Despite getting thrown off the football team at the University of Tennessee and admitting to failing three drug tests, Da'Rick Rogers still thought an NFL team would draft him. But the wide receiver never got the call that 254 other players did over three days.
The calls did come when it was time for teams to sign undrafted free agents. Rogers' agent was contacted by a dozen clubs and his client decided to sign with the Bills.
Rogers was a guest on the WGR morning show on Thursday and reflected on not being drafted.
"It was a little weird and it was heartbreaking but at the same time it made me want to go harder and work harder" Rogers said. "When it came down to it, and the decision about where I wanted to go and I found out I wanted to be with the Buffalo Bills, that just put a bigger chip on my shoulder so I’m ready to go."
As to why he ended up choosing Buffalo, Rogers, who had a pre-draft visit with the Bills, said there were a number of reasons.
"Its like a college atmosphere when it comes to the Buffalo Bills and the fact that they needed receivers and had all new coaches" the 6'2", 217 pound wide out said. "Everything was new and fresh and I felt it was a place for me to get a fresh start. "
Rogers led the SEC in both receptions(67) and yards(1,040) in 2011 and was second with nine touchdowns. The Atlanta, Georgia native was named First Team ALL-SEC. But he was suspended in August of 2012 and ended up transferring to Tennessee Tech. Rogers said he was completely up front with the Bills and any one else who asked him about the off field issues.
"I told them the truth. I told them exactly what happened, how and why I failed those(drug tests) and then I showed them what I did at Tennessee Tech to fix that and what I’ve been doing since then." Rogers was subjected to ten drug tests at Tennessee Tech and all ten were negative.
Without even being told by Coach Doug Marrone, Rogers knows he is on a short leash with the Bills. "I know it’s a zero tolerance policy for myself and that’s the standard I hold myself to."
You can hear the entire interview with Da'Rick Rogers and find out how Stevie Johnson is helping the young wide receivers and how Rogers is soaking up knowledge from Bills receivers coach Ike Hilliard: