By Greg Ostendorf
AUBURN, Ala. -- On Tuesday, the SEC revealed its 2017 SEC Football Legends class, a collection of 14 former stars -- one from each team -- who excelled on the gridiron and helped write the rich history of the sport at their respective institutions.
Representing Auburn this year is former defensive back Carlos Rogers.
"It means a lot," Rogers said. "Any time you get honored or recognized for an accomplishment on or off the field, it means a lot. It could've been anybody chosen for that. There were so many players that haven't been chosen, and I was one of the ones they picked. It's an honor."
Rogers played for the Tigers from 2001 to 2004. He started 44 games over his four-year career, finishing with 182 tackles, seven interceptions and an Auburn record 40 pass deflections.
As a senior in 2004, Rogers was a consensus All-American, a first-team All-SEC selection and the winner of the Jim Thorpe Award. He played a major role for an Auburn defense that led the nation in scoring defense, and he was instrumental in helping lead the Tigers to a perfect 13-0 record and an SEC championship.
That undefeated season still sticks out when Rogers looks back on his time at Auburn.
"Going undefeated, being with those guys -- there's never been anything I've played in that I've been undefeated -- and to go undefeated in the SEC with the way our conference was playing, especially at that time with all the good teams, that was a big accomplishment and something I'll always remember," he said.
Following that season, Rogers was taken ninth overall in the 2005 NFL draft, making him the highest-drafted defensive back in Auburn history. He went on to play 10 years in the NFL with the Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.
Rogers will always be part of the Auburn family, though.
"You still feel welcomed there," he said. "You still feel a part of the team. They welcome us back with open arms. They encourage us to come back. They want us around the players. They want us around the facility. It seems like when you walk around, the fans never forget you. They always want autographs, always want to talk to you. But they always say thank you and congratulate you on the time you had at Auburn and in the NFL.
"You always feel a part of that family, and I always enjoy myself when I go down there."
Rogers will be back in Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Georgia game on Nov. 11 where the school will celebrate him as one of the SEC Legends for 2017. He will also be recognized along with the other 14 recipients prior to the SEC championship game on Dec. 2 at the new Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Greg Ostendorf is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: