University of California at Berkeley Golden Bears
St. John's High School
The Massachusetts native traveled far from home to become a legacy on the opposite side of the country, playing for the team where his father, Richard Sr., was the former Cal player who was prominently involved in "The Play" in the 1982 Big Game (making the final of five laterals). The son lived with his father after his parents divorced and the two moved around quite a bit while the father played in the Canadian Football League and Arena Football League. They eventually settled down in Worcester, where his father spent six seasons coaching at Holy Cross.
Rodgers Sr. later had collegiate coaching stops at Diablo Valley College, San Jose State, Portland State, New Mexico State and Holy Cross, picking up professional coaching experience in the NFL's minority internship program with the Oakland Raiders and with the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe. He is the special teams coordinator with the Carolina Panthers under former Cal teammate and current Panthers' head coach Ron Rivera.
While living in Worcester, Rodgers attended St. John's High School.Named a Prep Star All-American as a senior, Rodgers led all Massachusetts Division C-1 players in receiving, sacks and scoring, while ranking 10th in tackles. He posted 65 catches for 1,064 receiving yards and 16 touchdown grabs, and added eight sacks and 35 tackles, during his final prep campaign when he was named All-State by ESPNBoston.com.
Rodgers garnered four and a half stars from Tom Lemming, and received three stars from Scout.com as a member of the 2011 recruiting class.
Despite being recruited as a tight end at California, Rodgers was often used in motion, also seeing time in the slot, but he made quite an impact creating mismatches vs. smaller cornerbacks when aligned at the flank. After seeing nothing more than special team action during his first season with the Bears, he went on to catch 59 passes for 896 yards (15.19 ypc) and a pair of touchdowns during the course of his final 22 college contests.
One of three true freshmen to letter for California in 2011, Rodgers was listed third on the depth chart at tight end, but his only statistics came with the special team units. He blocked a kick vs. Presbyterian and had a 5-yard kickoff return vs. Arizona State. As a sophomore, he switched from jersey #82 to #11 and started six games, grabbing 20 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown. He was hampered a bit early in the year by a right foot sprain that forced him to sit out the Ohio State clash.
Prior to the 2013 season, Rodgers said goodbye to Red Vines and hello to a new position.
"I told him you will not play a down if you don't (lose weight) because you're slow and fat and out of shape and you can't play," Cal offensive coordinator Tony Franklin said of Rodgers. "He wants to play." So Rodgers, who played tight end for the Bears in 2012, dropped 33 pounds to find a home in an offense that doesn't typically feature his position.
After ballooning to 278 in the offseason while recovering from shoulder and foot injuries, Rodgers cut out his biggest dietary vice. "I have a big sweet tooth. I like Red Vines a lot," he said. "That was my problem."
He checked in at 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds for his junior season, and competed for a role at one of the two slot positions in Cal's four-receiver attack. Franklin called Rodgers a "natural" for "new prototype" tight end used in the NFL.
After catching 39 passes for 608 yards (15.6 average) and one touchdown in 2013, Rodgers announced his intention to enter the NFL Draft.
"The thing that put me over the top was just talking to my dad," Rodgers said. "He just told me to do what's best for me, whatever I want to do is the thing he would support. That was pretty much it. He just supported me throughout the whole thing."
Rodgers appeared in 35 games at California, starting 11 contests…Finished his career with 59 receptions for 896 yards (15.19 ypc) and two touchdowns…Gained 9 yards on seven carries, recorded three solo tackles, blocked one kick and returned a kickoff five yards.
After shedding 33 pounds, the 245-pound junior shifted to the "Y" receiver position, starting five contests vs. Northwestern, UCLA, Oregon State, Washington and Arizona, appearing in eleven games…Sat out the Southern California clash with a thumb injury, but still finished third on the team with a career-high 39 receptions for 608 yards (15.59 ypc) and one touchdowns…Gained 9 yards on seven reverses and recorded a pair of solo tackles…Had the team's top yards-per-reception average among its top eight receivers…Posted two of his three career 100-yard receiving games with a season-high 125 yards receiving on five catches vs. Stanford in the season finale and four catches for 100 yards vs. Portland State, with the longest two catches of his career also vs. the Vikings (75-yard touchdown) and the Cardinal (62 yards) that were the team's second and third-longest catches of the season…Recorded a career-high-high-tying seven catches for 71 yards vs. Washington…Added receptions and receiving yards in other games vs. Oregon State (6-68), Washington State (4-85), Northwestern (4-38), UCLA (3-34), Oregon (2-38), Arizona (2-24), Colorado (1-20) and Ohio State (1-5)…Had at least one catch in all eleven games he played in and recorded at least one catch of 20 or more yards in nine of eleven games and had a team-high total of eleven catches of 20 or more yards…Added nine rushing yards on seven carries with all of the yards and all carries other than one including a career-long five-yard run coming vs. UCLA for a total of 617 all-purpose yards, as he also picked up two tackles with both coming vs. Washington State.
Rodgers played in 11 games, starting as a 278-pound tight end vs. Nevada, Southern Utah, UCLA, Washington State, Stanford and Oregon State…Switched to jersey #11 from #82 prior to the season…Caught twenty passes for 288 yards (14.4 ypc) and a touchdown, missing the Ohio State clash after suffering a right foot sprain vs. Southern Utah…Ranked first on the team among regulars and second overall with an average of 14.4 yards per catch, while he was third in yards receiving, tied for third in touchdown catches and fourth in receptions…Had at least one catch in each of the final eight games and nine of the eleven contests he played in overall…Posted a career-high-tying seven receptions and a career and team-high 129 yards receiving with one catch going for 50 yards and another for 42 to help lead Cal to a victory over South Division champion UCLA…Caught three balls for 76 yards and his first career touchdown on a seven-yard reception at Utah, with one of his catches going for a season-high 51 yards…Honorable mention College Football Performance Awards Tight End Performer of the Week after his performances both vs. UCLA and at Utah…Had the first catch of his career vs. Southern Utah (14 yards) and added single receptions in contests vs. Washington (23 yards), Washington State (seven yards), Oregon (six yards) and Stanford (four yards)…Recorded the first tackle of his career in the season opener vs. Nevada…Helped out with punting drills during the spring when the team was short on punters.
Rodgers was one of only three true freshmen to play in all thirteen games, along with Mustafa Jalil and Viliami Moala, getting in all of his action off the bench…Contributed the team's lone blocked kick of the season when he blocked a punt vs. Presbyterian…Had one kick return for five yards in the regular-season finale at Arizona State.
2012 Season…Missed the Ohio State game after he sprained his right foot vs. Southern Utah…Limited in 2013 spring camp by a shoulder issue that he suffered late in 2012. 2013 Season…Did not play vs. Southern California due to a thumb sprain.
4.87 in the 40-yard dash…1.69 10-yard dash…2.82 20-yard dash…4.47 20-yard shuttle… 7.23 three-cone drill…31 1/2-inch vertical jump…9'-8" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 16 times…32 5/8-inch arm length…10 1/8-inch hands…80-inch wingspan.