Michigan football commitment Davion Rogers cut in the Prescott Burgess mold
Growing up in Warren, Ohio, Davion Rogers didn’t have to look far for a football player he wanted to emulate. Prescott Burgess, a former Michigan linebacker now with the Baltimore Ravens, lived across the street.
Rogers didn’t know Burgess well, but he remembers “looking out that window like, ‘Yeah, that’s what I want to be.’”
So when Michigan offered Rogers a scholarship during his official visit last weekend, Rogers jumped at the chance to follow in his idol’s footsteps.
“Nothing against West Virginia,” said Rogers, who dropped a long-standing commitment to the Mountaineers to pledge to Michigan. “Just in the end, Michigan is just the better program. Many people don’t get offers from Michigan. You get that, that’s an honor, especially where I’m from.”
The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Rogers and his teammate, receiver D.J. Williamson, will join Burgess, Mario Manningham and Carl Diggs as recent Warren Harding standouts to play for the Wolverines.
Williamson committed to Michigan last spring. Signing day is Feb. 3.
Harding coach D.J. Dota said Rogers and Burgess are similar players, though Rogers is taller and more athletic.
“He always seems to come up with a play when you need one, it just happens,” Dota said. “And that’s kind of how Prescott was as a junior. He was kind of banged up his senior year, but when he did get to play it just seemed like he made a play when you needed it. He had natural instincts.”
Rogers said he committed to West Virginia over Michigan State early in the recruiting process because “my grade situation, it was looking bad,” and he didn’t know what other offers he’d receive.
“(Michigan) told me that they offered me back when they offered D.J., but I never saw the papers,” Rogers said.
After buckling down in the classroom last semester, Rogers said he’s “on track to be qualified.” He’ll play either outside linebacker or defensive end for the Wolverines, depending on how much he adds, and expects to contribute as a freshman.
“Let me tell you something,” Rogers said. “I ain’t never sat on the bench, I ain’t looking to sit on the bench.”
Dota said Rogers, who had six sacks, an interception, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt for Harding last year, could be an impact special-teams player as a freshman and have a Burgess-like career at Michigan.
"Athletically he's ready," Dota said. "He’s a pretty explosive player, has great knee bend. There’s a lot of great things to say about him. I just hope that when he gets there he takes on what he needs to do, and I think he will. He is passionate about football."
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.