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May 2, 2012
Rodgers is a Surprising Sooner Legacy
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With Oklahoma going from coast to coast to make offers many Sooner fans may feel Bob Stoops and the coaching staff are simply throwing darts at a map. However, while the Sooners certainly have taken on some unlikely battles, one that was perhaps erroneously thought by many to be an incredible longshot was Pomfret (Mary.) McDonough four-star offensive tackle Na'Ty Rodgers.
The 6-foot-5, 278-pound prospect recently picked up a Sooner offer and the nation's No. 30 offensive tackle says that while the offer came to him in a bit of a roundabout way, his interest in the Sooners is sincere.
"I got a letter from them a while back from coach (Bruce) Kittle. It was probably a couple of months ago and it got lost somehow. Then I finally got it back and talked to him a little bit and he asked for some film and said they were going to come down and when he did they offered me," Rodgers said.
"I'm interested in Oklahoma, because actually, my father played for (Oklahoma), Tyrone Rodgers, I think he was there for a year (1989) and then he transferred to Washington."
Though the elder Rodgers left Norman when probation that crippled the program through the 1990s he clearly has no ill will toward the program he committed to following an illustrious career at Banning, Calif. Not surprisingly the elder Rodgers was, and remains, good friends with legendary Sooner, and Banning, option quarterback Jamelle Holieway.
"I always hear about Oklahoma. He is always telling me why he chose that school, the great campus and the coaches were great, he also had a teammate, (Holieway) that was another reason that he went there. I hang out with those guys, they are always talking about Oklahoma. I like the program, it's a great program," he said.
Rodgers may have heard glowing reviews from his father, who still lives in California, it's someone a bit closer to home that has added another draw.
"I've talked a lot with (Kittle) on Facebook. You know messages and letters, and that kind of thing. At Oklahoma, I like it because it's a very big school and the lineman they produce, Trent Williams, that's a big time guy right there who is getting paid a lot of money to do what he does," he said of the former Sooner All-American and current Washington Redskin.
"To get an offer from a team like that, so many first round draft picks, it's just a great program and they are doing it the right way.
"If I went there (for a visit) it would be my first time, I've seen the pictures, heard all the stories."
Though the Sooners missed a beat when Rodgers lost the contact information for Kittle and the Oklahoma staff he says that the delayed relationship won't slow down their opportunity to get into the thick of his recruitment.
"No, I'm not really trying to cut it down, end of the summer, I really want to get out there and see as many schools as I can, I don't want to count a school out because they had a bad year or because of what I heard. I don't want to cut any schools out, but I know I can't see everybody at this point," he said.
"To visit Oklahoma, my father lives in California, so he might find me a way to get down there."
Even better news for Oklahoma is that to date Kittle seems to be hitting the right notes for the nation's No. 231 overall prospect.
"He just talks a lot about the guys that are there, how they are a lot like me. I mean I'm not 6-foot-7 or 6-foot-8, I'm more of an athlete, not a guy that just overwhelms guys with my size. I'm not sure how I'd fit into a school that runs the ball all the time or wants to play power all the time," Rodgers explained.
"But they have good athletes there, long and lean guys and I think that could be a really good fit for me. Coach Kittle just tells me that I'm going to have to come there and work and I know some schools will tell you that you are going to start but how many other people are they saying that to? I mean if they'll lie to you in recruiting, they'll lie to you when you are there. If they are honest, they'll be honest and that means a lot."
Whether it's family tradition, NFL output, or simple fit, it clearly seems that whatever the reason that Rodgers sees Oklahoma as a more worthwhile possibility than many had reason to believe.