WVU Offers O-Lineman Na'Ty Rodgers for 2013 - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

WVU Offers O-Lineman Na'Ty Rodgers for 2013


One of the nation's top offensive line prospects continues to get build an impressive list of offers and West Virginia is just the latest team to throw its hat in the ring.

Na'Ty Rodgers, a 6-foot-5, 278-pound lineman, was in Morgantown on an unofficial visit over the weekend and received a scholarship offer before he left town. He headed back to Maryland with 14 programs on his list.

"I talked to the coaches earlier in the week and they asked me if I could come check out a practice, so I asked my mother and found out it was only four hours away, so I figured, why not?" says Rodgers.

Rodgers, who stars at McDonough High School, had only really just begun to familiarize himself with the Mountaineers recently. A friend of his had pointed out that Baltimore product Tavon Austin found something he liked in WVU, so he decided to take a look at some highlights and work to develop his own opinion of what the team in Morgantown was all about.

He liked the tempo with which West Virginia played and enjoyed seeing a more athletic lineman leading the way up front. When he made his visit, he became more enamored with the team, but for different reasons.

"The coaching staff is great," he says. "When I saw [offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh] coaching, he was just hands-on and he'd tell you straight up, he's not going to lie to you. He teaches a lot of technique, and really that's what I pride myself on, a lot of technique. Watching the practice and hearing the pads pop was a great feeling. The coaching staff and the town itself would be a great atmosphere for me to play in."

Coach Bedenbaugh has a lot of competition when it comes to acquiring Rodgers' services. Listed in the Rivals 250 of the nation's top recruits, the rising senior has offers from programs like USC, Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina.

His cousin currently plays for the Trojans and his father, Tyrone Rodgers, played at Washington before beginning a professional career with the Seattle Seahawks. Rodgers notes that he plays both ways in high school and while the vast majority of attention he gets is for the offensive line, his defensive lineman father would be thrilled if he somehow ended up on the other side of the ball.

Having guidance from family that has gone through this process successfully has helped Rodgers as he really begins to consider his options.

"I grew up on it. I'm used to it now," says Rodgers. "Looking from the outside in, it may look like some pressure, but I grew up with a family full of athletes, so it's all there in the family, I think."

Because of that, he also knows that the transition from one level to the next can be difficult. As a lineman on the slimmer side, he knows he will likely have to spend a season beefing up before he is ready to compete for a starting job.

When he spoke with Coach Bedenbaugh, who has only ever had two freshman linemen get on the field, he felt that WVU would mean a redshirt year.

"I'd rather a coach be honest with me than tell me I'm going to start and then I don't see the field until my sophomore year," he says. It really depends on what I do when I get there. I know even if the coach says you have a chance to start, you still have to go up there and battle with a lot of guys who were already there and expect to start just like I do."

On Sunday, he had a chance to see what that competition would be. The coaching staff has been praising the offensive line this spring for growth from this time last year, and Rodgers was impressed by what he saw.

"It looks like they're coming along," he says. "When I watch them, they're working on their technique and have a lot of people that aren't starting right now that look pretty good, so overall as an offensive line I think they'll be good because it's not just five guys – it looks like about seven or eight guys who look like they could play anywhere."

Rodgers plan on continuing to take unofficial visits as his junior year wraps up and then making a list of official visits sometime over the summer to fill up his fall schedule.

He says a family atmosphere, both on the team and in the college community, is most important to him when making his final decision, which he does not believe he will do until after his senior season is complete.

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