NFL vision could come true


    As I watch the Horned Frog football team this season, I keep having the same vision.It’s April 2007. I only know this because there’s a huge “NFL Draft 2007” banner behind a huge podium.

    I see a man at the podium announcing some team’s pick in the early second round. I don’t hear the name of the team or the player, but I distinctly hear the words “Texas Christian University.”

    And as a small contingent of Horned Frog fans fills the room with cheers, a familiar face walks on to the stage.

    Cory Rodgers.

    Then, I see the analysts from ESPN talking about Rodgers, while images from his career fill the screen. The analysts mention how he emerged from “relative obscurity” to become one of the top receivers in the draft class.

    They reference Rodgers’ junior year and how he was a major reason the Horned Frogs exploded onto the scene in their first year in the Mountain West Conference.

    They mention a couple of bowl games, a couple of huge performances, and before you know it, they’re on to the next guy and things get very hazy.

    And that’s my vision. Cory Rodgers as a second-round pick in just about 18 months.

    Can it happen? From everything I’ve seen, I have no doubt in my mind.

    Rodgers has all the tools to make it to the NFL, and TCU’s opponents are starting to take notice.

    In other words, it’s make it or break it time for No. 17.

    Now is the time when Rodgers needs to step up and take over. The junior had 29 receptions and 309 receiving yards in the first four games.

    In the Frogs’ next five, he only made 15 catches for 239 yards.

    The reason is simple: Teams are focusing on Rodgers and not letting him control the game. But if my vision is going to come true, he’s going to have to battle through and come out on top.

    I think Rodgers is an NFL-caliber player. His speed and special teams’ ability show me that he’ll make an NFL roster somewhere. But where he goes in the draft is going to depend a lot on next year.

    And everything is set up for Rodgers to succeed next year because the key offensive stars will be back. Jeff Ballard, Robert Merrill, Aaron Brown and Quentily Harmon will all return with Rodgers.

    And they’ll have at least eight games under their belt as a group when the first 2006 kickoff comes around. That kind of talent and chemistry could do wonders for Rodgers’ chances.

    Is my vision a little farfetched? Maybe. But it’s definitely something I’d love to see happen.

    And I can’t wait to see if it will.

    Drew Irwin is a senior economics and broadcast journalism major from Dallas.