Winter 2022 magazine

Will Rogers, nation's leading passer: 'Nothing would be possible without my Savior'

Even after committing to Mississippi State, there was a part of quarterback Will Rogers that wished he could spend his college career playing in Mike Leach’s air raid offense instead. Leach was coaching at Washington State at the time and tried to convince Rogers to follow in the footsteps of fellow Mississippi native Gardner Minshew, who threw for 4,779 yards in his one year with the Cougars.

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Rogers kept praying about the decision but ultimately honored his commitment to the Bulldogs. By the time he arrived on campus, however, Leach was the head coach. Rogers told this story in a 2020 episode of the “Road in Between” hosted by pastor Tom Sikes. Rogers ended by declaring he and Leach did not wind up together by accident. There is no doubt in Rogers’ mind God was at work through all his doubt and uncertainty.

Rogers broke the SEC career completions record in Mississippi State’s 40-17 win over Arkansas on Saturday, the 28th game he played in for the Bulldogs. The previous record of 921 completions was held by Aaron Murray, who had a 52-game career as a four-year starter for Georgia.

“It’s awesome,” Rogers said. “It’s a blessing. I’m blessed to be here with these teammates, with this offensive line, with Coach Leach.”

Breaking the record at home made it even more special for Rogers and allowed his accomplishment to be celebrated by the Mississippi State fans as well as on the jumbotrons.

“For it to happen at home at Davis Wade [Stadium] where I’ve been watching games since I was in second grade was pretty cool,” he said after the game.

He also sent out a tweet saying “nothing would be possible without my Savior and my teammates.”

The victory was Mississippi State’s third in a row and moved the Bulldogs to 5-1 on the season. They earned the No. 16 spot in the new Associated Press college football poll released Sunday.

Rogers completed 31 of his 48 pass attempts against the Razorbacks for 395 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His third touchdown pass was a 33-yard connection with wide receiver Caleb Ducking early in the third quarter.

Rogers is now the nation’s leader in passing yards (2,110) and completions (202), and also emerging as a potential Heisman Trophy candidate. Even if the junior doesn’t end up as a finalist this season, he has two years of eligibility remaining if he wants to use them.

Amid his rise to national prominence, Rogers has been vocal about his faith in Christ. He says he is “Saved by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” in his Instagram bio and “Saved by Jesus Christ” in his Twitter bio.

 

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Rogers put his faith into action by signing an NIL deal with Make-A-Wish Mississippi. For every touchdown he throws this season, Simmons Erosion Control is donating $1,000 to the organization as part of the agreement with Rogers.

He explained in a 2019 interview with Mississippi Scoreboard that sharing the love of Christ takes priority over everything else for him.

“I feel that the good Lord is blessing me to be in the position that I’m in,” he said. “I’m not in this position for my wants or my desires, but I’m in this position to serve Him and expand His Kingdom.”

Rogers and the Bulldogs face a difficult set of games on the road before their bye week. They visit No. 22 Kentucky on Saturday and No. 3 Alabama on Oct. 22.

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