• Jared Redding

Craddock Oil Mr. Elite Finalist, Will Rogers

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

Craddock Oil Mr. Elite Finalist, Will Rogers. Photo courtesy of Keith Warren, MHSAA. Graphic courtesy of Cal Brown.

Throughout the decade, the Brandon Bulldogs have been blessed with outstanding leadership, particularly behind center. The past three seasons have been no exception.

Senior quarterback Will Rogers has been named the third Craddock Oil Mr. Elite finalist after a prolific career with the Bulldogs. Since 2014, the Mr. Elite Award has been given out to the best high school football senior in the state of Mississippi. The player personifies what it truly means to be elite on the gridiron, in the classroom, in the community, as well as being someone that Mississippi high school football will miss when their playing days are finished.

On the football field, Rogers is a work of art. His ability to put the football exactly where he wants it and extending plays when needed played a big role in his career total of 9,093 yards and 79 touchdown passes. All of that happened with a .638 career completion percentage.

After a few brief appearances as a freshman, Rogers suited up as the full-time starter the following the year as a sophomore. Despite finishing 7-6 and being bounced out of the first round of the 6A playoffs, Rogers showed what he was capable of with 2,476 yards and 18 touchdown passes. With a loaded squad coming back the following year, it would get better.

In 2018, the Bulldogs were among the favorites to represent the south in Class 6A. They proved they were worthy, tying a school record of 13 wins, but they fell just a game short of their ultimate goal at the hands of Oak Grove. Rogers had another notable season with 3,009 yards and 23 touchdowns through the air. Despite losing a talented target in Jonathan Mingo due to graduation at season’s end, Rogers was out to prove in his final year that he could make more magic happen with anyone he was throwing to.

Rogers’ senior year was one to remember. The Bulldogs finished the year 9-5, battling with perhaps the toughest schedule in the entire state of Mississippi. That didn’t seem to phase Rogers based on his final stat line. In 2019, Rogers completed a staggering 66 percent of his passes for 3,608 yards and 38 touchdown passes with only three interceptions. Time will tell if can do the same thing in Starkville for the next few years as a future member of the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

The fourth nominee for the Craddock Oil Mr. Elite Award and Craddock Trophy will be announced on Friday, December 20 at 11:00 a.m.

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