On Sunday, Clemson commitment Amari Rodgers played in his last football game before he gets to Clemson when he suited up for the Under Armour All-America Game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
The Clemson Insider caught up with Rodgers about his experience at the prestigious all-star game, which features 115 of the nation’s top senior high school football players.
“It was pretty cool,” Rodgers said. “It was nice to spend time with the players because I knew most of the guys from The Opening, so it was cool being back with them, competing again and building relationships for the future. It was fun all-around, and I loved every second.”
The two-time Mr. Football award winner in Tennessee teamed up with fellow Clemson commit and two-time Tennessee Mr. Football winner Tee Higgins as part of Team Armour.
Rodgers and Higgins got a feel of what it will be like working together in Clemson’s receiving corps over the next several years.
“It was cool to be on the same team, being on opposite side of each other and getting a little taste for what’s it going to be like the next few years,” Rodgers said.
The Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic product believes he benefited from the competition against some of the nation’s best players.
Putting the type of talent Rodgers faced into perspective is the long list of NFL stars who have played in the game, such as Julio Jones, A.J. Green, Amari Cooper, Jameis Winston, Leanord Fournette and more.
Former Clemson standouts like Dwayne Allen, Daquan Bowers, Andre Ellington, Stephone Anthony, Jay Guillermo, Ben Boulware, Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Deshaun Watson also participated in the event in the past.
“Any time you’re competing against somebody that’s at the type of level they are, it gets you better,” Rodgers said. They were bigger, more physical, faster and better fundamentally than I played against in Tennessee. So, it taught me a lot and gave me a little taste of what the athletes are going to be like when I get to college.”
The coaching Rodgers received was elite, too. Head coaches of powerhouse high school programs including IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) served as assistants on the staff of former New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Herm Edwards, who led Rodgers’ team.
“They both helped me out, gave me some advice and gave me some tips for college,” Rodgers said of the coaching staff. “So, I’m going to take that and go from there.”
Rodgers, who committed to Clemson in August, is rated as a top-100 player in the 2017 class by 247Sports.
As a senior this season, Rodgers recorded more than 40 catches for over 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 31 yards per reception.