Korie Rogers, a 4-star linebacker in the class of 2014, has already narrowed his options to two marquee programs: Georgia and Clemson.
Rogers is 6'1'', 210 pounds, and is the No. 6 inside linebacker in the 2014 class and No. 4 overall player from the state of Georgia, according to 247Sports Composite. He's a big-time recruit, and he'll represent a big-time commitment.
According to Ryan Bartow of TigerIllustrated.com, Rogers has two teams on top of his list:
Who sticks out for this Rivals100 member?
"Clemson is high on my list," Rogers told Tigerillustrated.com last Tuesday morning at his high school. "They are tied with Georgia on top."
Why is Clemson so high on his list?
"The atmosphere," Rogers said. "Plus, they fit my style of play as a recruit now. I just fit in well."
And for the Bulldogs?
"I've just always liked them," Rogers said. "They are acting like they need me. They are right down the street. I'm trying to play close to home. I have a little brother I'd like to be close to."
Both Clemson and Georgia have a lot to offer Rogers, though as he intimated, they appeal to him for different reasons.
Clemson boasts a great football atmosphere and community, and head coach Dabo Swinney is one of the better recruiters in college football. The program has a bright future, and expectations should be high.
Georgia, on the other hand, must fight in the SEC on a yearly basis, but it is undoubtedly one of the nation's marquee college football programs. Like Clemson, the Bulldogs have a great football atmosphere and an extremely dedicated fanbase.
A big difference between these programs is the defensive scheme each runs. But as an inside linebacker, the basics would remain the same for Rogers. Georgia runs a 3-4 defense, where Rogers looks to fit the "Will" position. Run responsibility would be crucial, and he'd have a chance to make a ton of plays with the "Mike" backer taking on the lead blocks.
Clemson runs a 4-2-5, and Rogers would most likely be best suited as either the "Mike" or "Sam" in that scheme, with responsibilities primarily between the tackles and the seams in coverage.
He's said he likes what Clemson is doing from a football standpoint, but the last statement he made about Georgia may eventually tip his hand. If he's looking to stay close to home, Georgia will provide him with the best option—if only by a slight margin.
Rogers is from Buford, Ga., just more than an hour from Athens. Clemson is not much farther, about an hour and a half in the other direction. Still, on the recruiting trail, even 20 to 30 minutes can be a huge advantage.
He could go to Georgia and play for an in-state program, which is huge. Meanwhile, he'd be playing in the best conference in college football for a program with legitimate national championship aspirations.
Clemson can't say that just yet, and in the end championship hopes may end up being a very important factor. The SEC is leaps and bounds ahead of the ACC in terms of competitiveness and national championship exposure.
Clemson needs first to worry about dominating in the ACC, then we can start looking at the national picture for the Tigers. Of course, that can change if Clemson comes out in 2013 and has a dominant season, but we'll have to wait to find out if that's the case—and perhaps so will Rogers.
For now, for an elite football recruit in-state, there's not much to dislike about the Bulldogs' program.
If that seems like a good fit, it's because it is.
That's why Georgia has the best chance to land Rogers.
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