Rogers turning pro

Nov. 26, 2002 at 1:52 PM
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EAST LANSING, Mich., Nov. 26 (UPI) -- As reported Monday by the Detroit Free Press, wide receiver Charles Rogers, a rare bright spot in an otherwise disastrous football season at Michigan State, Monday night announced that he will skip his final college season and enter the NFL draft.

He made the announcement at the school's annual football awards ceremony.

"I woke up one morning and came to a decision," said Rogers, who has two children and has not hired an agent. "I felt like it was the best decision for me and my family at the time. It wasn't a hard decision at all. It was an easy decision. I felt like I did all I could do for the university."

The Detroit News reported Tuesday that threat of injury also played a major role in his decision. Two of Rogers' friends have suffered career-threatening injuries -- tailback Tyrell Dortch and Wisconsin wide receiver Lee Evans.

"When your time is up, your time is up," said the Saginaw, Mich., native. "There's a lot of good guys here in this program and now it's their turn."

Rogers is a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in college football. Most draft analysts believe he will be taken high in the first round.

Michigan State was considered a preseason contender for the Big Ten title, but the Spartans were just 4-8 and concluded the year with a 61-7 drubbing at Penn State on Saturday.

The season included the firing of Bobby Williams as head coach, and the revelation of a substance abuse problem suffered by starting quarterback Jeff Smoker that led to his suspension from the team.

Rogers continued to put up big numbers, breaking his own single-season school record with 668 receptions. He caught 13 touchdown passes and had 1,351 receiving yards.

Rogers also established an NCAA record for consecutive games with a touchdown catch with 13.

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