Jacquizz Rodgers deserves to be mentioned on all the Heisman watch lists. As I wrote last winter, the Oregon State Beavers RB has to be considered a strong contender: In 2009, he ran for almost 1,400 yards and 20 TDs and caught 74 passes. Rodgers will also get the exposure of two high-profile non-league games in the first three weeks of the season, opening in his home state of Texas against the TCU Horned Frogs and later going to the likely preseason No. 3 Boise State Broncos. Recently, I had the chance to visit with the Beavers star to talk about his career, how things have changed for him and his goals for 2010.
How much did things change for you by becoming an overnight sensation after you sparked that upset of the USC Trojans on Thursday night football in your freshman season?
My role when I came in, I was just supposed to get a couple of carries a game. In my first game, I got 11 carries. I was surprised, and when we played the Penn State Nittany Lions, Coach told me I was going to start. I got two touchdowns and 99 yards. That USC game was the perfect time to make a name for yourself. Everybody was watching; it was a Thursday night. You grow up watching that team [USC] dominate everybody else. So then [after that], people just look at you differently. People still talk to me a lot about that game.