Rokins hopes to continue that momentum into his 2014 season, which will be at Maryville College as Rokins signed to play football there Friday at Cass High.
“Chaz has really worked hard in the weight room and really has gotten better every year, so I just see him getting better and better,” Rokins’ head coach at Cass, Rick Casko, said. “I think he has a bright future ahead of him. The nice thing about him is he worked hard and got better and better. A young man like that, his best days are ahead of him because he continues to work hard. He puts the work in the weight room and in the offseason.
“We’ve had a few players sign this year and I’ve seen him work the hardest at trying to get there and go.”
Rokins came on strong at the end of his senior year and became a primary weapon in the Cass offense. He finished the year with 84 carries for 575 yards, and seven touchdowns.
Rokins emerged in the third and fourth games of the season as he became the team’s featured running back. He ran for 136 yards between the two games.
He raised his level of play even further in the last three games of the season. On Oct. 18 against River Ridge, Rokins ran for 53 of his 60 yards in the second half to run the clock out on River Ridge and lead the Colonels to a 24-12 victory.
Rokins then scored two touchdowns the next week against Cedartown as Cass’ offense helped keep the team within striking distance until the fourth quarter.
The senior running back then finished his career strong with 158 yards on 12 carries with two touchdowns in the season finale against Southeast Whitfield.
“[Rokins] went on to have a really good year. He played well, worked hard and did well in all aspects of the game. I’m really, really pleased with him to give us a great attribute at the running back position. Towards the end, he had a couple of good games,” Casko said. “Chaz came over as a sophomore, transferred from Cartersville. He was really having a good junior year and hurt his ankle and it really set him back. He was doing a great job for us and he really worked hard in the offseason, got stronger, got faster, committed, and really grew as a young man. I’m very proud of him.”
Rokins joins high school teammate Kelin Wells in committing to Maryville. Maryville also has a pair of Bartow County players on the team already in former Woodland linebacker Jacob Chastain and former Adairsville offensive lineman Rance Hightower.
“Me and Kelin talked it over last week and I was like, ‘I think Maryville is the place for me,’ and he was like, ‘Me too.’ So we were like, ‘Well then, let’s make it official,’” Rokins said. “A little LeBron-D. Wade going to South Beach. We wanted to win a ring together. We didn’t do it in high school, so we’re going to do it in college. We didn’t get to go to state, so we have to redeem ourselves and go to college and play together.”
“I think that’s always a good thing, when two guys can go to the same program,” Casko said. “There’s a lot of things they have in common. They can work out together, have the football in common, of course. Different majors in college, but at least they get off to a comfortable start being away from home and they can push each other, be there for each other and support each other. They’re good friends, too, so I think that’s a real positive.”
Maryville College in Tennessee is an NCAA Division III football program competing in the USA South Athletic Conference.
The Scots went 8-3 last year on their way to the program’s second consecutive USA South Athletic Conference title and first trip to the NCAA postseason.
Maryville runs the same spread offense out of the pistol formation that Cass does, which Rokins believes will help him make the transition to college football.
“Coach [Mike] Rader has a good program. They run the exact same offense we run in high school. There’s nothing new to learn. It’s just zone runs, zone reads, nothing different, so I can come in and contribute right away,” Rokins said. “Their starting running back, Travis Felder, he graduated, so the running back position is basically open. Whoever wants it, is hungrier, is going to get it. That’s why I chose Maryville.”
“In that offense, there’s not a lot of running backs, so it’s highly competitive. He has his work cut out for him, but he’s really competitive, really hard working and wants to play in college,” Casko said. “He lifts weights, he continues to work hard, so I think he’s preparing himself already.
“I think you have an excited young man who’s going to do a lot of good things there.”