Auburn assembles one of the best transfer portal classes in the country and Hugh Freese and his freshman added another talented player Thursday in former Kentucky quarterback Justin Rodgers.

Rogers also strongly considered LSU with programs such as Alabama, Miami, Michigan State, Texas, and Oklahoma among other programs of interest.

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“It’s really just the environment and the coaching staff,” Rodgers told 247Sports of what set Auburn apart from the rest. The Tigers were ranked 4th on 247Sports’ transfer portals before Rodgers joined. “Culture, the history of Auburn. Coach, long line coach (Jeremy Garrett), he was an NFL coach, that was what I really wanted.

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“When I spoke with Coach Freese, it was very important to me. He had a plan for me to succeed when I got there.”

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6ft 2 1/2, 311 lbs. Rogers joins the portal class, which also includes an offensive lineman. Avery Jonesrunning back Brian Battle, quarterback Mosiah Nasili-Kiteattack tackle Dillon Wadehard end Rivaldo Fairweather and midfielder DeMario Tolan who have four-star transfer ratings from 247Sports.

“Just know, come in, get to work and change the protection room,” Rogers said.

Rodgers, who was ranked 52nd overall in the 2020 class by the 247Sports Composite, has 35 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 12 starts this season. Rodgers also earned a 71.3 PFF this year, making him one of the best inside defensemen in the SEC.

Rogers said he would be at the Auburn campus until January 18th.

“I can’t wait to really work with the players and coaches,” he said. “It’s great to talk to the whole coaching staff and some of the players.”

Rodgers is especially excited to play the Iron Bowl in November.

“The competition is much better on the other side of the SEC,” he added.