Amari Rodgers: Man on a mission
|Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 2:09 PM- -|
Amari Rodgers is a man on a mission.
Rodgers, a 2017 Clemson wide receiver commit out of Knoxville, TN, is used to playing football and competing at the highest level. However, his future team just completed its spring practice, while his former teammates at Knoxville Catholic will begin their spring practice next week.
Rodgers can participate in neither one as a player, so he’s spending all of his free time preparing to step on Clemson’s campus June 26th.
“I am just training and trying to finish out school. And then every day after school I go train,” Rodgers told TigerNet. “I do conditioning and work with my trainer doing footwork stuff. During my off time, I am just preparing and working for when I get to Clemson. I work on explosiveness because a wide receiver has to be explosive in everything he does - coming out of breaks, your takeoff in your route, and really everything you do. I am working on that speed, quickness and versatility I am working on different muscles so that when I do it in a game or practice, it won't be different. My trainer focuses on doing workouts in the little areas that nobody pays attention.”
Rodgers watched the Clemson spring game, and while he acknowledges that the Tigers are loaded at the wide receiver spot, he also thinks he has a chance to play this season.
“I saw the spring game, and they all balled out. Ray-Ray (McCloud) and Cornell (Powell) all did their thing. But I always have the confidence that I will be able to go in and play right away,” he said. “That is just me. I am a competitor. I feel like I have the ability and the mindset to go in there and play right away. That is why I am working out now. I am not working out for two years from now; I am working out for a couple of months from now. That is really what I am pushing for.
“It's Clemson. They have everything they need already on the roster. They just won a National Championship. But what I think I bring is competitiveness, and I love the game of football. I will go out there every day and give it my all. I want to go out there and be a great team player.”
In the meantime, he sits and watches everybody else play the game he loves while he sits in a weird kind of non-football limbo.
“It feels kind of weird. My high school team starts spring practice next week. This time last year I was getting ready for spring practice and my senior season,” Rodgers said. “Now, I am not doing anything, and I am upset because I love playing football and I can't do it. I will go out and watch my old team practice and help out my guys.
“I was always doing something with football. Now there are no more camps, and it's strictly getting ready for college. That is kind of the weird thing about it, to know how fast a year has gone by and how quickly things changed.”
The 5-10, 200-pounder says he’s now on a mission to get to Clemson, where he will room with fellow wide receiver commit Tee Higgins.
“I think rooming together will help both of us. Tee and I both have the same competitive mindset,” Rodgers said. “We are both coming in on a mission, and we are going to help each other out. It will help being roommates, going over the playbook and being able to talk about things like that.”