Charles Rogers, former Lions, Michigan State WR, dies at 38

Former Lions WR Rogers dies at 38 (0:46)

Chris Mortensen reflects on the legacy of former Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers, who has died at the age of 38. (0:46)

Former Michigan State star and Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers has died at age 38.

Rogers' former high school coaches told mlive.com that Rogers died from liver failure and that he recently was diagnosed with cancer.

"I called his mom at the hospital over the weekend and got a chance to talk to Charles," Don Durrett, Rogers' former football coach at Saginaw High School, told mlive.com. "He said he was going to the Lord."

Neither Durrett nor Marshall Thomas, the former basketball coach and athletic director at Saginaw High, specified what type of cancer Rogers was diagnosed with.

"He had cancer, whether that was related to his liver I don't know," Thomas told mlive.com. "They had given him 30 days to live if he didn't get a liver transplant."

The Lions said Monday that they "are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Charles Rogers."

"From Saginaw, to East Lansing, to Detroit, Charles' connection to the state of Michigan and its football community was felt by many during the course of his life," the Lions said in a statement. "We extend our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to his friends and family during this difficult time."

Rogers was selected by the Lions with the second overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft after two outstanding seasons at Michigan State.

Rogers' career with the Lions was derailed by season-ending injuries to his clavicle in 2003 and 2004, which limited him to a total of just six games in those seasons. He appeared in nine games for Detroit in 2005, when his season was abbreviated by a four-game drug suspension, before being released by the Lions in September 2006.

"I am very saddened to hear of Charles' passing. Charles was our first draft choice in my time with the Lions, and having the opportunity to select a premier player from Michigan State and a local Saginaw standout athlete was tremendously exciting," former Lions coach Steve Mariucci said in a statement. "In coaching Charles. his talent and ability were very evident early on in his career. I feel strongly had he not suffered unfortunate injuries, he would have gone on to become an excellent NFL wide receiver. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and I offer my deepest condolences during this difficult time."

A five-star recruit out of Saginaw High, Rogers enjoyed a record-setting two seasons at Michigan State, where he is the school's all-time leader with 27 touchdown catches. He won the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's best receiver, in 2002 after hauling in 68 catches for 1,351 yards and 13 touchdowns.

"We are deeply saddened to learn the news of Charles Rogers passing away. We send our condolences to his family, friends and former teammates during this difficult time," Michigan State said in a statement posted to Twitter.