Mechanicsville – It’s just over 4 miles from Sam Rogers’ childhood home to Hanover High School, a 7 minute trip according to Google.
His commute to Lane Stadium from his apartment in Blacksburg was roughly the same trip. But his jump to the next level of the game will increase exponentially in both distance and stature after Rogers was selected in the 6th round of the NFL draft by the L.A. Rams.
“It’s a surreal moment” Rogers told CBS 6 Sports’ Sean Robertson Saturday night. “I don’t know if it’s hit me yet, but God is so good to get me to this point.”
"You don't want to say you're surprised. I've been so blessed and fortunate to have so many good people around me to help get me this opportunity."
Rogers was at his parents home surrounded by family and his fiancee, Lauren Mallory when he received the call he's been waiting for his whole life.
"It was a long, stressful day sitting around waiting for that call" Rogers said. "The head coach called and asked me if I wanted to be a Ram. I don't remember much after that."
"I was so excited and crying, it was a great moment"
CBS Sports had Rogers as the top fullback available in the draft, and he was the first player selected at his position. That is due as much to his hard work and improvement as it is to the diminished role fullbacks have in the modern NFL offense. That has not deterred the former walk-on at Virginia Tech, who has been betting on himself since he first walked onto a field.
"They (Rams) use fullbacks in a more versatile way" Rogers said. "Whatever they ask me to do, I'm going to do. I'll play special teams and do everything I can for them."
The Rams did speak with Rogers prior to the draft and expressed interest, but did not expect him to be available when they might be ready to select him.
Rogers is the first player in Hanover history to be taken in the NFL draft. Josh Wells was signed as a free agent by Jacksonville in 2014 and has been with the Jaguars ever since. Like Rogers, Wells is a former Hanover quarterback who found his eventual success at another position.
This will be a memorable year for Rogers in multiple ways. He has his degree from Virginia Tech, he and Lauren will be married at the beginning of July, just before he reports for his first professional training camp.
"God has been so good to me" Rogers said. "I can't wait to get started".