It appears Tony Elliott was serious about re-focusing the Virginia Cavaliers’ recruiting efforts on talent from within the Commonwealth.
After a 2023 class with 6 of the 21 signees hailing from Virginia, the 2024 class is off to a 3-for-3 start. Defensive back Ethan Minter from Thomas Dale was the Hoos’ first commit, followed by offensive lineman Benjamin York from Lake Braddock. And on Monday night, UVA added the third in-state prospect with a commitment from Episcopal (Alexandria) tight end John Rogers.
All apart of His plan. ALL IN @UVAFootball ⚔️ #WAHOOWA@Coach_TElliott @coachdeskitch @coachbuttsUVA @CoachSintim @Coach_TerryHeff @CoachChrisSlade @Coach_Rud @Coach_Gaither @CoachCCox @Coach_Mims2 @taylor_lamb11 @coachdowning1 @jsperos @_LD82 @EHSfootball1839 @RealCoachK_ pic.twitter.com/0nw93MkYUK— John Rogers (@8Jrogers) May 2, 2023
Rogers is a two-way player for the Episcopal football team—playing defensive end in addition to his receiving duties—as well as a triple jumper and a baseball centerfielder. He has yet to garner a rating from the recruiting services but Rogers holds offers from Army, Navy, a handful of G5 schools, and FCS programs including Penn, Georgetown, Richmond, and William & Mary.
(My personal favorite tidbit around this commitment: he recognized a typo in his commitment tweet and tweeted a correction.)
At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, Rogers won’t have the size to drop in day one as an in-line tight end. But even just adding 15-20 pounds of good weight, that’s a frame that can cause matchup issues playing more of the “Y” role. You can see the strength and motor especially in Rogers’ defensive highlights, using body bend and power to break through to the quarterback. He’s also rangy, knocking down a number of passes at or behind the line. On the offensive side, Rogers shows good hands and capable blocking. Expect a developmental year or two—and/or for Rogers to contribute on special teams—before he is an every-down piece for Des Kitchings’ offense.