Patriot QB Cody Rogers (Photo: Lance Hinton/recruitNoVA)
Patriot is in good hands with Cody Rogers and a strong supporting cast
by Jim McGrath, recruitNoVA
Among the 100 or so high school athletes showcasing their talents at last Saturday’s recruit757/Sparta Sports combine, few are enjoying the upward trajectory in name recognition as much as Patriot quarterback Cody Rogers.
The 6-1, 185 lb. sophomore has helped lead the Pioneers to a 16-7 mark over the past two seasons. After temporarily being thrust into the starting position as a freshman, due to an ankle injury suffered by Chase Sonnenfield, Rogers has progressively been called upon to provide more production and leadership. As a freshman, he benefited from having Ike Onkuwa in the backfield.Yet, as his junior year comes into focus, there is little doubt that the Patriot offense will now focus on its new full-time signal caller.
With the addition of new head coach Sean Finnerty, who took the place of Brud Bicknell, the expectation of responsibility becomes greater.
And that’s fine with Rogers.
“Right after Coach Finn started, he called me aside and told me that he was expecting me to be the leader,” said Rogers, who has also gained valuable experience as a member of the U-17 USA Football team.
His skills will be needed. “We lost our whole offensive line from last year, and most of the D-line,” observed Rogers, who has gained a reputation as a quarterback who uses his 4.6 40-yard speed well, and possesses the ability to run when needed.Fortunately, the Pioneer receiving core is a strong group. Tyler Settle (6-3, 180) was an All-District and 6D All-Region receiver who grabbed 35 passes for over 700 yards last season. He also boasts 4.49 speed. Settle is not even Patriot’s tallest receiver. That distinction belongs to Lance Gaskins, who stands 6-5. “He’s fast and athletic,” said Rogers, agreeing with the comparison to Westfield’s Bizzet Woodley.
Settle was on hand at Redskins Park last Saturday, and the two got to work together through one round of passing drills. “My favorite part of the day was the 1-on-1 drills,” said the young QB, who was also inspired by the level of talent on hand. “It’s good to be working against the best players from all around.”
Jalen Stroman (23-385-3 in 2018) rounds out the receiving corps and gives the Pioneers one of the most potent passing attacks in Prince William County, if not Northern Virginia. One will become Rogers’ favorite target if he can “find a seam and get open when a play breaks down.”
Patriot will also be prepared to run the ball. Rising senior Jacob Carter (5-9, 180) is “a quick, fast running back,” according to Rogers, and one who should see more carries. While Bicknell liked to toss the rock, Rogers says that his new coach “might run me a little more. We should be more balanced, 50/50, with the run and the pass.” In spite of having a new line, Rogers notes that “the freshmen on the line are BIG!”
Rogers’ ascension to the starting role correlates with the increase in colleges interested in his ability to play at the next level. Although he has received no formal offers, a handful of schools, including Wake Forest, James Madison, East Carolina and Old Dominion have expressed interest. Sporting a 3.5 GPA should help the clean-cut Rogers expand his options in the coming year.
So should his strong arm. At last Saturday’s combine, Rogers showed multiple examples of why he has the reputation of a quarterback who can “spin it.”
– Jim McGrath