West Virginia football coach Bill Stewart has announced the signings of Mark Rodgers, a 5-9, 185-pound running back from Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, Calif., and Benji Kemoeatu, a 6-3, 315-pound offensive lineman from Kahuku High School in Kahuku, Hawaii to letters of intent and grant-in-aids for the 2008-09 academic year.
Rodgers ran for 2,319 yards as a senior and finished with 19 touchdowns. He also finished with 12 catches for 150 yards and a touchdown. He was an all-state selection as a senior, the All-Los Angeles County League Player of the Year and the region co-player of the year. He was named to the All-California Interscholastic Federation team for two years and the All-Los Angeles County League for two years as well.
As a junior, he ran for 2,500 yards and scored 31 touchdowns and played cornerback as well on defense.
Rogers, also lettered in track, was the fourth-fastest runner in the state of California in the 100m, clocking a time of 10.5 seconds. He earned all-California Interscholastic Federation honors as a senior.
“Mark adds depth at the running back position and provides outstanding competition at the tailback and slot positions” Stewart said. “He has Devine-type speed and is very quick, agile and has good vision as he runs the field.
Kemoeatu, a four-star football recruit, played both guard and center at Kahuku High School. He was a two-time first-team all-state selection and was a two-time OIA East first-team honoree.
He was rated as the No. 2 football prospect in the state of Hawaii among all players and among the Top 12 nationally among offensive guards. He helped lead the Red Raiders to Hawaii state championships in 2005 and 2006.
His two brothers, Maake (Carolina Panthers) and Chris (Pittsburgh Steelers), both play in the NFL
“Benji is the biggest big man on the island of Hawaii. He is extremely strong and physical and will be a great addition to our offensive line. He brings a toughness that we are looking for with our lineman.”
The Mountaineers signed 23 players on the Feb. 6 national signing day. Since then, WVU has added running back Zach Hulse and now, Rodgers and Kemoeatu.
West Virginia will conclude spring practice on April 19 with the annual Gold-Blue Game at 12:30 p.m., in Milan Puskar Stadium.