Evans High School football standout Steven Rogers has decided where he'll be suiting up for the next four years.
The 6-foot-2, 170-pound wide receiver made a commitment last weekend to play for East Carolina University, a Division I squad in Greenville, N.C. After several successful seasons, the Pirates finished with a 4-8 record in 2002.
East Carolina will lose each of its top two wideouts to graduation. Torrey Morris led the Pirates with 38 catches last season, while Richard Alston was tops on the team with 702 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 36 receptions.
Also, of the returnees at receiver, none had more than 19 catches, and none recorded more than one touchdown reception.
The Pirates have many young wide receivers back from last year's team, and at this point it's uncertain whether Rogers will battle for playing time during his freshman year.
A lot could depend on how much weight Rogers puts on this off-season.
Personally, I think East Carolina is the perfect place for Rogers. Playing in the SEC or ACC would have been great, but playing time would have been tough to come by.
East Carolina has been nationally ranked several times, and has played in some quality bowl games, which means Rogers should get some good exposure if the Pirates have some success.
If Rogers can break into the lineup as a freshman, he'd be in for a treat. East Carolina travels to play the University of Miami in the third game of the 2003 season.
In time, Rogers could blossom into a big-time talent for East Carolina, but he wouldn't be the first Evans High School product to make an impact with the Pirates - Seth Yates signed with East Carolina after a solid senior season for the Knights in 1998.
Throughout the recruiting process, I've thought that some college team would get in steal in Rogers. As it turned out, the Pirates were the team.
National Signing Day is one week away, and several other Columbia County athletes could seal a deal next Wednesday. In next week's Bottom Line, I'll provide a complete breakdown of all those local players and the colleges they've chosen.
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