KNOXVILLE – Tennessee seniors Zach Rogers, Prentiss Waggner and Ben Bartholomew have been invited to participate in the Raycom College Football All-Star Classic, played in Montgomery, Ala., on Saturday, Jan 19 (CBS Sports Net) at 3 p.m. ET.
They join offensive lineman Dallas Thomas (Senior Bowl) and linebacker Herman Lathers (NLFPA Collegiate Bowl) as the five departing UT seniors who have been selected to play in collegiate all-star games.
Rogers, who hauled in 32 catches for 491 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior, is the most likely NFL Draft pick candidate of the trio. The 6-foot, 175-pound senior is ranked as the 27th best wide receiver available for the 2013 draft, according to CBSSports.com. He is projected as a sixth or seventh round pick by CBS.
“A lot of adversity, but at the same time, it will definitely make us stronger down the road and we just have to be able to realize that,” Rogers said of his four-year UT career after finishing his final game against Kentucky on Nov. 24. “We may not be able to see it in this short time here, but it will hopefully help us as we grow as men. I learned a lot here and I’ve had some great experiences here.”
Waggner is a versatile defender who played safety and cornerback for the Vols. The Louisiana native finished his career with nine interceptions, 15 pass deflections and 159 tackles. He is projected to be an undrafted free agent by CBSSports.com.
Bartholomew, a third-generation Vol, was also a versatile player in his time in Knoxville. He was best known as a blocking fullback, but he also helped out at tight end and played on multiple special team units. He finished his career with 17 receptions for 156 yards and one touchdown.
The 6-2, 250-pound Nashville native is unlikely to be drafted but will probably get a chance to earn an NFL roster spot as an undrafted free agent.
Former NFL coaches Dan Reeves and Jim Bates will lead coach the two teams through a week of practice and the game itself.