Don Rogers (safety)

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Don Rogers
No. 20
Personal information
Born:(1962-09-17)September 17, 1962
Texarkana, Arkansas
Died:June 27, 1986(1986-06-27) (aged 23)
Sacramento, California
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft:1984 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18
Career history
Career NFL statistics

Donald Lavert Rogers (September 17, 1962 – June 27, 1986) was an American professional football player who was a safety in the National Football League (NFL) for two seasons during the mid-1980s. He played college football for the UCLA Bruins, and was recognized as an All-American. Rogers played professionally for the NFL's Cleveland Browns, but his career was cut short when he died of a heart attack caused by cocaine use in 1986.

Early years[edit]

Rogers was born in Texarkana, Arkansas. He graduated from Norte Del Rio High School in Sacramento, California in 1980, where he excelled in football, basketball, and baseball, and garnered All-City honors in all three sports. His brother Reggie Rogers also played in the NFL.

College career[edit]

Rogers attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he played for the Bruins. He was Co-Player of the Game in the 1983 Rose Bowl for the UCLA, along with quarterback Tom Ramsey. He also tied a Rose Bowl record in the 1984 Rose Bowl when he snared two interceptions from Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback Jack Trudeau.

Professional career[edit]

Rogers was selected in the first round with the 18th pick of the 1984 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He played two seasons with the Browns from 1984 to 1985, winning Defensive Rookie of the Year in his rookie season[citation needed].


Rogers died of a heart attack caused by a cocaine overdose[1] the day before his wedding.[2] He died only eight days after Len Bias, an NBA draft pick who also died of cocaine abuse, starting a national discussion about the relationship between drugs and athletes.


  1. ^ Rogers' death is a second warning
  2. ^ Kardiac kids: the story of the 1980 Cleveland Browns By Jonathan Knight. Kent State University Press. p. 275


  • Harvey, Sean D. (2007). One Moment Changes Everything: The All-America Tragedy of Don Rogers. Sports Publishing, Inc. ISBN 1-59670-231-1.