Rivals250 ATH Jahari Rogers commits to Florida
After going back-and-forth between schools since the spring, Jahari Rogers' decision has been made.
The Rivals250 athlete has committed to Florida over Texas. Notre Dame, Arkansas, LSU and Oklahoma were also in the mix for the four-star projected cornerback.
Rogers' decision comes on the heels of visits to both Austin and the Swamp. He is the second Texas prospect in the Rivals250 to commit to the Gators, joining fellow four-star prospect Avery Helm.
HOW IT UNFOLDED
Rogers saw his stock rise at the start of the spring with 20-plus offers rolling for the Arlington (Texas) athlete. In-state schools such as Baylor and TCU were the first to make a move on Rogers before Florida followed suit.
Not long after, Oklahoma, Texas, LSU, Notre Dame, Arkansas and eventually Alabama all joined the fray.
Rogers, who originally hails from New Orleans, is a Sooners legacy. The four-star defensive back made a trek up to Norman and was favoring Oklahoma for a good portion of his recruitment early on, but that momentum came to an abrupt ending midway through the spring.
Rogers took official visits to Arkansas, Florida and Texas, but continued to maintain contact with schools such as LSU and Notre Dame. The visit to The Swamp in May was an eye-opener and there was serious buzz connecting Rogers and the Gators.
Rogers followed up his official visit to Florida with a trip back to Texas last month. At one point, he named the Longhorns as the team recruiting him the best and indicated that defensive backs coach Jason Washington and Dallas native Rashaad Samples were doing the best job of communicating with him.
Texas and Florida were jockeying for position atop of Rogers' leaderboard ever since his visit to Austin before Florida was able to pull away. It's a major victory on the recruiting trail for Coach Dan Mullen and, more specifically, defensive backs coach Torian Gray, who has now added verbal commitments from two of Texas' top cornerbacks in Rogers and Helm.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
"Florida is the school I grew up watching," Rogers told Rivals in May. It was my favorite school and I have a relationship with them that sets them apart. Coach (Torrian) Gray tells me so much real stuff, the way they play with an energetic defense. I like the way they play and how they fly around on defense."
"Florida sees me as a dynamic corner and Coach Gray compared me to CJ Henderson, who in my eyes is the best cornerback in the SEC. To be compared to him is really an honor."
In watching Rogers on film, there is plenty of electric plays and highlight-reel runs, but that's because he plays quarterback for Arlington (Texas) High School. When the four-star athlete arrives in Gainsville, he'll transition to a boundary cornerback role in the secondary.
Rogers measures in at 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds. He has 4.4 speed which is evident on tape regardless of positions. More often than not, you can count on Rogers being the best athlete on the field on any given Friday night.
There will be a steep learning gap as Rogers makes the transition to defensive back in the SEC. Top-end speed is one aspect that intrigues the Florida staff, but Rogers will need to learn the ins and outs of playing cornerback. During 7-on-7 this offseason, he flashed enough coverage skills and athleticism that landed him inside the Rivals250 and the No. 6-ranked athlete in the 2020 class.
On tape, Rogers has excellent hips and burst that should translate nicely to the secondary. He's an agile runner in space, which should allow him to shadow speedy SEC receivers down the road. In limited action at cornerback this spring and summer in camp and 7-on-7 settings, what stood out was Rogers' ability to anticipate routes and break on the ball. That same twitch he shows on Friday nights under center shows when covering from behind, where he accelerates to make breaks on the ball.
Rogers still needs to sharpen those skills and practice on a more consistent basis, which will begin this upcoming season.