A starter on the Spartans’ defense at safety and linebacker as a junior last season, Rogers, who also played some running back, expected a slightly elevated workload entering his senior campaign.
What Rogers got wasn’t even close.
“I didn’t know I’d play this much,” Rogers said. “The coaches told me I’d play a lot, so I was ready for more work, but not for what I’m doing now.
“The kid who was going to be our starting tailback and play some safety opposite me quit the team. That gave me more snaps.”
It’s no exaggeration to say that Rogers is an every down player with those extra snaps. Not only did he take over the starting tailback role, Rogers also remains an every-down player on defense, and returns punts and kicks. According to Campbell coach Harris Rainbow, Rogers rarely leaves the field.
“Mike Rogers is averaging somewhere in the area of 100 to 120 snaps a game,” Rainbow said. “He comes off the field once in a blue moon. He starts on offense and plays every play. He starts on defense and plays every play. He’s our kick returner and our punt returner. We have him on the kickoff team. He literally plays every play. He’s special on both sides of the ball and on special teams.
“One thing that’s unique in Class AAAAAA is that most of your best players just go one way, whether it’s offense or defense. It’s a tribute to him that he can be special and be absolutely exhausted playing. I would love to see Mike play if he only had to play one side of the ball. I wouldn’t care which side. But when the game is over, he can barely walk off the field, and for our team to be successful, we have to have him out there. He’s taken on that role.”
Rogers accepts his role because he wants to win football games, and he’s glad he’s able to do what he can to help.
Last year, he had 38 carries for 330 yards and four touchdowns. This season, Rogers leads Cobb County in rushing. He already has 61 carries for 717 yards and nine touchdowns. His 70 total points — 11 touchdowns and two 2-point conversions — also leads the county. Defensively, Rogers has 39 tackles, three interceptions and a sack.
“My body is beat-up after every game,” said Rogers, who takes an ice bath each Friday night to help his body recover. “I give it my all for me and the team even though I’m tired. I pay for it at the end of the game.
“I’m not surprised I’m doing so much. I know coach wants to win and I do, too. This is my last chance in high school to do what I have to do.”
The 6-foot, 190-pound Central Florida commitment definitely done a lot.
“He’s better than advertised,” Rainbow said. “He’s done things this year that I’ve never seen in person. In my opinion, he’s probably one of the best players in the state.
“Some kids you know about before you go to the game and you go to see that player. He’s one of those kids that when you go sit in the stands, you don’t have to know who he is before you get there. But when you leave the game, you know who No. 9 is. He plays hard. He’s physical. He has all of the intangibles on the football field that you want in a football player. He just makes plays.”
Rogers, who committed to UCF over Arkansas, Cincinnati, Clemson, Mississippi State, Missouri and others, loves to use his speed on offense. As a defender, reading defenses and making tackles are what he finds exciting.
Rainbow sometimes has a hard time grasping Rogers’ versatility.
“I don’t know how he’s able to do what he does,” Rainbow said. “This is my 18th year coaching, and 11th or 12th as a head coach, and I’ve never been around a kid like him. I’ve been around special players, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never been around a kid who can do what he does on both sides of the ball at the level he does it at.”