Nick Rogers, a sixth-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 2002 that spent two seasons with the team, died early Monday morning in a single-car accident in Georgia. He was 30 years old.
A defensive end at Georgia Tech, the Vikings converted him to outside linebacker as a rookie. He played well in limited time in his first season, notching 34 tackles and two sacks. He played all 16 games in 2002, starting 11, and played in all 16 games in 2003 as well, starting five. His production dropped off in 2003, however, and he was released prior to the Vikings' 2004 season. He split his 2004 season between the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts, and played briefly for the Miami Dolphins in 2005. He was then out of football for a couple years, but returned with the Colorado Crush of the Arena Football League for a brief stint.
Rogers had only recently married his childhood sweetheart, a lady who once got him in a bit of hot water with his coach, George O'Leary.
"We had a a team meeting as freshmen and Nick stands up and says he had to miss a function or a meeting or something," said Gregory, now a graduate assistant under O'Leary at Central Florida. "Coach O'Leary asks him why and Nick said, ‘I got to go to prom with my girl.' She was a senior in high school.
"Coach was like, ‘Prom? Are you kidding me?' He let him go but he gave him that stern O'Leary look. All the fellas, we got on him for years about that. He went to prom for Kia."
Our sympathies go out to the Rogers family in their time of need.