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Charles Rogers death: A look back at his career highlights

Charles Rogers
Charles Rogers had an incredible career at Michigan State. Pic credit: FOX47 News/YouTube

Former Michigan State star wideout Charles Rogers has passed away at the age of 38. While it is being widely reported that Rogers had been sick for some time, his passing came as a surprise to many who knew him.

Cause of death

Wherever Charles Rogers played, he did well. That may be just another reason why it comes as such a shock that he is gone so soon.

The former Saginaw High School and Michigan State star died Monday from liver failure, according to his former Saginaw High coaches.

“I called his mom at the hospital over the weekend and got a chance to talk to Charles,” former Saginaw High football coach Don Durrett said. “He said he was going to the Lord.”

It is being reported according to MLive.com that Rogers also was suffering from cancer.

“He had cancer, whether that was related to his liver I don’t know,” former Saginaw High basketball coach and athletic director Marshall Thomas said. “They had given him 30 days to live if he didn’t get a liver transplant.”

Several former Michigan State and NFL stars took to Twitter to express their disbelief, including former MSU star Plaxico Burress.

While Rogers is best known for his great catches on the gridiron, he also was a star athlete in basketball and track. Rogers helped lead the Trojans to a football state championship and excelled as an individual track star.

Rogers was a highlight machine

During his time at Michigan State, Rogers wasn’t good, he was great. Rogers was the go-to guy during his time as a Spartan and in 2002 he owned the Big Ten.

He won the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in college football that season as he hauled in 68 passes for 1351 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Rogers’ 19.9-yard average that season was one of the best in NCAA history.

Since 1994, only Ohio State’s Terry Glenn (1995) and James Washington of Oklahoma State (2017) had a better average per catch than Rogers over the past 24 years.

Rogers racked up nearly 3,000 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns during his career at Michigan State. Those numbers are even more impressive when you consider he left for the NFL following his junior season.

Rogers was selected second overall in the 2003 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions. It seemed like a dream come true. A local kid who shined in high school, college, and now was drafted by his hometown team.

Unfortunately, Rogers lasted just three seasons in the NFL with Detroit. Rogers played 15 games as a pro due to injuries and personal issues.

Joseph Karbousky has been freelance writing since 2010 and enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, with his main focus on college and professional sports.... read more
Joseph Karbousky

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