St. John's (Shrewsbury) wide receiver Richard Rodgers, the No. 3 ranked prospect in Massachusetts, has verbally committed to the University of California at Berkeley for the fall of 2011.
Rodgers, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior, projects as a tight end at the next level but will line up at wideout and defensive end this season at the Shrewsbury-based school. He chose the Bears over scholarship offers from other Division 1 schools such as Oregon, Notre Dame, Boston College, Maryland, West Virginia and Minnesota. He led the Pioneers last season in receiving (49 catches, 722 yards, 17 touchdowns) en route to a Division 1 Super Bowl championship. Two seasons ago as a sophomore, Rodgers played forward on the Pioneers' Division 1 state champion basketball squad, and led the team in scoring (28 points) in their state final win over Lynn English.
Interestingly enough, his father Richard (currently the defensive coordinator at Holy Cross) handled two of the five laterals in the Bears' famous game-winning kickoff return against Stanford in 1982, widely known today as simply "The Play".
Our colleagues at Scouts, Inc. have the following evaluation about Rodgers:
Rodgers is another good tight end prospect from the state of Massachusetts. He will play on both sides of the ball in high school, but we feel he will fit best on offense in college. He has good height and solid bulk and looks to have the frame to be able to add more good size with time in a college weight program. He looks to come from a predominately spread attack and can be a productive target in the passing game, but at the college level looks better suited for a role as more traditional in-line tight end. Regardless of how he lines up he can help move the chains in the passing game. He displays good quick hands and can consistently extend for the ball. He displays good concentration and the ability to use his body to shield defenders from the ball. Will flash the ability to go up and get the ball, but you would like to see him do that a little more. He has a good set of hands, but does not display great speed or the ability to stretch the field. With his hands though and some sharper route running he can be a productive short-to-intermediate target. He will likely need to develop as an in-line blocker. He will display some physical toughness on defense that would lead you to believe that with some added bulk and work on technique he could be a productive in-line blocker. He displays the ability to get hands and can move and stay between his man and the ball. He will need to work to bend more and derive better power from his lower body. Rodgers needs to develop aspects of his game, but the kid has a good frame and good hands and with some time could develop into a good college tight end.
The story was first reported by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.