by Jarret Johnson for Inside the Red Raiders
Given the nature of the 2020 season being altered by COVID-19 and the fact it’s expected to cause a lot of roster disruptions throughout the schedule, depth has never meant more in college football. That means even some true freshmen who would normally might not be called upon will be likely be counted upon to step up and play a lot this season.
With that in mind 247Sports released its preseason freshman All-American squad Monday and Texas Tech is represented by offensive lineman Caleb Rogers, who is competing for snaps at tackle. Texas Tech head coach Matt Wells noted earlier this month Rogers was impressing in fall camp, “Caleb Rogers isa true freshman who has surprised a little bit after a couple days.”
Red Raider offensive line coach Steve Farmer went into greater detail about how the 6-foot-5, 290-pound true freshman has impressed so far in camp.
“Caleb Rogers, the freshman, is really, really putting on a good camp,” Farmer said. “It’s exciting as we’ve gotten into pads to watch him handle that. He’s done a nice job.”
Rogers signed with Texas Tech last December out of Mansfield (TX) Lake Ridge High School and enrolled this summer. The three-star recruit was rated at 85, ranked as the No. 1,126 prospect in the country, the No. 90 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 138 overall player in Texas for the 2020 class according to the 247Sports Composite, an average of the major recruiting service rankings in the industry. 247Sports itself ranked Rogers a little higher with an 86 rating, as the No. 73 offensive tackle in the U.S. and the No. 125 overall recruit in the Lone Star State.
247Sports national recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks provided the following evaluation of Rogers as a prospect coming out of high school:
“Adequately-sized offensive tackle with average frame potential relative to position. Looks a bit bigger on the hoof than listed size. Should be able to get to 300-pound plateau in college. Plays relatively light on his feet for size and position. Started on right side as a junior but could possibly possess long-term left tackle ability with improve mobility and strength. Likely could move inside and provides position flex value thanks in part to short-area mobility. Flashes block-finishing ability in the run game. Gets to the second level quickly when asked. Can improve hand placement and arm extension. Needs to add strength to maximize punch power. At times more of a catcher than a puncher at the point of attack. Possesses long-term potential to become a quality Power Five starter, regardless of specific O-line role.”
Rogers is currently competing with a host of offensive linemen looking to fill the void at both tackle spots after losing longtime starters Travis Bruffy and Terence Steele. Some of the players in competition include Zach Adams, Josh Burger, Ethan Carde and Landon Peterson.
It will be interesting to see how the competition plays out at tackle, but in all likelihood many of those competing for snaps will have to play either due to injury or quarantine due to COVID-19. The way Rogers has performed so far in fall camp, Red Raider fans should expect see Rogers at one or perhaps both tackle spots this season.
Texas Tech kicks off the season at home against Houston Baptist on Sept. 12 at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, TX.