Saginaw (MI) High School wide receiver Charles Rogers was Tom Lemming’s top recruit in the Class of 2000. He more than lived up to the hype in college with a two-season stint at Michigan State that saw him win the 2002 Biletnikoff Award, set a still standing MSU record for TD receptions (27) and earn 2002 First Team All-America honors.
All of which has made his precipitous fall that much harder to watch.
The No. 2 overall selection in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions, Rogers lasted just three seasons in Detroit, the last of which (2005) he was suspended for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for a third time.
It was, unfortunately, a sign of things to come. Rogers has endured a litany of legal troubles since the end of his playing days, bottoming out last April after turning himself into authorities on drug and alcohol charges and allegations he threatened to kill his own mom.
The courts have allowed Rogers to rehabilitate in Houston — after which high school friend and former Purdue safety Stuart Schweigert wants to get Rogers involved in community service within Saginaw.
“He has made a lot of mistakes,” Schweigert said in January. “But time can heal all wounds. He has plenty of time to make a positive impact in the community and see what he could become.”
The top recruits on National Signing Day today would be wise to look at Rogers as a cautionary tale for the duration of their collegiate careers and beyond. Charles Rogers profile