freshman campaign, the speedy defender has shown exceptional shutdown ability and displayed the natural hands needed to excel as an interceptor. He also excelled as a kickoff returner and saw action as a receiver during his senior campaign.
In 39 starts for the Tigers, opposing quarterbacks completed just 55 of 161 passes (34.16%) thrown in Rodgers-Cromartie's immediate area. He intercepted 11 of those throws, deflected 25 and held the opposition to a miniscule 3.54 yards per pass attempt, the best of any collegiate defensive back over the last three seasons.
In addition to his stellar play, Rodgers-Cromartie has also been a standout performer for the TSU track team. Despite juggling football spring drills with the indoor and outdoor track seasons in 2007, he qualified for the NCAA Mid-East Regionals after he captured the Ohio Valley Conference long jump title (25' 0.75"). In only his second outdoor event, he was named OVC Male Athlete of the Week after finishing third at the Penn Relays with a conference-best long jump of 24'10".
During the OVC Indoor Track Championships, Rodgers-Cromartie was name the top male athlete with a sensational performance. He won the 60-meter dash (6.89), long jump (25' 0.75") and high jump (6' 9.5") and finished second in the triple-jump (48' 8"). What made those finishes even more impressive was the fact that he performed most of the indoor season while nursing an ankle sprain.
Excelling in two sports is nothing new for Rodgers-Cromartie. The All-Area and All-District defensive back and wide receiver at Lakewood Ranch High School was regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the South, receiving a four-star rating from Rivals.com. The High School Recruiting Report named him the most underrated prospect in the state of Florida. He also competed as a jumper and sprinter on the track team.
Rodgers-Cromartie enrolled at Tennessee State, where he shared playing time with Aaron Strong for the first half of the 2004 campaign. He would go on to start six games at strong-side cornerback, including the last five games. He posted 33 tackles (22 solo) with a stop for a loss while recovering two fumbles, returning one for a touchdown. Named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Newcomer of the Year by The Gridiron Report, he also batted away three passes and returned both of his interceptions for touchdowns. He blocked a punt for an 11-yard return and also had a 19-yard kickoff return.
As a sophomore, Rodgers-Cromartie started every game. He ranked fifth on the team with 41 tackles (34 solo), including three stops behind the line of scrimmage. He deflected five passes, intercepted another and returned a blocked punt 17 yards. He also gained 34 yards on two kickoff returns and caught one pass for eight yards in brief action as a receiver. He allowed just 1.86 yards per pass attempt, the lowest total by a Division 1-AA defender in a season since Aeneas Williams averaged 1.99 yards (on 58 throws) for Southern University in 1990.
The junior defender ranked third in the nation and led the OVC with six interceptions in 2006. He finished fourth on the squad with 47 tackles (37 solo) and two stops for losses. He also blocked two kicks and had seven pass deflections, earning first-team All-OVC and All-American honors. He allowed just 3.64 yards per pass attempt, the best figure in the Division 1-AA ranks for the second consecutive year.
In 2007, Rodgers-Cromartie earned third-team All-American honors from The NFL Draft Report. He added All-Ohio Valley Conference first-team accolades for the second straight year, as he was used not only on defense, but also handled kickoff returns while seeing brief action on offense. He recorded 37 tackles (28 solo) with two stops for losses and a pair of fumble recoveries. He deflected 11 passes and picked off two others, returning both interceptions for touchdowns. He also blocked four punts, gained 38 yards on a reception, 16 yards on four punt returns and 16 yards on two carries, finishing his final campaign with 1,016 all-purpose yards.
In 44 games at Tennessee State, Rodgers-Cromartie started 39 times. He recorded 158 tackles (121 solo) with eight stops for losses of 30 yards, adding 14 more tackles on the kick-coverage units. He recovered four fumbles, returning one for a touchdown and blocked eight kicks. He deflected 26 passes and intercepted 11 others for 314 yards (28.5-yard average) in returns with four touchdowns.
Rodgers-Cromartie also had two receptions for 46 yards, two carries for 16 yards and six punt returns for 44 yards (7.3-yard average). He added 859 yards on 36 kickoff returns (23.9 avg). Of the 161 passes thrown into his territory, the opposition managed to catch just 55 balls (34.16 completion percentage) for 620 yards and three touchdowns. He allowed just 3.85 yards per pass attempt during his career with the Tigers.
Positives: Has a tall, well-built frame with long arms, thick thighs and calves, tight abdomen and a frame that can carry additional bulk if he's moved to free safety at the next level His range and fluid hips might make him a better fit at free safety at the next level, as his explosive closing burst reminds many of Philadelphia's Brian Dawkins Does a nice job of slipping through trash to make plays in run force (made 22 of his 47 tackles in 2006 and 15 of 37 hits in 2007 vs. the run) Self-starter that pushes others around him, showing a passion for the game that drives him to succeed The thing you see constantly on film is his ability to identify his keys and react in an instant as the play develops (no need to digest) Can mirror in the short area and shows quick reactions when playing off the line Has outstanding feet and balance when adjusting to the receiver's moves and can flip his hips, redirect and plant sharply coming out of his breaks without needing to gather Demonstrates a keen comprehension of zone concepts, along with the range and suddenness in his movements to react instantly to the ball in flight Looks natural and continuous flipping his hips and coming out of his breaks cleanly Explodes off the snap and can stay stride for stride with the receivers Has the loose hips needed to quickly change direction and displays good explosion closing on the ball Will cover ground suddenly tracking the ball in flight and has no problems running or trailing receivers throughout the route Has the body control to make proper adjustments in attempts to get to the ball in flight Can generate a strong jolt to reroute receivers at the line and knows how to stay on the hip of the receivers through their routes Best when playing off the line, as he takes good angles in pursuit Shows good awareness looking up receivers and anticipating the quarterback to jump the play Has the speed and rip move to slip off the blocker's shoulder and displays the closing burst to pursue when he penetrates the backfield What is evident on film is his upper-body strength, using it well to take on blocks and shed when working along the perimeter Knows how to make adjustments to break down and fit when playing in the open and shows good desire to make the play Has the speed to accelerate throughout the route and when he mirrors and trails the receiver, he is efficient at staying tight through the deep routes Shows very good balance in his backpedal, as he is explosive in his plant and drive when he locates the ball Needs to get stronger in his press technique, but he is smooth turning on the ball thanks to above average hip flexibility, as he transitions with no wasted motion Has the range to pursue plays across the field and can run stride-for-stride with the speedy receivers.
Negatives: Does get a bit reckless in his play, resulting in costly penalties Flagged three times in the first two games of 2006 for pass interference, and will get overconfident in his press-coverage skills, which isn't necessarily a weakness Needs to do a better job of securing the ball on kickoff returns (had two costly fumbles in 2007) Very effective in press coverage, but when he spends too much time attacking his man rather than playing off, he does not always anticipate the quarterback's moves Shows urgency closing on the ball in man coverage, but sometimes rounds his angle to the ball after planting Has natural hands, but you would like to see him use his incredible leaping ability more in attempts to break up or intercept the ball (needs to time his leaps in order to get to the ball at its highest point) Must use his hands better to keep blockers away from his chest when trying to slip blocks working in trash Does not work well vs. combo blocks, making him only adequate in filling the alleys Easily engulfed when trying to slip past blocks in close quarters Adequate tackler who will ankle bite at times rather than take on ball carriers head on Will uncoil, but does a poor job of wrapping up Has good closing speed, but when playing in the zone, he can get caught out of position when peeking into the backfield too long As a senior, he struggled some with his jam technique as hands got outside his frame, but did compensate with good closing quickness In the open field, he failed to face up as a tackler and looked sloppy breaking down his final year (see 2007 Southern and Eastern Kentucky games.
Compares To: TERENCE NEWMAN-Dallas Rodgers-Cromartie is slightly faster than Newman, but he needs to show better patience in his play, as he does tend to get a bit out of control at times. Even though he has the speed to stay with receivers deep, he gets a bit reckless in his press-coverage technique and must do a better job of keeping his hands inside the frame when attempting to jam his opponent at the line of scrimmage. He added kickoff returner to his resume as a senior, but needs to be more conscious of securing the ball. Like Newman, he will utilize his quickness to excel in man coverage, but he needs to do a better job as a tackler, as he appears to be an ankle-biter rather than a face-up, wrap-up tackler.
Became the 11th player in NCAA FCS competition to gain over 300 yards (314) on interception returns in a career His four interception returns for touchdowns set a school record and rank behind William Hampton of Murray State (six interception returns for touchdowns, 1993-95) in Ohio Valley Conference annals Holds the school and OVC career-record with eight blocked kicks, the seventh-best all-time total in NCAA FCS history Also holds the school record with four blocked kicks in 2007 His three interceptions vs. Murray State in 2006 were the most pass thefts by a TSU player in a game since Donald Pinson set the school record with five pass thefts vs. Southwestern Louisiana in 1970 Of his 158 career tackles, Rodgers-Cromartie registered 59 third-down stops and 15 fourth-down hits.
All-American second-team choice by The NFL Draft Report All-Ohio Valley Conference first-team selection Started all 11 games at left cornerback and recorded 37 tackles (28 solo) with two stops for losses of eight yards Recovered two fumbles and gained 16 yards on four punt returns Deflected 11 passes and intercepted two others for 140 yards in returns and two touchdowns Set the school record by blocking four kicks Gained 806 yards with a score on 33 kickoff returns (24.4-yard average) Also saw brief action on offense, rushing twice for 16 yards while coming up with a 38-yard reception Made 19 of his plays on third-down action, including 16 vs. the pass Of the 60 passes targeted into his area, he held the opposition to 22 receptions for 262 yards (11.91-yard average per completion), three touchdowns and an average of 4.37 yards per pass attempt.
|2007 Game Analysis|
Alabama A&M Opened the season with five solo tackles and three pass deflections, making four of his stops on third-down plays while adding 110 yards on five kickoff returns Rodgers-Cromartie returned the season's opening kickoff 35 yards and later stopped Nate Baxter from getting to a Kelcy Luke third-and-31 pass five minutes into the contest He batted away Luke's third-and-9 toss intended for Baxter early in the second quarter, forcing A&M to punt Rodgers-Cromartie chased down Luke on a 25-yard bootleg and deflected Luke's pass at the A&M 45 late in the second quarter At the start of the fourth quarter, he slammed into Frank Moore at the A&M 47, resulting in no gain on the opponent's punt return Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#86-Nate Baxter (6:03-212)-Allowed two catches for 20 yards.
Jackson State Rodgers-Cromartie managed just one solo tackle, but he also blocked a field goal try from 22 yards out with 3:53 remaining in the game He killed a late first quarter series by preventing Jaymar Johnson from getting to a Trae Rutland third-and-13 pass at the JSU 22, forcing the opposition to punt Johnson was again jammed at the line of scrimmage twice by the TSU defender, including on a third-and-13 throw, as Jackson State settled for a 44-yard field goal on a second-quarter series At the start of the third quarter, he killed another drive by rerouting Johnson on a third-and-16 pass, as JSU then kicked a 50-yard field goal New JSU QB Jimmy Oliver also failed to connect with Johnson, as the receiver was rerouted by Rodgers-Cromartie on a third-and-4 toss early in the fourth quarter Johnson, frustrated at being shut down all day, again failed to get to Oliver's third-and-15 pass at the JSU 23, resulting in another punt by Jackson State His block of a 22-yard field goal led to TSU's 35-yard field goal that gave Tennessee State a 16-13 win as time expired Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#83-Jaymar Johnson (6:01-180)-Allowed no receptions.
Austin Peay State Rodgers-Cromartie posted a pair of solo tackles, including one for a six-yard loss and blocked an extra point attempt. He also gained 83 yards on three kickoff returns He returned TSU's first kickoff 33 yards to set up a Tigers 23-yard field goal and tackled Spencer Gulmire for a six-yard loss after the tailback recovered a fumble by QB Mark Cunningham after a nine-yard sack late in the opening frame The TSU cornerback blocked a PAT after Chris Fletcher's 6-yard touchdown run in overtime, preserving a 33-32 Tennessee State triumph Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#11-Adrian Mines (6:04-177)-Allowed one 13-yard reception.
Southern University The TSU cornerback blocked a kick for the third consecutive game, as he deflected two passes, had a pair of solo tackles and returned four kickoffs for 63 yards Rodgers-Cromartie tackled Darren Coats at the TSU 1 on the tailback's 54-yard rushing attempt late in the second quarter and returned a short kickoff 22 yards to set up Antonio Heffner's 38-yard touchdown pass to Ronald Evans late in the third quarter that gave the Tigers a 34-32 lead In the fourth quarter, he was beaten by Del Roberts on a 48-yard touchdown reception, but then blocked the PAT attempt after the score Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#1-Del Roberts (5:09-190)-Allowed two catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
Florida A&M Rogers-Cromartie delivered four tackles (two solo), with two coming on third-down plays. He also returned four kickoffs for 111 yards and saw action on offense, rushing once for nine yards while also making a 38-yard catch On TSU's first series, the cornerback lined up in the offensive backfield, carrying for a nine-yard gain to the TSU 45 On the ensuing kickoff, he tackled Keon Strachan on a 25-yard return and then killed the series by jamming Willie Hayward, preventing the receiver from getting to a third-and-3 toss from Albert Chester His 36-yard kickoff return set up a TSU 19-yard field goal late in the third quarter With 6:09 left in the game, the defender again lined up on offense, catching an Antonio Heffner seam pass for 38 yards Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#3-Willie Hayward (6:04-191)-Allowed two receptions for 10 yards.
Tennessee Tech Rogers-Cromartie was in on six tackles (five solo) with a pass deflection, as he gained 40 yards on a kickoff return and eight yards on a punt return Chased down Henry Sailes on a 71-yard run to the TSU 3 midway through the first quarter and returned a kickoff 40 yards to set up a 3-yard touchdown run by the Tigers' Javarris Williams at the start of the second half He stopped a drive in the fourth quarter by preventing Larry Shipp from getting to a third-and-7 pass at the TSU 16 Rogers-Cromartie also batted a pass out of Shipp's hands on second-and-goal, but Shipp slipped past the cornerback on the next play for a 4-yard touchdown grab Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#5-Larry Shipp (5:09-171)-Allowed three catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Eastern Kentucky For the first time in his career, Rodgers-Cromartie allowed a touchdown catch in consecutive games, as he made three tackles (two solo), deflected a pass and recovered a fumble. He also had four kickoff returns for 80 yards and a seven-yard reverse Receiver Quinton Williams snared a 28-yard touchdown pass in front of the TSU defender to cap a second quarter seven-play, 83-yard series He then prevented the receiver from getting to consecutive throws in the third quarter, including one on third-and-8, as Williams dropped the throw at the EKU 44, forcing the opponent to punt, but Rodgers-Cromartie fumbled the ensuing punt return and the Colonels recovered to set up a touchdown drive that gave Eastern Kentucky a 35-7 lead He made up for that miscue when he recovered a fumble by Williams at the TSU 36 after a late third quarter catch Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#80-Quinton Williams (6:01-204)-Allowed two catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.
Eastern Illinois Rodgers-Cromartie returned an interception 69 yards for a score and made four tackles, including one on the kickoff coverage unit and gained 55 yards on three kickoff returns He chased down Ron Jordan on a mid first quarter 36-yard kickoff return and on the ensuing series, he picked off Bodie Reeder's deep pass at the TSU 31, returning the ball 69 yards for a touchdown He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on a kickoff later in the opening frame Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#8-Travorus Bess (5:08-176)-Allowed two receptions for six yards.
Murray State Rodgers-Cromartie was named OVC Player of the Week, as he totaled eight tackles (six solo) with a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown, a pass deflection, a stop for a two-yard loss and a blocked kick He blocked his fourth kick for the season on a 31-yard field goal try after the game's opening series and recovered the ball for no gain, setting up an 18-yard touchdown run by TSU's Javarris Williams The defender picked off a Jeff Ehrhardt pass later in the opening frame, returning the ball 71 yards for a score Late in the third quarter, he killed a 12-play, 47-yard series, when he tackled Ehrhardt for a two-yard loss on a fourth-and-3 bootleg at the TSU 28 Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#80-Lee McGinnis (6:03-176)-Allowed two receptions for four yards.
Samford Rodgers-Cromartie fumbled once on three kickoff returns for 81 yards, as he was limited to one solo tackle, but also deflected three passes He recovered his own fumble on a mid first quarter 47-yard kickoff return and knocked away back-to-back passes intended for Jeff Moore late in the second quarter At the start of the fourth quarter, he deflected a third-and-4 toss targeted to Moore and later on that series, recovered a fumble by Chris Evans at the TSU 7, ending an 11-play, 70-yard drive Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#82-Jeff Moore (6:00-192)-Allowed four catches for 51 yards.
Tennessee-Martin Rodgers-Cromartie closed out his career with just one assisted tackle, as he fumbled twice on five kickoff returns, turning the ball over once, but he also gained 171 yards with a 92-yard touchdown He fumbled an 18-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, but TSU recovered the ball at the Tigers' 28 He returned his next kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown However, a 22-yard kickoff return was fumbled and Tennessee-Martin recovered it, setting up a 2-yard touchdown run by Doug Chapman Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#6-E.J. Daniel (5:11-191)-Allowed one reception for a one-yard gain.
All-American first-team pick by The NFL Draft Report Added All-Ohio Valley Conference
first-team accolades Started all year at left cornerback, finishing fourth on the team with 47 tackles (37 solo), including two stops for losses of 10 yards Added three more tackles on the special-teams coverage unit Deflected seven passes and led the OVC while ranking third in the nation with six interceptions for 70 yards (11.7-yard average) in returns Also blocked two kicks Did not allow an opponent to catch any passes in three contests (Jackson State, Vanderbilt and Samford) Of the 45 passes thrown into his area, only 12 were caught for 160 yards (26.67 pass completion percentage), as the opposition managed to gain just 3.56 yards per pass attempt, the best figure for any cornerback in every level of college football Was called four penalties, including three in the team's first two games Posted 17 third-down stops and seven more on fourth-down.
|2006 Game Analysis|
Alabama A&M Rodgers-Cromartie opened his junior campaign by posting nine tackles (eight solo), also blocking two kicks while registering three third-down tackles, including two on goal-line situations, but was also penalized once, as the secondary allowed A&M just 136 yards passing Pressured QB Kelcy Luke out of the pocket and the passer was then picked off by TSU's Aaron Strong at the TSU 35 for a 16-yard return early in the first quarter Blocked an extra point after A&M's Thomas Harris ran for a 14-yard score at the start of the second quarter Miscommunication in the secondary saw receiver Kevin Francis gain 31 yards on a reception midway through the second quarter, but the TSU cornerback made up for that error when he tackled Kelcy Luke on a three-yard first-and-goal run in the third quarter Blocked another PAT after Luke's 5-yard scoring lob to John Smith in the fourth quarter, but drew a personal foul call on the play Forced A&M to punt with 0:52 left in the game when he stopped Ta'Mar Scott on a third-and-9 run that netted just two yards Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#12-Kevin Francis-Two catches for 43 yards.
Murray State Earned National Defensive Player of the Week honors from The NFL Draft Report after Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted three passes, deflected two others and had a pair of solo tackles. Three of his stops came inside the red zone and made two tackles on third-down plays and one more on fourth down Was called for pass interference on a third-and-10 incomplete pass by Zach Barnard, but later on that drive, he picked off a Barnard pass in the end zone for a touchback, killing a 44-yard, eight-play series Forced MSU to punt after Rodgers-Cromartie batted away a third-and-9 Barnard pass intended for Rod Harper five minutes into the second quarter, deflecting another Barnard pass on the Racers' next drive before half time Was called for jumping offside on a first-and-goal running play and the penalty gave MSU the ball at the TSU 1, where Chad Cook then scored on a 1-yard plunge to start the second half On fourth-and-3 at the TSU 7, the Tigers' corner halted a 12-play, 56-yard drive late in the third quarter when he intercepted a Barnard pass Started off the fourth quarter by picking off another Barnard pass at the TSU 7, returning the ball 33 yards Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#21-Jonathan Eiland-One catch for five yards (Rodgers-Cromartie also defended five passes).
Jackson State Rodgers-Cromartie did not allow any receptions, as he delivered five tackles (four solo), including one third-down stop, as TSU held their fellow Tigers to just 106 yards passing The scrappy cornerback took down tailback Eric Haw on a four-yard run and two plays later on third-and-13, he killed JSU's game-opening drive by preventing Chris Johnson from getting to a Jimmy Oliver pass at the TSU 18 Haw was again tackled by Rodgers-Cromartie on a one-yard run late in the second quarter and the cornerback later stopped Oliver on a QB option that netted seven yards at the start of the fourth quarter, as the TSU defender also prevented Chris Johnson from catching an Antonio Heffner pass later on that drive Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#18-Chris Johnson-No catches (prevented Johnson from getting to two throws).
Vanderbilt Despite a 38-9 thrashing by the Commodores, Rodgers-Cromartie was at his best, intercepting one pass for a 27-yard return, preventing two other passes into his area from being caught, as he did not allow any receptions and collected two solo tackles to lead a secondary that gave up just 129 aerial yards. He also made a solo tackle on the kickoff-coverage unit Midway through the first quarter, the TSU corner slipped past receiver Earl Bennett to take down QB Chris Nickson on a first-and-goal run that netted just one yard. On the next play, Rodgers-Cromartie jammed Bennett at the line of scrimmage, preventing the All-SEC flanker from getting to a second-and-goal pass from Nickson With less than five minutes left in the first half, the cornerback intercepted a Nickson pass at the VU 39, returning the ball 27 yards to set up a Tennessee State 25-yard field goal by kicker Eric Benson to cut the lead to 10-3..At the start of the third quarter, the crowd was brought to its feet when Rodgers-Cromartie torpedoed Myron Lewis on a 13-yard kickoff return Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#88-George Smith-No catches.
Florida A&M Rodgers-Cromartie was in on seven tackles (six solo) with a stop for a two-yard loss, as three of his hits came on third-down plays. He also deflected a pass and intercepted another while preventing his coverage assignment from getting to two other throws FAMU was forced to settle for a first quarter 42-yard field goal to salvage some points from a 60-yard, 11-play drive, as the TSU defender stopped receiver Roosevelt Kiser from getting to a third-and-4 toss from QB Albert Chester Later in the opening frame, the TSU corner intercepted a Chester pass in the end zone Not content with just playing on defense, Rodgers-Cromartie chased down Kiser on a 32-yard kickoff return at the start of the third quarter. On that play, FAMU was penalized for holding him, but Dominique still managed to make the play He prevented a touchdown when the corner chased down Ronald Wright at the TSU 13 after the receiver beat cornerback Aaron Strong for a 26-yard catch In the fourth quarter, Rodgers-Cromartie blew past offensive guard Justin Delancy to tackle Anthony Edwards for a two-yard loss on a rushing attempt and forced FAMU to settle for a 47-yard field goal, when the corner leveled Kiser after a five-yard gain on a third-and-8 toss from Chester Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#7-Roosevelt Kiser-Two catches for 17 yards.
Tennessee Tech Rodgers-Cromartie registered five tackles (three solo), including one on a third-down play and batted away a pass. He also prevented his coverage assignment from getting to four other throws On a series late in the first quarter, the cornerback deflected a Lee Sweeney pass intended for Orlandus Kirby and then stopped Larry Shipp from getting to two other Sweeney tosses Shipp was again thwarted by Rodgers-Cromartie from catching two other back-to-back pass attempts at the 11:06 mark of the second quarter The only catch by Shipp vs. the TSU defender was a 21-yarder with 1:14 left in the first half (ship shifted to the other side, catching three passes for 75 yards vs. TSU corner Aaron Strong) Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#5-Larry Shipp-One catch for 21 yards.
Jacksonville State Rodgers-Cromartie made four solo tackles, including one on a fourth-down play and another on a goal-line stand The only reception he allowed was a 26-yarder by Taurean Rhetta at the start of the second quarter Forced JSU to settle for a 21-yard field goal after the Tigers defender tackled James Wilkerson after a third-and-goal catch netted six yards at the TSU 5 Stopped Clay Green after a fourth down run of two yards over right guard at the start of the fourth quarter Jammed Josh Moten at the line of scrimmage, preventing the receiver from catching a Matt Hardin pass with 1:29 left on the game clock Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#1-Taurean Rhetta-One catch for 26 yards.
Samford The TSU cornerback's only tackle came behind the line of scrimmage, but he also prevented his coverage assignment from getting to three passes Receiver Freddy Young was twice jammed at the line of scrimmage, including one on third-and-10 to end a 10-play series in the first quarter On third-and-9 from the TSU 38 early in the fourth quarter, Jeff Moore caught a screen pass, only to be met by Rodgers-Cromartie for an eight-yard loss. Later on that drive, the TSU defender again prevented Young from getting to an Alex Mortensen pass at the Tigers 18 Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#81-Freddy Young-No receptions.
Eastern Illinois Rodgers-Cromartie prevented his coverage assignment from getting to three passes, and posted six tackles (three solo), including one on fourth down and batted away a pass On fourth-and-1 late in the first quarter, Rodgers-Cromartie chased down Vincent Webb on a four-yard rushing attempt He later knocked down a Cole Stinson pass that was intended for Micah Rucker at the start of the fourth quarter. Later on that drive, the TSU corner again deflected a Stinson second-and-goal toss, but was flagged for pass interference on the play Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#80-Micah Rucker-Three catches for 28 yards.
Southeast Missouri State Rodgers-Cromartie deflected a pass, picked off another, stopped his coverage assignment from getting to two other throws and had two solo tackle, as TSU allowed just 133 yards in total offense, including 65 passing He chased down Antonio Scaife on a 20-yard run late in the first quarter Later in the third quarter, the TSU defender tackled Elton Peterson on a 26-yard kickoff return and on the series that followed, he deflected a pass away from Stevelan Harper and on the next play, he stopped the receiver from getting to a third-and-11 pass, forcing SEMO to punt In the fourth quarter, the Tigers cornerback intercepted a Marcus Mosley third-and-11 pass that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by TSU's Julian Sample that gave the Tigers a 31-0 lead With 7:39 left in the game, the corner's sudden movement saw Harper jump off side, resulting in a SEMO five-yard penalty Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#2-Stevelan Harper-One catch for seven yards.
Eastern Kentucky Closed out the season with four tackles, all coming on third-down plays, as he also deflected a pass for a defense that allowed just 257 yards Chased down Mark Dunn on a third-down run that netted 10 yards at the start of the game and came out of position later in the first quarter to tackle Dunn after the receiver beat cornerback Aaron Strong for a 51-yard catch Killed a third quarter drive when he knocked down an Allan Holland third-and-14 pass that was intended for Patrick Bugg, forcing EKU to punt Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#84-Matt Schoberg-Two catches for 30 yards.
All-Ohio Valley Conference first-team selection by The Gridiron Report Started all 11 games, ranking fifth on the team with 41 tackles (34 solo), adding four more stops on the special-teams coverage unit Had three tackles for losses of six yards and blocked a punt that he returned 17 yards Added 34 yards on two kickoff returns (17-yard average) and eight yards on a reception Deflected five passes and gained 13 yards on an interception Did not allow an opponent to catch any passes in four of 11 games (Jackson State, North Carolina A&T, Tennessee-Martin and Eastern Kentucky) Rodgers-Cromartie allowed just 10 receptions for 52 yards (35.71 pass completion percentage), as his opponent averaged a miniscule 1.86 yards per pass attempt Eleven of his tackles came on third-down plays, with seven more coming on fourth downs Also made nine plays inside the red zone, with two on goal-line plays.
|2005 Game Analysis|
Alabama A&M The TSU cornerback began the season with seven solo tackles, including three third-down stops and picked off a pass while delivering two hits inside the red zone and keeping his main coverage assignment from getting to two other throws He picked off a third-and-6 Kelcy Luke pass for a 13-yard return five minutes into the game and later in the opening frame, Rodgers-Cromartie tackled Jonathan McConico on a 24-yard kickoff return Rodgers-Cromartie jammed Emmanuel Edwards at the line of scrimmage, keeping the receiver from getting to a third-and-11 pass from Luke Edwards was again rerouted by the TSU corner on a first-and-goal incomplete pass with 7:52 left in the third quarter Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#82-Emmanuel Edwards-One catch for four yards.
Jackson State Had three solo tackles, including two on fourth-down plays Kept Jaymar Johnson from getting into his pattern on a fourth-and-10 incomplete pass during the game's opening series On JSU's next drive, Rodgers-Cromartie tackled Kenneth Davis for a four-yard loss on a fourth-and-3 pass from QB Steve Haren Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#83-Jaymar Johnson-No receptions.
Tennessee-Martin Rodgers-Cromartie produced four solo tackles, including one on the kickoff coverage unit and blocked a kick Took down Rayvon Sims on a 27-yard kickoff return at the start of the second half. On the ensuing series, he blocked a punt attempt at the TSU 41 Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#8-Andrew Johnson-No receptions.
Florida A&M Added four tackles, with two hits on third-down plays and another on fourth down; Rodgers-Cromartie also deflected two passes The game was a defensive battle, as FAMU did not get on the board until scoring on a 23-yard field goal with 18 seconds left in the first half The Rattlers took the lead on a 23-yard pass from Chris Owens to Roosevelt Kiser on the opening drive of the second half. The Tigers had a chance to tie the game when Rodgers-Cromartie picked up a loose ball after the PAT attempt, but was stopped on the return inside FAMU's 20 yard line He killed FAMU's first series when Dominique jammed Derek Williams at the line on a third-and-13 incomplete pass, forcing the Rattlers to punt Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#84-Derek Williams-Two catches for 19 yards.
North Carolina A&T The sophomore cornerback had just one solo tackle, but he twice kept his coverage assignment from getting into the routes and early in the first quarter, Rodgers-Cromartie partially blocked a Marcus Hammond punt, returning the ball 17 yards Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#3-Brandon Trusty-No receptions.
Tennessee Tech Rodgers-Cromartie delivered seven tackles (four solo), adding another stop on kickoff coverage and one covering a punt. He had two third-down stops, another on fourth down, prevented his coverage assignment from getting to two passes and held his opponent to one catch for a loss of one yard Midway through the first quarter, he took down Larry Shipp on a 35-yard kickoff return He prevented a touchdown when he raced to tackle tailback Anthony Ash on a 66-yard rushing attempt in the opening frame He stopped Brian Davis on a 10-yard punt return to end the first quarter Seeing some action on offense, Rodgers-Cromartie tackled Anthony Jones after the defensive back intercepted a pass thrown by TSU QB Richard Hartman at the Tech 9-yard line With 3:06 left in the first half, Rodgers-Cromartie jammed receiver Bryon Ottrix at the line of scrimmage twice, including on a third-and-10 incomplete pass, forcing Tech to settle for a 44-yard field goal Back on offense, he could not get to a third-and-9 pass thrown by Hartman midway through the third quarter Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#17-Bryon Ottrix-One catch for a one-yard loss.
Jacksonville State Rodgers-Cromartie had five solo tackles on defense, one on kickoff coverage, two third-down stops, a pass deflection and made three plays inside the red zone He forced JSU to punt on their first series after preventing Taurean Rhetta from getting to a third-and-4 toss at the JSU 31 Later in the first quarter, he tackled Clay Green on a 31-yard kickoff return Again seeing action on offense, he snared a third-and-6 pass from Richard Hartman for an eight-yard gain and a first down He drew JSU into a holding penalty when he stopped QB Maurice Mullins on a 13-yard bootleg with 1:28 left in the first half At the start of the fourth quarter, Dominique again forced JSU to punt when he deflected a third-and-3 pass intended for Adrian Smith Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#1-Taurean Rhetta-One catch for nine yards.
Samford Rodgers-Cromartie struggled most of the day, posting three tackles, including one on a fourth-down play and also deflected a pass, but he was twice called for penalties On the game's first series, he stopped Jeff Moore from getting to a Jefferson Adcock pass at the TSU 42 He then stopped Justin Ray on a fourth-down run on the next play and later returned a kickoff 12 yards in the second quarter Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#82-Jeff Moore-Two catches for nine yards.
Eastern Illinois Rodgers-Cromartie posted only two solo tackles, but one was on a third-down play and he also prevented his coverage assignment from getting to three passes On the game's first play from scrimmage, he jammed receiver Ryan Voss at the line of scrimmage, resulting in an incomplete pass He repeated that process vs. Voss midway through the opening frame at the EIU 45, but with 1:13 left in the first half, he was charged with pass interference at the TSU 2, setting up EIU's 2-yard touchdown run by tailback Vincent Webb Another pass interference call vs. the cornerback in the fourth quarter set up Eastern Illinois' 40-yard field goal Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#9-Ryan Voss-One catch for nine yards.
Southeast Missouri State Rodgers-Cromartie fumbled a 22-yard kickoff return, but TSU recovered it with five minutes left in the third quarter, but he made up for that miscue by tackling Samora Goodson for a one-yard loss on a screen pass at the SEMO 22 with 7:13 left in the game, finishing the day with two solo tackles and a pass deflection Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#88-Samora Goodson-One catch for a one-yard loss.
Eastern Kentucky Closed out the season with three tackles, including one that stopped QB John Greco for a one-yard loss on a third-and-1 bootleg, forcing EKU to punt on the first series of the game Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#4-Patrick Bugg-No catches.
Named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Newcomer of the Year by The Gridiron Report Shared playing time with Aaron Strong before taking over starting duties at strong-side cornerback for six contests, including the team's final five games Posted 33 tackles (22 solo) with a stop for a six-yard loss Recovered two fumbles, returning one for a touchdown Deflected three passes and returned two interceptions for touchdowns totaling 91 yards Blocked a punt for an 11-yard return, gained 19 yards on a kickoff return and made three tackles on the special-teams coverage unit Of the 29 passes thrown into his territory, Rodgers-Cromartie allowed just 11 receptions for 146 yards and one touchdown (37.93 completion percentage), yielding just 5.03 yards per pass attempt Made 12 tackles on third-down plays and one on fourth down.
|2004 Game Analysis|
Jackson State Rodgers-Cromartie earned his first career start, responding with seven tackles (four solo), including two third-down stops TSU's defense came through to keep the team alive, as Rodgers-Cromartie stepped in front of a Steve Harren pass and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#17-Jeremy Handy-Two catches for 33 yards.
Florida A&M Came off the bench to post seven tackles (three solo) The Tigers' special teams came up with a big play, when Rodgers-Cromartie recovered a fumble at the FAMU 24-yard line. QB then Bryson Rosser threw 20 yards to Kevin Hollis. Charles Anthony scored two plays later on a 1-yard run as time expired in the first half Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#81-Gerard Morgan-No receptions.
South Carolina State Chased down Chris Belton early in the first quarter after the receiver caught a third-and-12 pass and raced 54 yards before the reserve cornerback caught up with his opponent at the TSU 4.
Jacksonville State Made two tackles in reserve, including one that stopped Chris Sanders after the opponent returned the game's opening kickoff 29 yards.
Samford Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted a deflected Ray Nelson pass and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter, as the defender delivered seven tackles (five solo) with a pass breakup and also had one stop on special teams Forced Samford to punt midway through the opening frame when he batted away a third-and-4 Ray Nelson pass intended for Freddy Young Tackled John Williams on an 18-yard kickoff return late in the second quarter Forced Samford to again punt late in the third quarter, when the right cornerback jammed Freddy Young at the line of scrimmage, preventing the receiver from getting to Nelson's third-and-16 toss Was called for pass interference on a third-and-3 play at the Samford 45 at the start of the fourth quarter Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#81-Freddy Young-Two catches for 10 yards.
Eastern Illinois Followed with three tackles (two solo), but Rodgers-Cromartie blocked a punt that he returned 11 yards, gained 19 yards on a kickoff return and scored on a fumble recovery The Tigers got on the board early as Rodgers-Cromartie picked up a fumble at the EIU 2-yard line and returned it into the end zone to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead just 1:49 into the game The TSU special teams then came up with the next score as Dominique blocked a Tom Schofield punt and Eric Francis picked up the ball and returned it 21 yards for a score with 2:35 remaining Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#3-Jermaine Mobley-Two catches for 4 yards.
Southeast Missouri State Had another three tackles (two solo), but two came on third down and he also provided excellent press coverage, preventing his coverage assignment from getting to five passes Twice prevented Brian Matthews from catching tosses from QB Andy Goodenough on SEMO's first series of the second half and jammed Matthews again on an incomplete pass with 2:16 left in the third quarter, but that series ended when Matthews slipped past Rodgers-Cromartie to catch a 13-yard touchdown pass Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#3-Brian Matthews-Two catches for 26 yards and a touchdown.
Eastern Kentucky Had just one pass deflection, but also prevented his coverage assignment from getting to two other throws Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#81-Andre Ralston-Two catches for 18 yards.
Murray State Closed out his freshman campaign with three solo tackles, slipping past right offensive tackle Richard Deutch to leveled tailback Nick Turner for a six-yard loss at the TSU 29 on a rushing attempt late in the second quarter Main Pass Coverage Assignment-WR#86-DeSean Hammons-One catch for 55 yards.
2007: Did not participate in the OVC Outdoor Track Championships (5/07) due to an ankle sprain.
Campus: 4.38 in the 40-yard dash (wind-aided) 4.41 40-yard dash (against the wind) 1.5 10-yard dash 2.49 20-yard dash 3.9 20-yard shuttle 11.42 60-yard shuttle 6.84 three-cone drill 40.5-inch vertical jump 11' 1" broad jump Bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times 19/38 Wonderlic score.
Competed for the Tennessee State track team as a sprinter and jumper in 2007 Was named the OVC's Top Male Athlete at the conference indoor championships, as he captured the 60-meter (6.89), long jump (25' 0.75") and high-jump titles (6' 9.5") while finishing second in the triple-jump (48' 8") Chosen OVC Male Athlete of the Week during the outdoor season, as he had a conference-best 24' 10" long jump at the Penn Relays, finishing third in that event Qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Regionals, despite missing the OVC Outdoor Championships with an ankle sprain Registered a 23' 1.75" long jump at the NCAA Mid-East Regionals.
Attended Lakewood Ranch (Fla.) High School, lettering in both football and track The All-Area, All-Class 5A and All-District 11 defensive back and wide receiver was regarded as one of the best cornerbacks in the South, receiving a four-star rating from Rivals.com The High School Recruiting Report named him the most underrated prospect in the state of Florida Also competed as a jumper and sprinter on the track team.
Psychology major Son of Melissa Williams and Stanley Cromartie Born 4/07/86 Resides in Bradenton, Florida.