Ending an internal debate that took a lot longer to settle than he ever expected, Stephen Rogers announced Wednesday which school he would play basketball for.
And the winner in the fairly-heated recruiting battle that saw coaches from Brigham Young and Utah State making their sales pitches several times over the past few weeks is BYU.
“It was a huge decision that was very difficult. I went back and forth many times,” Rogers said. “I can’t pinpoint it on one factor, there wasn’t much of a wrong choice I could have made. They are both good schools.”
Rogers was named a second-team junior college All-American after averaging 21.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field.
The 6-foot-8 sophomore-to-be with three years of eligibility remaining made a school record 80 3-pointers and averaged 81-percent shooting from the 3-point line while earning Arizona Community College Athletic Conference player of the year honors.
Before making his choice, Rogers was recruited by and offered scholarships to attend numerous schools including New Mexico, Utah, UC Santa Barbara and others. He trimmed that list of options to Utah State and BYU two weeks ago and after a weekend visit to Provo with Cougar coach Dave Rose, Rogers returned to his Mesa home to give his decision some thought.
” I had a pretty good idea as of yesterday,” Rogers said. “Today I went to the temple with my parents and I thought it over and decided that BYU is where I wanted to be.”
At BYU, Rogers projects to initially fill the role played by Jonathon Tavernari last year. He could play either the small forward or power forward depending on the matchups and situations while providing a taller offensive option on the wing with his 3-point shooting.
Rogers is a 2006 graduate of Mountain View High in Mesa where he helped lead the Toros to back-to-back Arizona state championships. After serving an LDS mission to Cleveland, Rogers joined the Arizona State basketball team where he redshirted for a year.
He then transferred to Mesa CC where he lead the Thunderbirds to within a game of the NJCAA Tournament, falling to Eastern Utah.
Rogers will sign his National Letter of Intent in Provo this weekend.
She said he plans on making a second trip to Utah this weekend where he will celebrate his girlfriend’s grandmother’s 80th birthday.
“I’m extremely excited,” he said. “I’ll go up there and make it official.”