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May 21, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - One year ago, Tennessee football signee Zach Rogers was dominating the state track championships, winning the 100 meters, 200 meters and long jump and anchoring the 4x200-meter relay championship squad.
This season, however, he's only participating in one event - the long jump - because he is also trying to win a state championship in baseball.
With no stress from the recruiting process, Rogers is having fun in his final high school season.
"It's a lot more laid back," Rogers said. "I'm having a lot more fun doing it. There is no pressure. It's been a lot of fun going back to baseball because I've played my entire life. I'm able to still do a little bit with track, and I'm just lucky to have been successful in both."
Rogers was in Knoxville quite a bit this spring to watch his brother Austin take part in the Vols' spring practice. He also got to get a glimpse at what he'll see this fall.
"I was very impressed," Rogers said. "Things looked like they were a lot more high tempo. You could see it in the players eyes. They wanted to be out there. I'm looking forward to the fall."
With several veteran wide receivers, the younger Rogers says he knows it will be hard to crack the rotation. That doesn't mean he's going to come in and accept a role on the scout team as a redshirt player. He's coming to play.
"I'm going to compete," Rogers said. "I know there are numerous guys that are talented. I'm going to work hard to try and get on the field whether it's offense, defense or special teams. Playing is second to none. It's going to be a lot of fun."
After Rogers completes his spring fling competitions, he'll head back home and start focusing on his final week before he heads to Knoxville for the beginning of his collegiate life.
"I been lifting and running," Rogers said. "It's time to get back into football season and I'm looking forward to it so much. My installs have been offense so that's where I'm going to start at. The coaches told me to come in and compete. They are going to give the freshmen plenty of opportunities to put pressure on the older guys during fall camp."