Rogers: 'It was just time' to leave football

By: Bob Holt , Tom Murphy
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018
Arkansas center Zach Rogers calls out a play during a game against Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Photo by Ben Goff
Arkansas center Zach Rogers calls out a play during a game against Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

— Arkansas senior offensive lineman Zach Rogers, one of the most experienced reserves inherited by the new Chad Morris staff, has decided to give up football and concentrate on his career in professional law enforcement in Northwest Arkansas.

Randy Rogers, Zach's father, told WholeHogSports on Thursday that his son had already interviewed for positions within two agencies in Washington County.

Rogers, 21, married his girlfriend Kathryn last spring and graduated with a degree in criminal justice in December.

"I was just at that point in my life," Rogers said. "I got married last May. I decided that it was just time for me to move on and take the next step in my life."

Rogers said he informed former Coach Bret Bielema and offensive line coach Kurt Anderson of his plan to retire from football during the course of last season, then had a follow-up conversation with new offensive line coach Dustin Fry, who wanted to confirm Rogers was sure of his decision.

"I have nothing against Coach Morris," Rogers said. "I wish him and everyone the best of luck. I had nothing against Coach B. … This is something I'd been thinking about for a while."

Rogers, a native of Carrollton, Texas, made his first career start this season at center in Arkansas' 41-9 loss at Alabama on Oct. 14. After senior preseason All-America center Frank Ragnow was lost for the year with an ankle injury the following week, Rogers started each of the last five games.

He was likely in line to open spring drills with the starting unit.

"For sure it was tough, but taking everything into consideration, I just felt this was the right thing for me, to move on with my life," he said. "I enjoyed every minute of being a student-athlete up here. Everyone I came in contact with was awesome and if I could go back and do it again, knowing everything that I know now, I would still for sure come here."

With Rogers out, Arkansas has no starting experience at center going into the 2018 season. Early candidates for the position are redshirt sophomore Dylan Hays and redshirt freshman Shane Clenin.

Dudley E. Dawson contributed

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.