KNOXVILLE - All seems well with Da'Rick Rogers.
Tennessee coach Derek Dooley was all positive in discussing his star receiver after Saturday's practice, and Rogers did much of the same on Monday, his first appearance since missing practice last week for some internal issues.
"No controversy," the rising junior said. "Just had some little things to handle off the field. Got those handled and now we're looking forward to moving forward and becoming a championship-contending team.
"If I was a distraction, I really wasn't trying to be a distraction. It was a situation that we got handled, and everything is good now. As a team, we're focusing on moving forward."
The former Calhoun High School standout returned to practice on Saturday after completing the necessary requirements. Rogers said it hurt him to miss practice and added he "had plans" of returning for UT's Saturday workout. Rumors swirled last week as Rogers' Twitter account and one internet report linked the All-SEC receiver to a possible transfer to Georgia State. Rogers shot down those rumblings.
"No transfer for me," he said. "No consideration. Maybe I need to do a little bit better job with tweets, letting everybody know what's really actually going on so next time it won't be misinterpreted.
"I mean, sometimes you just come to a point in your life where you have to be strong about things. I had a little weak moment, and that’s gone behind me and behind the team now. We’re ready to go."
In addition to meetings with Dooley, Rogers said he had conversations with quarterback Tyler Bray and receiver Justin Hunter, two of his closest friends on the team. He also denied any issues with UT's strength and conditioning staff, which was reportedly the reason he missed a portion of the Vols' offseason workout program.
"That was all me focusing on things," Rogers said. "I wanted to get a lot of school stuff done, and I got all that stuff done. Everything like that is right.
"No issues. Maybe a few misunderstandings, but nothing too serious that any football team around doesn't have."
More on this story in Tuesday's Times Free Press.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...