Will Rogers exits transfer portal, will stay at Washington

January 23, 2024, 9:29 PM

Former Mississippi State quarterback Will Rogers told ESPN that he will withdraw from the NCAA transfer portal and remain at Washington to play for the Huskies in 2024.

Rogers informed Huskies coach Jedd Fisch of his decision Tuesday and has resumed taking classes at Washington.

Rogers transferred from Mississippi State to Washington after four productive seasons with the Bulldogs, which included him becoming the SEC's No. 2 all-time leading passer. He entered the portal after Kalen DeBoer left Washington to become the head coach at Alabama, which happened not long after Rogers arrived in Seattle.

Rogers spoke with multiple schools after reentering the portal but ultimately decided that Washington made the most sense. With a lot of attention being paid to who has left the program, Rogers said the allure of coming back to Washington after jumping in the portal was who else decided to stay there.

"Some of the guys at Washington," he said of his reason to return. "The team went 14-1 last year. If we can pick up where we left off, obviously it's going to be a tough task, but I think it's why you come to Washington.

"It's obviously a new conference and things like that. But I have a lot of faith in Coach Fisch and feel like he'll be ready to have us compete at a high level."

Rogers said Fisch's NFL experience was another factor. Fisch will be the offensive playcaller at Washington and has worked in the NFL as both an offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.

Rogers said he is hoping this season unfolds like a bridge year to get him to the NFL.

"That's the plan," Rogers said in a phone interview with ESPN. "Coach Fisch told me today, 'I want to treat you like a professional football player.' I told him that's what I want, and that's what I'm looking to do."

Rogers' decision marks a positive flurry of news for the Washington quarterback room. On Sunday, ESPN 300 recruit Demond Williams pledged that he would follow Fisch to Washington after previously committing to him at Arizona.

Rogers will be the favorite to start for the Huskies in the 2024 season. Along with losing Michael Penix Jr. to the NFL, Washington has lost Dylan Morris to James Madison, Austin Mack to Alabama and Will Haskell to the portal. Washington's 2024 quarterback signee, Dermaricus Davis, also announced he was leaving in the wake of Williams' decision.

Rogers immediately became one of the most accomplished players in the portal this winter, as he accumulated 12,315 passing yards during his time at Mississippi State.

Upon picking Washington the first time, Rogers told ESPN: "I know I have one more crack at it. I know I had to do what I had to do -- win as many games as possible."

Rogers' statistical résumé is among the best in the sport. He has completed 1,301 passes in his career, the most in SEC history. He enters the 2024 season with 38 starts and is the NCAA's No. 39-ranked passer in career yards. If he puts up another prolific season in his year at Washington, he could finish in the top five in the history of college football.

Rogers said he is hoping another quality season will translate to scouts and general managers.

"I'm really excited to play under someone who has NFL experience and can teach you the dos and don'ts and get you ready for the next level," he said.

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