HOUSTON, Texas - University of Houston star linebacker Wayne Rogers (Waco, Texas) caps his fantastic senior season this Saturday by taking part in the 76th Annual East-West Shrine Game held at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m. (CST) and will be televised live by ESPN.
One of the top linebackers in the nation this past collegiate season, Rogers was selected the Conference USA Co-Defensive Player of the Year for his exploits on the field. He became the first Cougar defender to receive such an honor since the late Wilson Whitley capped his Lombardi Award season with the 1976 Southwest Conference Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Rogers was named to the C-USA First Team and picked as a Third Team All-American by both Collegefootballnews.com and The Football News.
Rogers was the Cougars defensive leader this year, racking up a Conference USA-leading 134 tackles, including 87 solo stops. Rogers-who was twice named C-USA Defensive Player of the Week in games versus Memphis and Southern Miss in successive weeks-set a Houston single-season record with 26 tackles for loss. He also racked up 10 sacks, broke up four passes and recorded one interception.
Nationally, Rogers finished first in the nation in TFLs, tying Pittsburgh's Bryan Knight with 2.36 per game. He also ranked ninth in tackles (12.18) and tied for 15th in sacks (0.91).
The former University High School star in Waco, Rogers finished his career with 330 tackles, 57 tackles for loss and 19 sacks, placing him in the UH Top 10 in all three categories. His 57 TFLs ranks him second only to T.J. Turner (1982-85) and his 66 tackles for loss.
Rogers continues the Cougars' rich tradition of post-season All-Star games, becoming the 16th UH gridiron great to play in the Shrine Game. Offensive lineman Greg Brown took part in last season's contest, while Rogers' teammate this season, quarterback Jason McKinley excelled in the Blue-Gray Classic on Christmas Day and has a date in the Hula Bowl on January 20.
Overall, the Cougars have placed 130 former players in postseason
All-Star games, including 39 in the Hula Bowl, 38 in the Blue-Gray Classic,
29 at the Senior Bowl and 10 at the defunct Japan Bowl.