Class AAAAAA Offensive Player of the Year: Spartan star given statewide honor
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
December 28, 2013 11:53 PM | 2737 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While many awards are typically saved for players on teams that have winning records, or make the postseason, that wasn’t the case for Campbell’s Mike Rogers. The standout athlete, who rarely left the field, was named the Class AAAAAA Offensive Player of the Year by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.
<Br>Staff photo by Kelly J. Huff
While many awards are typically saved for players on teams that have winning records, or make the postseason, that wasn’t the case for Campbell’s Mike Rogers. The standout athlete, who rarely left the field, was named the Class AAAAAA Offensive Player of the Year by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.
Staff photo by Kelly J. Huff
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Campbell finished the season 4-6 and missed the playoffs, but that doesn’t mean the Spartans weren’t exciting to watch.

Not with one of the most exciting players in the state.

Mike Rogers ran for 1,735 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also averaged 43.4 yards on 15 kickoff returns, taking one in for a touchdown, and six punts for 156 yards and another score.

Already the Marietta Daily Journal/Cobb County Player of the Year, Rogers’ talents were recognized outside of Cobb County, with the Central Florida commitment named Class AAAAAA Offensive Player of the Year by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Rogers became the first football player in Campbell history to win a statewide player of the year award, and the first Spartan since return specialist Brian Sutherland in 2007 to be named all-state.

Though Rogers could not be reached for comment, the honor did not come as a surprise to his coach.

“When you talk about the offensive player of the year, scouting reports are going to tell you that’s the guy you have to stop,” Campbell’s Harris Rainbow said. “Everybody knew they had to stop him, and he gained more than 1,700 yards.”

Though he was honored as an offensive player, Rogers will play defense at Central Florida, and Rainbow said that’s when everyone will get to see the impact Rogers can make.

“We’ll see the best from him when he gets to college and can concentrate on only playing cornerback or safety,” he said. “When he only has to play 70 or 80 plays a game, that’s when we’ll get to see how good he can really be.”

Despite having to do so much on offense for Campbell, Rogers still put up big defensive numbers. He had 85 tackles, 10 passes defensed, three interceptions, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

Kennesaw Mountain coach Andy Scott agrees with Rainbow in that Rogers’ offensive talents will help him on the defensive side of the ball.

“Defense, (like running back) is so instinctive,” Scott said. “College coaches look for players like him, that have those natural instincts to make plays, and ultimately that’s what Mike is going to do.

“What he did in this region this season was amazing.”

Maybe the most amazing this was what Rogers did to Scott’s Mustangs in late October, running for 397 yards and four touchdowns to help Campbell to a 49-35 win.

Kennesaw Mountain, though, wasn’t the only team Rogers victimized. Eight times during the season, he rushed for at least 100 yards, eclipsing 160 on five occasions.

When the regular season came to a close, Rogers was Class AAAAAA’s leading rusher, and he stayed in that position for another month, until North Gwinnett’s C.J. Leggett finally passed him in the state semifinals — Leggett’s 14th game of the year.

Rogers played in the Cobb All-Star Senior Bowl a week ago and will leave for Orlando, Fla., on Monday to compete in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl — the final game of his high school career.
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