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Rogers' late switch a coup for Vols

The receiver Georgia had planned on coming in and taking A.J. Green's spot will be wearing a Tennessee uniform on Saturday.

Da'Rick Rogers, who leads the SEC with six touchdown receptions, was committed to Georgia for seven months before changing his mind and choosing Tennessee at the last minute.

Former Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin laid the groundwork for Rogers’ flip-flop, and then current Tennessee coach Derek Dooley came in and finished the job.

“Everybody’s making a big story out of that,” Dooley said. “But for every one of those guys we get in Georgia, we lose about five others that we want. That’s just part of recruiting.”

Rogers, who’s from Calhoun, Ga., said earlier this week that the reason he switched to Tennessee was to “build a new face of a program.”

His best friend in high school, Nash Nance, was a big reason the Vols were able to steal Rogers away from the Bulldogs. Nance was originally committed to Vanderbilt, but after getting an offer from Tennessee in late January, he changed his commitment to the Vols.

Nance and Rogers visited Tennessee together the last weekend in January, and a few days later, Rogers wound up signing with the Vols.

It’s a package deal that was well worth it for the Vols, who have five starters from the state of Georgia and several more in the two-deep from Georgia.

“There’s fierce competition and a lot of good players in the state [of Georgia],” Dooley said. “You’re not going to get them all, but you hope to do a good job evaluating the players and get most of the ones you want, and that’s going to come over time. One game’s not going to decide it.”