Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville and Gene Chizik, who is the defensive coordinator and secondary coach for the Tigers, give Rogers major credit for helping the Tigers to an 11-0 regular season record and a number one ranking nationally in scoring defense.
“When I decided to come back for my senior year, I set some goals for myself and one of them was to go to Orlando as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award,” says Rogers, whose team is currently undefeated as it prepares for the SEC Championship Game.
The Tigers are ranked third in both major polls this week behind Southern California and Oklahoma and they are also third in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) ranking.
“To end the regular season 11-0 that is a big accomplishment,” the cornerback says. “We have to stay focused on Tennessee. They are coming up next. We can’t argue with the BCS and how they do their thing. We can’t help that.”
Rogers is joined on the list of finalists for the Thorpe Award by Antrel Rolle of Miami and Ernest Shazor of Michigan. The winner will be announced on Dec. 9th in Orlando, Fla., at ESPN’s College Football Awards Show.
After defeating archrival Alabama for a third straight year last Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Rogers and his teammates are taking a break this week with no classes at the university before reporting back to campus on Friday to begin preparations for the SEC Championship Game vs. Tennessee a week from Saturday.
Carlos Rogers is one of the fastest players in the SEC.
The senior, who first broke into the starting lineup as a true freshman, has been a key player for four seasons at Auburn. He has had only 17 passes completed in his area all season.
Rogers was named SEC Defensive Player of the Week as well as the Walter Camp Football Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week for his play vs. Georgia as Auburn defeated the third top team it played this season.
Rogers is also one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top defensive player. He is a semi-finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, which honors the nation’s top college defensive player.
Auburn defeated Tennessee 34-10 in Knoxville earlier this season, but Rogers says the rematch in the SEC Championship Game is a contest that he and his teammates are taking very seriously.
“It is going to be hard,” Rogers says. “They are going to be well game-planned for us. We have got to come ready to play.
“We know they have a few quarterbacks that are banged up so we are going to have to give different looks just like we came out with when we went down to Knoxville. We have to come after them from the get-go and our offense needs to get after them. Nobody in the nation can touch us once we get going on both sides of the field.”