For anyone who has followed Tennessee football over the last few years, they know that the relationship between the school and former wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers was a ticking time bomb. Well, it’s safe to say that time bomb exploded last week, when the talented but oft-troubled superstar was suspended indefinitely from the team. Over the weekend, he elected to transfer to Tennessee Tech.
Again, the news was not surprising to most that followed Rogers’ ups and downs of the program the last few years.
Still he is gone, and on late Tuesday night, we got some clarity on why Rogers is no longer a Vol. According to the player himself, it came from failed drug tests.
He told Mike Organ of the Gannett Tennessee:
“There were a couple of drugs tests,” Rogers said. “It wasn’t anything too crazy. It was about me being a young, immature guy, and those are things I’ve got to work on. I plan to do that.”
Upon closer inspection though it’s pretty clear that Rogers wasn’t just “immature” in this case, but “really immature.”
That’s because according to Tennessee’s student-athlete drug policy, it takes up until a third failed test before a player receives an indefinite or permanent suspension. Therefore, if Rogers is to be believed, his third strike is literally what sent him out of Knoxville.
As for whether Rogers reaches his full potential at the FCS school seems to be up to him. The mercurial wide receiver who led the SEC in catches with 69 catches last year is eligible to play immediately, but coach Watson Brown has yet to announce whether he will suit up for Thursday’s opener or not. Regardless of whether Rogers is in uniform, he’s got a tighter leash than most anyone else on the roster.
Watson told the Gannett Tennessee:
“Would I say that Da’Rick has got things that he’ll have to do more than just the regular players on the team? Yes,” Brown said. “But I won’t go into those. That’s between he and I. That’s going to do nothing but help him. If this was my own son that had gotten into something that he regretted then I would love him and be hard on him at the same time and say, ‘Let’s get through this together and get it corrected.’”
Can Rogers get it corrected?
Only time will tell.
For all his opinion, analysis and insight on college football, be sure to follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.