Patrick Rogers stacks up the accolades

Patrick Rogers tips away a pass during a game at Tomlinson stadium. Photo by Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Photos

Jacob Thompson

Patrick Rogers tips away a pass during a game at Tomlinson stadium. Photo by Jacob Thompson / Thompson Sports Photos

Charis Jones, Staff Reporter

CWU football defensive back Patrick Rogers has already been named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) All-American First Team Defense, but decided to take it a step further and claim the title of honorable mention selection to the 2022 Don Hansen National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division two All-American Team, as well. 

“I feel blessed,” Rogers said. “If you’ve watched me and watched my journey from the time I got here, I’ve been through a lot of adversity and challenges … This is a true testament of perseverance and what people may say as ‘stayed down for the come up.’”

According to Rogers, he joined CWU’s team in 2017 where he sustained his first labrum tear during practice. He then came back with high hopes for the following season in 2018 but redshirted after suffering a larger-scale labrum tear during the second game of the season. 

“At this time, it had been two years since I’d played football … I found myself continuing to question if football is worth all this pain and stress. I’d contemplate quitting all the time but I wanted to prove to myself I’m as good as I say I am,” Rogers said. “I felt there was unfinished business so I continued to believe in my journey and process of going through adversity and it had ultimately brought me success.”

He was able to bounce back in 2019 and appeared in 10 out of 11 games that season, then the pandemic hit and he made an appearance during CWU’s only game of the 2020 season. 

Rogers credits CWU’s Football Head Coach Chris Fisk for his belief in him regardless of the injuries he sustained.

“I just want to give a shoutout to all of the coaches, especially coach Fisk for always believing in me and giving me an opportunity to play,” Rogers said. “He could’ve easily let me go when I was younger and getting injured, but it challenged me to step up to the plate and focus more on my body and staying healthy so that I can be able to hit the field.”

Rogers also made sure to credit former CWU linebacker Donte Hamilton as someone he goes to for accountability.

“He knows what it looks like to be great,” Rogers said. 

Rogers was able to come back after 2020 by starting in all 11 games and being named First-Team All-GNAC in the 2021 season.

“There’s going to be ups and downs but you’ve just got to wait for your time to come,” Rogers said. “It’s the repetitive tasks. We’ll practice four days out of the week and only have one game … so it takes a lot of dedication and patience to continue to practice every day and [compete] in the games.”

CWU’s Defensive Coordinator Nate Johnson also vouches for Rogers’ dedication to the game.

“I would describe [Roger’s] mindset as determined and focused,” Johnson said. “He wants to be the best player possible … he’s relentless. We put him in a lot of one-on-one roles where there’s a lot of pressure on him and he responds consistently. He doesn’t get beat off and when he does, he bounces right back.”

Rogers also said that he gives a lot of props to CWU’s practice squad players for helping get him to where he is today.

“Without them I wouldn’t get the certain looks, the route running or the blocks,” Rogers said. “Having them give full effort every practice allows me to work on my skills and my technique.”

While Rogers is an asset to the team through his position as a player, Johnson also mentions his importance from a leadership standpoint as well. 

“The younger classmen look up to him and respect his work ethic,” Johnson said. “He’s moved us forward in terms of leading by example … he’s enabled the guys around him by showing what it is that hard work can get you.”

Johnson also said it’s worth noting other aspects of Rogers that deserve highlighting as well.

“He has tremendous character,” Johnson said. “He does everything he can for the people around him and he’s just a good person, on top of being an exceptional football player.”