Chandler Rogers profile
"When I first got called to do it I was a little nervous," admitted Rogers. "When I heard who the players on our team I knew they were big time players. I knew it would be a big stage for me."
Chandler saw the opportunity as a chance to prove himself as a bona-fide college prospect.
"It was exciting for me to be able to throw to these guys who are going to play D1 ball and to throw against some kids who were going to play big time college football," said the Brookhaven standout. "It was a chance for me to play with and compete against the best."
The roster was made up of players from different areas of the state who knew very little about each other. Despite coming from diverse backgrounds, the group became fast friends.
"When we first got together nobody knew who was who," said Rogers. "After our first game we all got together we talked about routes and how we all did what we did. It took us that first game to get together, but we did.
"Guys were telling me how many steps they were going to run and where to throw them the ball. Once we got that going, we were fine."
After winning the regional title, the players that comprised Team Mississippi kept in touch on facebook and by text message.
"It was just about an everyday thing," said Chandler. "Tyriq was probably the most out spoken, but someone was always talking about nationals and how much we were all looking forward to it. We were all excited and we kept in touch with each other."
Rogers led Brookhaven Academy to a perfect season last year including a lopsided win in the state title game. Despite having an impressive resume in high school, the talented quarterback felt he had to prove himself to his teammates.
"At first I could tell they were a little unsure about me because I came from a private school," said Chandler. "After we all started coming together the whole level of competition thing went out the window. They all really took me in and they coached me up on how they did things. We just helped each other get better."
Rogers had to take on an unfamiliar role this past weekend when he was forced into action as a defensive back.
"I showed up and coach said we had seven people," said Chandler. "He told me he hoped I knew how to play some safety. Donte (Moncrief) helped me out there. He told me who to look for and what to look for. He is a big time defensive player and he really coached me up out there."
Rogers reports that he had no qualms about doing whatever his team needed to do to advance. The bond between the players was something that motivated him to put the team first.
"I think it was just that football brought us together, but the fellowship and friendship made the biggest difference," said Chandler. "A lot of those guys have big time offers and they are going to big time schools.
"I am fighting for an offer, but none of that mattered to the team. We were just football players and I think our friendships will last
from now on. I wouldn't change a thing about it and I couldn't ask for more from the guys."