MECHANICSVILLE, Va. -- Sam Rogers is a long way removed from his days bruising up and down the field at Hanover High as a quarterback/linebacker for the Hawks. But the dream he had back in his high school days is still quite alive and closer than ever.
Rogers is rated as the number 1 fullback available in this year's NFL draft according to CBS Sports. They, along with FOX Sports, project him to be selected in the 5th round this weekend. Whether he is drafted or signs as a free agent, joining an NFL team will fulfill a childhood fantasy that every boy who picks up a football has at some point.
"Playing in the NFL was always the goal" Rogers said outside his alma mater on the eve of the draft's 1st round. "I'm very fortunate to be in this situation."
Rogers walked-on at Virginia Tech, meaning he wasn't given a scholarship to play for the Hokies, at least not initially. He was recruited by several smaller schools but wanted to see if he could play at the highest level of college football. He started his very first game, played in 53 games over four years and scored 11 touchdowns.
Now that his college career is over, he is able to fully focus on the next step. Rogers has been in touch with several NFL teams, particularly the Falcons, 49ers, and Broncos, teams that employ a version of the West Coast offense that features the fullback more than other offensive schemes.
"Throughout the entire process at the senior bowl and the Combine you talk to just about every team" Rogers explained. "A lot of teams have stayed in touch but it's hard to tell."
"People have told me that some teams won't talk to you at all and then draft you. It's hard to get a bead on it."
Rogers has been working on blocking techniques and learning to run pro pass routes which differ from what he was used to with the Hokies.
"Just trying to get bigger, faster, stronger".
Rogers grew up a Redskins fan and would love to play for the burgundy and gold but would be thrilled with any opportunity. "I know I'm going to get a shot" Rogers said.
Much like his opportunity in Blacksburg, he plans to make the most of it.
"You have to take time to enjoy it" Rogers said. "I wouldn't say I'm surprised by it, but I'm definitely grateful for it."