One of the main concerns facing second-year coach Derek Dooley and his Tennessee Vols heading into the 2011 football campaign was whether or not the team’s young receiving corps could pick up where graduated seniors Denarius Moore, Gerald Jones and Luke Stocker left off.
   
 After putting together a solid freshman season, totaling 582 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, sophomore wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers has already surpassed his freshman season receiving totals in just two games. In each of the 6-foot-3 receiver’s first two contests, he has been a target for quarterback Tyler Bray and has also been one of his primary go-to receivers, along with Justin Hunter. Rogers has hauled in 15 receptions for 200 yards and a team-high three touchdowns.
    
“It’s great to have a receiver like Da’Rick and Justin to throw to,” Bray said. “Da’Rick is a big receiver and he can jump out of the gym, and you can pretty much throw it up anywhere and he will catch it. The chemistry is great with all the receivers right now.”
    
Dooley has also been very impressed with Rogers, who has posted 100-yard receiving games in back-to-back weeks.
   
 “He’s obviously been blessed with size, speed and athleticism,” Dooley said. “He is able to generate some big plays for us on offense. He is big, strong and runs faster than people think, and he’s very competitive.”
    
However, there is much more to Rogers than just being the big offensive playmaker people know him as on the field. When he is not practicing running routes or finding the end zone on Saturdays, Rogers is pursuing a major in sociology.
    
“Something most people wouldn’t know about me is that I’m really smart,” Rogers said. “The three words that best describe me are passionate, enthusiastic and loyal.”
    
In his spare time, Rogers likes to play basketball at the TRECS or go to the pool with friends. His favorite television shows are “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “SportsCenter.”
   
 The Calhoun, Ga. native’s favorite musical artists are Gucci Mane and Pretty Ricky.
   
 “On game days I like to jam out to my iPod,” Rogers said. “But, it’s when I run onto the field that really gets my adrenaline pumping.”
    
According to Rogers, one of the reasons he decided to come to Tennessee is the program’s rich traditions.
    
“I always love being part of tradition, because it’s something that ties you with the past,” Rogers said. “I love getting dressed up in the suits, going down to the Vol walk with all the fans and running through the ‘T’ on game days surrounded by nothing but orange and white.”
    
Rogers will be part of a great tradition when the Vols travel to Gainesville, Fla. this week to take on SEC East rival Florida.
    
“We are going to come out and play as an aggressive offense, that’s our game plan: run downhill strong and throw the ball deep,” Rogers said. “It’s pretty important. It’s the first SEC game, but the way we look at it is that it’s just the next game. It’s just another football team.”
    
If the Vols can beat the Gators in the Swamp, it will surely increase the tradition of the Tennessee program, which never evades Rogers.