Charles Rogers, an All-American football player at Michigan State who was unable to parlay his success into the National Football League, died Monday, according to media reports. He was 38.
It was not clear where Rogers died, the Detroit Free Press reported.
However, Don Durrett, Rogers' high school football coach at Saginaw High School in Michigan, said he spoke with Rogers over the weekend, MLive reported.
“I called his mom at the hospital over the weekend and got a chance to talk to Charles,” Durrett told the website. “He said he was going to the Lord.”
“He had cancer, whether that was related to his liver I don’t know,” former Saginaw High basketball coach and Athletic Director Marshall Thomas told MLive. “They had given him 30 days to live if he didn’t get a liver transplant."
Rogers was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2003 NFL draft and the top pick of the Detroit Lions. Rogers, who won the Biletnikoff Award in 2002 as college football's top receiver, was also an All-America selection that season.
Rogers finished with 2,821 yards on 135 catches with 27 touchdowns in two seasons at Michigan State before entering the NFL draft in 2003.
However, he never panned out with the Lions in three seasons, playing 15 games over three seasons and catching four touchdown passes. Injuries and drug issues curtailed Rogers’ NFL career, and Detroit released him before the 2006 season, Sports Illustrated reported.
Man, this is crazy. Possibly the best to ever do it from Saginaw High, Charles Rogers has passed away. He was just 38. I could go on for days about the plays I saw this guy make on the field. In hoops and track too. Ridiculous athleticism. 😔 pic.twitter.com/695rWSgWFM— Ryan Slocum (@Sloc12) November 11, 2019
Rogers starred at Saginaw High in football, basketball and track, MLive reported. He led his high school football squad to a state title and also won a state crown in track, the website reported.
Rogers moved to southwest Florida several years ago and was working for an automobile repair shop in Fort Myers in 2016, the Fort Myers News-Press reported.
Devastated to learn of the passing of my spartan brother Charles Rodgers. Spoke with his mom this morning. Please pray for her and his children. Please also be respectful of their privacy at this difficult time. Rip Chuck 💔— Chris Baker (@Toten86) November 11, 2019
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