Elijah Rodgers was a two-standout during his high school career at Blacksburg. He was a quarterback and defensive back and was good enough to be chosen for the 2017 Shrine Bowl team as a corner. Indiana, BYU and Purdue were some of his top opportunities back then and he signed with the Hoosiers. But last summer, family issues forced him to leave before ever suiting up and he landed at Gardner-Webb where he played mostly on special teams. Now, he’s considering another move and is in the transfer portal, and USC is his prime target.
“I’m just going to explore my options,” Rodgers said. “If all else fails, I’ll stay at Gardner-Webb. I’m going down to South Carolina tomorrow (Saturday). I’m liking them a good bit so we’ll see what happens there. They’ve wanted me to walk-on for a little while now. They told me they were a little full on scholarships, but they told me they wanted me walk-on and earn my scholarship during that first year that I was there.”
And Rodgers is confident he could go to USC and get that scholarship.
“I think I can go in and earn it,” Rodgers said. “It interests me to be able to play in my home state. That interests me a good bit.”
Rodgers said USC is the only school he’s interested in transferring to if he decides to leave, and the Gamecocks like him as a corner. He’s talked with Gamecock recruiters Bobby Bentley and Travaris Robinson during this process and they have laid out the game-plan for him, which includes not rushing into a decision.
“I’m in spring ball at Gardner-Webb now so I’ll probably wait until after this semester is over,” he said. “Just weigh out my options after going down to South Carolina tomorrow and finishing spring ball up next week with Gardner-Webb. Just weighing my options to see what will be best for me.”
After playing in 7 games last season, Rodgers will have three years of eligibility.
As a high school senior, Rodgers had 29 tackles with 5 defended passes and 3 interceptions. He also passed for 866 yards and 14 touchdowns and rushed for 534 yards and 5 scores. In his last two seasons Rodgers blocked 7 kicks.