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Cal Golden Bears Football: Meet the class of 2020, TE D.J. Rogers

Rogers is a big man, and a big get for Justin Wilcox

NCAA Football: Redbox Bowl-California vs Illinois Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

So the NCAA has suspended all recruiting until mid-April. That means no news, no offers, no commitments for the class of 2021. That’s fine, just take it as another ‘dead period’ and move on.

With that in mind, however, and with no spring practice on the field (thanks coronavirus), we begin one of our offseason look-aheads by getting to know more about the new players joining the Golden Bears in 2020. This series starts by taking a look at the lone four-star recruit from the class of 2020, TE D.J. Rogers.

The tight end position for Cal is deep, in relation to the amount of bodies are occupying the tight-end room. That being said, only Jake Tonges and Gavin Reinwald return from last year as players who made a significant contribution (sure, Collin Moore also caught a touchdown but he also dropped one of his three catchable passes all year). Tonges and Reinwald combined for 27 catches, 402 yards and three scores but did have their struggles with drops and a fumble between the two of them.

Rogers presents a large-bodied receiver as a tight end at 6’3, 230 pounds. He had over 30 offers including schools like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, etc. etc. basically, the ‘blue bloods’ and yet he decided to stay on the west coast and sign with Cal on December 18.

He hails from Eastside Catholic High School in Sammamish, Washington as 247Sports’ eighth-best tight end in the class and seventh-best prospect overall from the state of Washington. A consensus four-star recruit, Rogers was the 315th-best prospect in the country overall, according to 247.

Eastside certainly knew they had a top-notch player of their own as they essentially featured him in any way possible a season ago. A good thing for them, for sure, as it led them to a 12-2 record and a ranking as the second-best team in Washington, according to MaxPreps.

They featured Rogers in a variety of ways, rarely on the edge of the line, in an attempt to utilize his frame and speed for his size in open space. They ran wide screens, bubble screens and even featured the running game off his lead blocks on outside zones with him as the lead blocker. Rogers’ highlights are numerous but his senior tape is littered with big-play moments.

He flew by defenders at his level of play in Washington and looked every bit like a four-star recruit at Eastside. His utilization showed how versatile he can be as well, with what looks like a bright upside with his blocking ability.

He has very strong ball skills as well, navigating to underthrown balls in the air just the same as he hauled in minor inaccurate bubble screens thrown his way. Sure hands and plus-blocking skills are a must for any tight end. And another thing going for Rogers is the fact that he rarely was seen at the high school level going down on first contact.

The ability to bounce off contact or evade tacklers, something he possesses, is oftentimes the difference in a yard or two, a first down or even a touchdown. Rogers really does tick all the boxes for a star tight end.

And plus, the only way you don’t enjoy a play like this ^, is if you’re the kid on the ground or the kid’s parents in the stands.

If Rogers can bring that to Berkeley, as well as everything else demonstrated in his highlight reels, you can bet his fanbase will grow 10x.

And we’ll certainly be here for that.