Well, so much for those rumors, apparently.
Earlier this week there was some uncertainty swirling around Da’Rick Rogers‘ future with the Tennessee football program, with one report going so far as to speculate — in part via Rogers’ own words — that he was strongly considering a transfer to Div. 1-AA Georgia State.
After being held out of practice Thursday for what was officially labeled “internal things that needed taken care of”, Rogers was back at Vols practice Saturday. And, according to head coach Derek Dooley, all is good when it comes to the All-SEC wide receiver and his (short-term? on-again, off-again?) future with the Vols.
“You know, it was something he had to do, he did it and he’s back,” Dooley was quoted as saying by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, referring to the missed practice time earlier in the week. “He’s doing good. He had a good day out there today. He had good energy, good job covering punts a couple times. He’s obviously an extremely talented player. Glad he took care of what he had to do. …
“Da’Rick’s been fine. I don’t worry about that, and if he is [not], then we handle it just like any other player.”
Dooley added that the transfer rumors to Georgia State “didn’t even come up” in conversations he’s had with the player, “and we’ve talked for hours since two days ago.”
Rogers’ tweets came three days ago on Wednesday, March 28, so this could merely be a matter of semantics on the coach’s part. What seems clear that, at least for now, Rogers will be a part of the Vols.
With Justin Hunter returning from a severe knee injury and limited this spring, the Vols could certainly use the Rogers who flashed his immense potential last season this year. That kind of production — team-leading totals in receptions (67), receiving yards (1,040) and receiving touchdowns (nine) — would be difficult to replace, especially if Hunter is less than 100 percent to start the season or suffers a setback.