It is clear that Darreus Rogers (Carson, Calif./Carson) is USC's top wide receiver target in California. But after an early offer and commitment, the Trojans will need to continue working these last few weeks -- as they will with all commits -- to keep him in the mix.
Rogers is in Fresno this week, participating in the inaugural Cal State All-Star Game, pitting some of the top players in northern California against their counterparts from the south. The South team appears fairly set at wide receiver, as they can put out a three-wide set featuring Rogers, Bryce Treggs (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and Kenny Lawler (Upland, Calif./Upland). The players went through check-in Monday before practices started Tuesday, leading up to Friday's game.
Rogers made a statement in the first evening practice of the week, with two spectacular catches. The first was on a crossing route where he spun to catch a ball that was thrown behind him and was able to bring it in with one hand. The second was good enough that the coaches decided to end practice on it. A deep ball was thrown to Rogers against coverage from Ishmael Adams (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian). Adams looked as though he was preparing to make a basket catch as the ball was slightly overthrown. But Rogers went up over the cornerback and hauled it in, drawing praise from his entire team.
"It's probably one of the best trips I've ever taken," Rogers said of the event. "Just the experience of being away from home for a week, preparing me for if I go far for college."
Rogers said he is looking forward to taking a few steps away from the recruiting scene during the dead period, which will allow him to focus on football. But he also has his eyes set on January, which is shaping up to be a busy month for just about everybody. Rogers plans to take three official visits during the month, to Arizona State (Jan. 6), USC (Jan. 13) and Oregon (Jan. 20). He said Washington State with new head coach Mike Leach has made a push to sign him as well, but added the Trojans are out in front.
"That's my No. 1 school," he said of USC. "Second is probably Arizona State, so those are my top two."
Arizona State coaches had their in-home visit with Rogers shortly before he left for the all-star game, and he was intrigued enough to set up an official visit.
"I'm just letting it flow through and relaxing," Rogers said of the recruiting process. "But as of right now, SC is still my No. 1 school."