PROVO — Stephen Rogers, the 6-foot-8 sharp-shooting small forward who became a hot recruiting target among Division I schools after his stellar season last year at Mesa Community College, has decided to play next season for the BYU Cougars.
Rogers, after prayer and a few days of discussing his choices with family members, called BYU coach Dave Rose late Wednesday afternoon with the news.
"He was thrilled. It was fun talking to him," Rogers said.
Over the past two weeks, the Cougars were competing with Utah State for Rogers' services after several other schools were scratched from his list. Rogers viewed his situation as one where he couldn't go wrong with either school.
In the end, however, it might have been a conversation he had with former Cougar star Lee Cummard, who is now playing professionally in France, that swayed him toward BYU.
"Talking to him and getting his view of the program, I feel it's a place where I'll fit right in and have a good chance of being successful," Rogers said.
Rogers, a former star at Mountain View High in Mesa, Ariz., scored 21 points per game last season for Mesa Community College. He also shot 50 percent from the floor, 43 percent from 3-point range, 81 percent from the free-throw line and pulled down five boards per game.
"With my length and shooting ability, I should be a misfit for people to guard," he said.
After serving an LDS Church mission to Ohio, he redshirted one season at Arizona State before transferring to Mesa. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
For the Cougars, Rogers will mostly play the three position but could also get some time at the four. However, at around 190 pounds, he admits that he needs to gain a little weight and add some strength.
"Justin (McClure, BYU's strength coach) is going to have a heyday with me this summer," he said.
Besides being an outstanding shooter, Rogers is also a very confident ball handler.
"There will be times when I'll just get the rebound and go," he said.
Rogers will be in Provo in time to enroll for BYU's summer block. The addition of him to the roster means one of the Cougars returning scholarship players will have to go without this season. Prior to last season, BYU had one scholarship remaining, but decided to give it to former non-scholarship player Brock Zylstra.
Taking the scholarships from the departing Jonathan Tavernari, Chris Miles, Lamont Morgan and Tyler Haws will be incoming freshmen Kyle Collinsworth and Anson Winder, and returned missionaries Chris Collinsworth and Nick Martineau.