George Rogers grew up in Duluth, Georgia but he took South Carolina and the nation by storm in 1980. His 1,781 rushing yards was the best in the nation and earned him a Heisman Trophy. Rogers beat out an impressive group of players, including Pittsburgh defensive lineman Hugh Green and Georgia running back Herschel Walker. Rogers also earned spots on eight All-America teams, all First Team honors.
Rogers had his number “38” retired during halftime ceremonies at South Carolina’s final 1980 home game. He was the first University of South Carolina player to have his jersey retired while still active at the school. In the 1981 NFL Draft the New Orleans Saints selected Rogers with the first pick overall (one pick before the New York Giants selected Lawrence Taylor). In his first season, Rogers led the league in rushing with 1,674 yards, which set a high for rookies at that time.
He was selected as the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year for 1981 and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl. Rogers would spend his first four seasons in New Orleans, and then went onto the Washington Redskins, where he earned a trip to the Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl title in 1987, defeating the Denver Broncos, 42-10, in Super Bowl XXII. Fans of the University of South Carolina consider him the greatest player to ever play at the school. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
Check out the George Rogers Foundation of the Carolinas!