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 Charles Rogers: Nice Article 
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Post Charles Rogers: Nice Article
Rogers remembers McDaniel's camp, pays back
Friday, June 24, 2005
He's bringing along a few "friends" to join him at camp Saturday.


Charles Rogers now is one of them, a professional football player who attracts constant attention and scrutiny, and widens eyes of youngsters with the dream of one day being Charles.

But Rogers, a third-year wide receiver for the Detroit Lions, vividly remembers the day when he was one of those youngsters, with the dream of being a pro football player.

He was 10 years old, attending a summer youth football camp being put on by fellow Saginaw native Terry McDaniel.

McDaniel was an All-Pro cornerback for the Oakland Raiders. He was a role model for kids. He had what many of those kids wished they could achieve.

"I can still remember that day. They were going through the fundamentals of football, but I wasn't worried about that. I just remember thinking to myself 'that's Terry McDaniel right in front of me!' Rogers said. "I got a T-shirt from camp that day and I still have it somewhere.

McDaniel retired from his NFL career a few years ago. Rogers is 24 and preparing for his third year in the NFL.

He hasn't forgotten what that camp meant to him back then. Now he wants to return the favor by putting on a football clinic of his own for Saginaw youth.

It's one of his ways of giving back, something he's wanted to do since the Lions drafted him as their top pick in 2003.

Saturday, Rogers will take the place of McDaniel at Saginaw High when he puts on his own free youth football clinic from 10 a.m. to noon. T-shirts and an autograph will go to the first 200 youngsters, some of whom pre-registered at Saginaw High.

"It feels good to do this. It's something I wanted to do, I wasn't forced to do it. When I got drafted into the (NFL) I told myself that I wanted to get myself together first and get adjusted to professional football before I started doing things to give back to my community. Now it's time to do that," Rogers said.

Kudos to Rogers for making the camp free so it's accessible to all youngsters, no matter if their families are wealthy or poor. Many other camps charge money, which excludes underprivileged youngsters from attending.

Rogers would have it no other way, than to make his camp free.

"It's a High thing," he says, referring to other free camps conducted in the past by McDaniel and current Detroit Piston Darvin Ham.

Rogers isn't just giving back by conducting the free camp, he's adding some bonuses to the experience. He said fellow Lions teammates such as running back Kevin Jones, defensive end Cory Redding, defensive tackle Shaun Rogers, rookie wide receiver Michael Williams, cornerback Stanley Wilson and linebacker Alex Lewis are planning to join him at the summer camp. Rookie punter Adam Anderson of Chesaning also is expected to be there.

Now if that lineup doesn't open the eyes of the attending youngsters and recharge the dream, then nothing will.

Don Durrett, Rogers' football coach at Saginaw High, is glad to see the camp take place.

"I like to see more of it, our own guys who have gone on to success giving back to the kids in our community," Durrett said. "These kids need direction. They need role models, instead of getting their guidance from things like rap music. The dream is not there anymore. They need to hear the message, 'if you work hard, you can make it.' They need to see people like Charles who have made it so that they see it is possible."

Just like that day 14 years ago when a wide-eyed Rogers looked at McDaniel and saw playing in the NFL is possible.

Maybe those youngsters at Saturday's summer camp might just evolve into future stars themselves, whether as professional football players or positive citizens who pursue their individual dreams.

And maybe 10 or so years from now, they'll open their dresser drawer to find that T-shirt and memories rekindled from Rogers' summer football camp. v

Paul Neumeyer is sports editor for The Saginaw News. You may reach him by calling 776-9770.


June 24th, 2005, 11:03 pm
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Bubbles the Lion

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just as long as one of those 10-year olds doesnt lay a hit on Charles and break his collarbone :lol:

just kidding couldnt resist

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June 25th, 2005, 9:09 am
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Good for him, he remembers his roots.

Quote:
rookie wide receiver Michael Williams


It took me a minute to figure out who that was. :lol:

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June 26th, 2005, 5:51 pm
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Kudos to Charles. That makes me proud to be a Lions fan headbang.gif

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June 26th, 2005, 11:27 pm
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TheRealWags wrote:
Kudos to Charles. That makes me proud to be a Lions fan headbang.gif


agreed


June 26th, 2005, 11:52 pm
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