Hey, a JUCO!
Iowa Western CC defensive back Charlie "Ace" Rogers verbally committed to Minnesota this morning, the first JUCO prospect of the 2015 class and a former Iowa State player. Rogers is a 3 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, choosing Minnesota over listed offers from Illinois, Indiana, Utah State and several others. Charlie is the 17th member of the 2015 class and sixth defensive back commitment.
ESPNU eval ($):
Has great measurables for the safety position and is an impressive athlete. Possesses a big frame with long arms. Flashes good overall speed. Looks to get downhill, deliver a blow and dish out contact. Has good hands and balls skills. Good run stopper from zone coverage schemes taking proper angles to the football. Shows good awareness. ... May be better served in a nickel-linebacker role.
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**
** The section title is a bit. It's intentionally facetious comment on how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.
Weight: 205-210 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: 4.47s
2014 Spring Ball:
Iowa State highlights:
Ace is a guy who will step in right away and help out at safety, on both the underneath coverage and run support. His big frame and speed makes him a natural for a nickel safety spot, a role currently filled by Damarius Travis.
Defensive Back Recruiting
Defensive Back Recruiting
As mentioned above, Rogers has really good height and frame already for the safety position, though his strengths as a DB are all moving toward the line of scrimmage versus dropping in coverage. He'll likely start out as a nickel safety like Travis and Derrick Wells played this year, allowing Damarius to transition to a more traditional starting safety/center field type role. While Rogers is going to be asked to make an impact right away considering he'll be available for spring practice, it's doubtful he'll be able to unseat Travis or Antonio Johnson as a starter given their extensive scheme experience.
Eventually, Rogers could become a starting safety with enough versatility to play CB in the scheme (much like Brock Vereen), though he'll need to improve his man-to-man coverage skills in order to do that. He may simply have outgrown the position already.
Impact on Other Prospects?
They needed a JUCO to step in and add some depth considering how top heavy the secondary is with upperclassmen, and now the Gophers have one. Minnesota could simply wait and see what John Kelly wants to do and kick the tires on a few other prep safeties, but there's no longer a pressing need to get a DB who will step in and fill a role from day one.