Clemson adds great receiver and recruiter with addition of Rodgers
|Sunday, February 14, 2016, 1:18 PM- -|
Clemson picked up another valuable piece of the 2017 recruiting class early Sunday afternoon with the addition of 4-star wide receiver Amari Rodgers, but Rodgers might play a pivotal role with the rest of Clemson’s targets for 2017: he plans to start recruiting immediately.
The Knoxville (TN) Catholic product is rated the No. 19 receiver and No. 184 prospect overall by ESPN while Rivals lists Rodgers as the No. 25 wide receiver and No. 180 prospect nationally. Rodgers committed to Clemson at noon Sunday via Periscope, and he told TigerNet shortly after the announcement that Clemson’s family atmosphere won him over.
“Just the family base they have and the family thing they have. They're all together,” Rodgers said. “They always have each other's back. They are always there for the players, and they're a big family. It's a small town, and that's what I like, too, because there aren't that many people, so you know that they're just focused on Clemson. I like that. The coaches are always there for me, too. I talk to Coach (Jeff) Scott almost every day, and we've built such a great relationship.”
The 5-foot-10, 195-pound Rodgers chose Clemson over Tennessee, Florida State, Wake Forest and Alabama. Rodgers listed a top five early last week, and missing from the top group was Southern Cal. Rodgers initially committed to USC where his father, former Tennessee quarterback Tee Martin, is a member of the coaching staff.
However, Rodgers de-committed from Southern Cal after receiving a Clemson offer in early December. He visited Clemson for its junior day in late January with Oak Ridge wide receiver Tee Higgins, who announced his de-commitment from Tennessee. Former Vols commit and the nation’s No. 1 QB Hunter Johnson flipped to Clemson back in December.
Rodgers said that Clemson’s academics and graduation rates were a big draw.
“Me and my mom, we looked at that also,” he said. “I'm planning on majoring in communications and they have one of the best programs in that section in the country. I already loved the school, so knowing that they graduate most of their players, which was a big factor, also.”
Co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott – who recruited Rodgers heavily – was another reason he chose Clemson.
“Seeing him (Scott) put Nuk (DeAndre Hopkins) and Sammy (Watkins) in the league and now Charone (Peake) in the league, that was a big factor because he's a great coach,” Rodgers said. “Next year, he's going to put Artavis (Scott) in the league, too. Just him putting great receivers in the league, I looked at that also.”
Next up for Rodgers? Recruiting other great players to join the Tigers’ 2017 recruiting class.
“No doubt. I'm going to get all of the great players that we need and just recruit all of the great players like Tee Higgins - he's one of my best friends, and I'm going to try to get him on board,” Rodgers said. James Robinson, we met on the visit, so I'm going to try to get him on board, too. I'm going to get us all of the great players for us to win a national championship because we need to get that. We're going to get that.
“We are going to have one of the best receiving corps classes. One of the best classes ever. I'm going to get two more great receivers since we only have three spots. Then we're going to get a great running back and some more offensive linemen. I'm going to try to get the best players to fit that spot.”
The Class 4A Mr. Football winner led the area with 1,570 receiving yards and 23 TD receptions, but also returned two punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns, had three rushing TDs and returned an interception for a touchdown. Schools won’t stop recruiting Rodgers, but he says he will abide by Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s wishes and not take any further visits.
“I'm two-and-a-half hours from Clemson,” he said, “so I'm going to be up there all of the time.”